Robert Peston warns about Artificial Intelligence

BBC logo Robert Peston

Has Robert Peston, the BBC’s high-profile business editor, been reading Ray Kurzweil?

He broadcast some intriguing comments in A Dark Magic, a programme about the use of computers in financial trading which aired on 8th July.  Near the start of the programme, an unidentified American interviewee says:

“The most interesting thing I’ve observed is this battle between man and machine.  It’s like watching the Terminator movies in the financial markets.  We came that close to being wiped out.”

Towards the end of the show, Peston himself asks us to:

“…remember the fate of world in the film Terminator, when machines took control and enslaved us all.”

He concludes with a quote from Paul Wilmott, a financial consultant and hedge fund director:

“Once humans are out of the picture then all sorts of wonderful, chaotic things can potentially happen.  The models are getting increasingly complex, and you’re handing over responsibility for what happens in the market to black boxes.  And there comes a point when you don’t really know what the black box is doing.”

On second thoughts, perhaps Peston has been reading Hugo de Garis rather than Kurzweil.

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