Friday March 18, 2016

The case for a robot president

Creative engineering, vintage illustration of the head of a man with an electronic circuit board for a brain, 1949. Screen print.

Creative engineering, vintage illustration of the head of a man with an electronic circuit board for a brain, 1949. Screen print. (Getty Images)

Listen 9:48

American presidential candidate and futurist Zoltan Istvan says in 10 to 15 years artificial intelligence (A.I.) will be advanced enough to be president of the United States of America

South Korea Game Human vs Computer

South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol puts the first stone against Google's artificial intelligence program. (Lee Jin-man/Associated Press)

With the help of human programmers, Istvan envisions a future in which an A.I. entity —  a robot  — would make decisions altruistically, and for the greatest good of all Americans.

Earlier this week Google's artificial intelligence program  AlphaGo beat a world "Go" champion Lee Sedol four games to one in what's being seen a landmark moment for A.I. Go is a game that requires a high level of intuition rather than brute calculating force, which is why computers have had a hard time playing it.

Istvan says AlphaGo's win is just the latest example that artificially intelligent machines are capable of making human-like decisions.