In the first half, evolvable hardware expert Hugo de Garis discussed the latest ideas in artificial intelligence—and how they're a potential threat to humankind. Though he acknowledged that AI has benefited humanity in tremendous ways in the past, de Garis warned that within a few decades, a tipping point will be reached where "artilects"—machines that have achieved massive intellect and strength—will rapidly outpace our ability to control them. The resulting paradigm is AGI: artificial general intelligence, where the most powerful technology operates as conscious beings would, with broad and extremely agile capabilities. One key factor in how machines are able to gain such an upper hand is that they will become nearly flawless in their ability to correct errors in their own coding and adapt to changing conditions; another is that, thanks to advances in quantum physics, the physical space required to increase their computing power by a factor of trillions would be only about the size of an orange.
De Garis predicted that this process will cause an Artilect War, a series of conflicts among humans that will arise as we grapple with the question of how (or whether) the march toward AGI should be managed. "Cosmists," for example, are those people who will try to accommodate the increasing power of AI and AGI; "terrans," on the other hand, will oppose the cosmists, insisting that humans should be preserved as the dominant species on Earth, keeping AI in check. For de Garis, however, the prognosis isn't good. Noting that he was not happy to be so pessimistic, he shared his expectation for the way the Artilect War will likely end: with the extinction of the human race.
Guests in the second half were Jay Wasley and Billy Tolley of TV's Ghost Adventures. Each guest described his background in the paranormal before the creation of the show, which features their team's investigations of places reported to be haunted. While he's doing what he loves on the show and it's often fun, Tolley related, it's important to keep in mind that the show deals with dark forces, including those picked up via EVP equipment. "They thrive on suffering, anger, and pain," he said of some of the entities encountered. In addition, he continued, it's not uncommon for an evil spirit to follow him home from a shoot. Wasley observed that extensive investigation experience itself can be a source of stress and confusion, raising as many questions as it answers.
Listeners from places like Alaska, Texas, and Pennsylvania called to share their perspectives on paranormal activity in their own areas, prompting the guests to express interest in visiting for investigations. To a caller in California who wondered what inspired them to create House Calls, a spinoff from Ghost Adventures, Wasley and Tolley indicated that they felt a responsibility to help everyday people experiencing the kind of trouble the two specialize in. "It really opened my mind to how many people are actually having paranormal activity in their homes," Wasley recalled.
News segment guests: Howard Bloom / Mish Shedlock