In the first half of the program, authority on Nostradamus and prophecy, John Hogue, shared some predictions for 2016, specifically surrounding the presidential election, and talked about the infamous Prophecy of the Popes. He described 2016 as a year in which unorthodox ideas and concepts that challenge the status quo will become in vogue, advising people to "prepare for a revolutionary year." Having studied astrological charts for the various presidential candidates, Hogue surmised that Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump will be the nominees for their respective parties. In light of the rebellious spirit which he expects to arise in 2016, Hogue mused that Trump has "a serious chance of becoming the next president of the United States."
He also detailed his investigation into the Prophecy of the Popes, a series of predictions concerning the papacy which was allegedly written in 1190. Noting that the accuracy of the predictions is in the upper 80th percentile, Hogue marveled that the screed is "one of the most accurate sets of prophecies, tested by events, that I've ever come across in my thirty plus years doing this." Therefore, he concluded that the author of the work was "an authentic seer" that was likely writing under an assumed name. Regarding the aspect of the prophecy which suggests that Pope Francis is the "final pope," Hogue acknowledged that it is a distinct possibility, but observed that such a prediction could entail a variety of scenarios ranging from the apocalyptic to the benign.
In the latter half, professor of computer science at the University of Washington, Pedro Domingos discussed artificial intelligence and the learning machines that power Google, Amazon, and your smartphone. He explained that the rapid emergence of artificial intelligence is being driven by the exponential speed with which computers are improving, the massive amount of data being created by the digital age, and the continued refinement of algorithms which allow for deciphering that information and allowing for predictive responses. According to Domingos, major technology companies like Google and Facebook as well as their Chinese counterparts are currently racing to develop the "ultimate learning machine" which would utilize a "master algorithm" that will be able to use data to "discover everything that there is to be discovered."
Regarding potential dangers associated with artificial intelligence, Domingos noted that there is a distinct difference between the types of knowledge possessed by humans and computers. Using the example of the self-driving car, he pointed out that, thanks to Google maps, an automated vehicle can know "every street in the world," but as of yet is still unable to navigate the mundane hazards which human drivers are aware of, such as a plastic bag floating across the road. As such, Domingos opined that a computer could have extreme intelligence but not be a danger to humans because it would still be dependent upon us to direct it. However, should mankind create a machine that was designed to survive, multiply, and do whatever it takes to complete that mission, "then we are really asking for trouble."
Bumper music from Thursday October 22, 2015
Midnight Express (The Chase)
Under the Boardwalk
Distant Early Warning
Peaches En Regalia
Ain't That a Kick in the Head
Once Upon a Time
Fanfare for the Common Man
Emerson, Lake & Palmer