In Fall 2015, Social Science Matrix will sponsor a seminar that will bring together presenters from diverse social sciencse, including economics, political science, and sociology, as well as humanities and technology disciplines, to reflect upon “superintelligence."

Superintelligence refers to biological or artificial (or hybrid) agent(s) capable of general purpose intelligence beyond that of the smartest non-enhanced humans. Even if superintelligence is not achieved, highly intelligent artificial intelligence (AI), which already exists today, has the potential to revolutionize social, political, economic, and biological structures. “In the coming decades, the possibility of 'superintelligence” could radically revolutionize society,' the seminar’s organizers write in their proposal. “While this can potentially be a boon for humanity, like ending hunger and cancer, it is important to attempt to avoid potential pitfalls.”

Each session will include a discussion of select chapters Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence (2014), as well as a presentation by a speaker from UC Berkeley or the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI).

"The preparation for the possibility of superintelligence will require cooperation between engineers and scientists, who have the technical knowledge, and social scientists and humanities scholars, who have the knowledge of the structures that can be affected,” they write. “The hope is the seminar gives the opportunity to STEM researchers, social scientists, and humanities scholars to interact, identify research issues, and collaborate in ways that can also be beneficial to humanity."