Making Sense with Sam Harris

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Sam Harris

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events. Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. Harris's work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere. Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Categories: Science & Medicine

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Filmmaker Jay Shapiro has produced a new series of audio documentaries, exploring the major topics that Sam has focused on over the course of his career.

Each episode weaves together original analysis, critical perspective, and novel thought experiments with some of the most compelling exchanges from the Making Sense archive. Whether you are new to a particular topic, or think you have your mind made up about it, we think you’ll find this series fascinating.

In this episode, we explore the landscape of Artificial Intelligence. We’ll listen in on Sam’s conversation with decision theorist and artificial-intelligence researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, as we consider the potential dangers of AI – including the control problem and the value-alignment problem – as well as the concepts of Artificial General Intelligence, Narrow Artificial Intelligence, and Artificial Super Intelligence.

We’ll then be introduced to philosopher Nick Bostrom’s “Genies, Sovereigns, Oracles, and Tools,” as physicist Max Tegmark outlines just how careful we need to be as we travel down the AI path. Computer scientist Stuart Russell will then dig deeper into the value-alignment problem and explain its importance.   We’ll hear from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt about the geopolitical realities of AI terrorism and weaponization. We’ll then touch the topic of consciousness as Sam and psychologist Paul Bloom turn the conversation to the ethical and psychological complexities of living alongside humanlike AI. Psychologist Alison Gopnik then reframes the general concept of intelligence to help us wonder if the kinds of systems we’re building using “Deep Learning” are really marching us towards our super-intelligent overlords.   Finally, physicist David Deutsch will argue that many value-alignment fears about AI are based on a fundamental misunderstanding about how knowledge actually grows in this universe.  

Previous episodes

  • 320 - Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence | Episode 1 of The Essential Sam Harris 
    Tue, 22 Nov 2022
  • 319 - #303 — The Fall of Sam Bankman-Fried 
    Tue, 15 Nov 2022 - 0h
  • 318 - #302 — Science & Civilization 
    Fri, 11 Nov 2022 - 0h
  • 317 - #301 — The Politics of Unreality: Ukraine and Nuclear Risk 
    Tue, 25 Oct 2022
  • 316 - #300 — A Tale of Cancellation 
    Wed, 12 Oct 2022
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