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In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Artificial Intelligence Pioneer: We Can Build Robots With Morals

By Jason Koebler





Like it or not, we're moving computers closer to autonomy


JewishWorldReview.com | (USNWR) Judea Pearl, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, won the Association for Computing Machinery's A.M. Turing award earlier this month, considered the highest honor in the computing world.

Pearl developed two branches of calculus that opened the door for modern artificial intelligence, such as the kind found in voice recognition software and self-driving cars.

Vint Cerf, considered one of the "fathers of the Internet," said in a statement that Pearl's development of probabilistic and causal reasoning changed the world.

"His accomplishments over the last 30 years have provided the theoretical basis for progress in artificial intelligence and led to extraordinary achievements in machine learning," he said. "They have redefined the term 'thinking machine.' "

The calculus Pearl invented propels probabilistic reasoning, which allows computers to establish the best courses of action given uncertainty, such as a bank's perceived risk in loaning money when given an applicant's credit score.

"Before Pearl, most AI systems reasoned with Boolean logic—they understood true or false, but had a hard time with 'maybe,' " Alfred Spector, vice president of research and special initiatives at Google, said of his work.

The other calculus he invented allows computers to determine cause-and-effect relationships.


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At 75, Pearl, who is the father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, is currently working on a branch of calculus that he says will allow computers to consider the moral implications of their decisions.

Artificial intelligence has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years—what's the greatest hurdle for scientists working on making machines more human like?

There are many hurdles. There's the complexity of being able to generalize, an array of technical problems. But we have an embodiment of intelligence inside these tissues inside our skull. It's proof that intelligence is possible, computer scientists just have to emulate the brain out of silicon. The principles should be the same because we have proof intelligent behavior is possible.

I'm not futuristic, and I won't guess how many years it'll take, but this goal is a driving force that's inspiring for young people. Other disciplines can be pessimistic, but we don't have that in the field of artificial intelligence. Step by step we overcome one problem after the other. We have this vision that miraculous things are feasible and can be emulated in a system that is more understandable than our brain.

What do you think is the most impressive use of artificial intelligence that most people are familiar with?

I think the voice recognition systems that we constantly use, as much as we hate them, are miraculous. They're not flawless, but what we have shows it's feasible and could one day be flawless. There's the chess-playing machine we take for granted. A computer can beat any human chess player. Every success of AI becomes mundane and is removed from AI research. It becomes routine in your job, like a calculator that performs arithmetic, winning in chess—it's no longer intelligence.

So what's next? What are people working on that'll be world changing?

I think there will be computers that acquire free will, that can understand and create jokes. There will be a day when we're able to do it. There will be computers that can send jokes to the New York Times that will be publishable.

I try to avoid watching futuristic movies about super robots, about the limitations of computers that show when the machines will try to take over. They don't interest me.

Do you think those movies scare people off? Are they detrimental to the field?

I think they tickle the creativity and interest of young people in AI research. It's good for public interest, they serve a purpose. For me, I don't have time. I have so many equations to work on.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a calculus for counterfactuals—sentences that are conditioned on something that didn't happen. If Oswald didn't kill Kennedy, then who did? Sentences like that are the building blocks of scientific and moral behavior. We have a calculus that if you present knowledge about the world, the computer can answer questions of the sort. Had John McCain won the presidency, what would have happened?

Sort of like an alternative reality?

It's kind of like an alternative reality—you have to give the computer the knowledge. The ability to process that knowledge moves the computer closer to autonomy. It allows them to communicate by themselves, to take a responsibility for one's actions, a kind of moral sense of behavior. These are issues that are interesting—we could build a society of robots that are able to communicate with the notion of morals.

But we don't have to wait until we build robots. The theory of econometric prediction is changing because we have counterfactual calculus. Should we raise taxes? Should we lower interest rates? If the government raises taxes, will that pacify the unions? It's been a stumbling block for the past 150 years. We can assume something about reality before we take an action.

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