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Free speech for computers, and nine other DARPA ideas

Free speech for computers, and nine other DARPA ideas

DARPA computer scientist and philosopher Paul Cohen wants you to think

If free speech for humans is worth fighting for, is free speech for computers worth fighting against?

That's the type of question you might expect from someone who holds a doctor of philosophy degree in computer science and psychology and it's exactly what the audience at DARPA's Wait, What? conference in St. Louis heard on Thursday.

Posing the question was Paul Cohen, who joined the Department of Defense-run research organization from the University of Arizona in 2013.

"Are you attracted or appalled by the idea of machines that have ideas and know how to express them?," he continued. "What if you were lonely? What if they were bigots? What if you could each change the other’s mind?"

It was one of 10 thought-provoking ideas delivered by Cohen during a 5-minute speech to the crowd of computer scientists, academic and researchers -- a presentation that should provide food for thought for anyone interested in computer science and machine learning.

Here's his presentation:


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