Episode Date August 22, 2023
Featured Guest Brian Christian
Featured Book "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter

Episode Summary

Brian Christian reading from Godel, Escher, Bach, and discussing the power and future of AI.

Today, we’re pulling one of our best episodes from the vaults, featuring the brilliant Brian Christian.

Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages

One thing I don’t mention often, is that the thesis I wrote for my law degree was an attempt to combine my interest in literature with a perspective on law. So I wrote about the phenomenon of plain English: that’s trying to write law without the legalese. And I tried to write about it through the lens of literary theories of language.

I honestly did not understand what I was trying to do. And also nobody in law school understood what I was trying to do. What I can see now, with the benefit of hindsight and some self-esteem and some marketing speak, is that I was a boundary rider. I’ve come to learn that the interesting things often take place on the edges, those intermediate areas where X meets Y and some sort of new life is born. Brian Christian is a boundary rider too. He’s just way more successful and interesting than law school Micheal.

He thinks deeply and writes about deep patterns of life through technology and AI and algorithms. He’s the author of The Most Human Human, the Alignment Problem, and Algorithms to Live By. After the introduction I just gave you, you’re probably going to guess that Brian isn’t just a science guy.

Brian reads from Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. [Reading begins at 15:10]

Hear us Discuss:

  • Metaphor can be one of the main mechanisms by which science happens. [6:20]
  • Rules that are delightful to break. [24:35]
  • “I have this deep conviction […] we are on to some philosophical paydirt here. There is a very real way in which we are building [AI] systems in our own image, and as a result they come to be a mirror for ourselves.” [28:40]
  • What is the heart of the human experience? [38:10]
  • “Humans are not so special.” [42.50]

Join our free membership site, The Duke Humfrey’s, and get access to full transcripts, past episodes, exclusive downloads and more. You’ll find it all at www.MBS.works/podcast

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher 


Brian Christian | Website

Douglas Hofstadter | Godel, Escher, Bach

Follow Michael on | Instagram | Twitter | YouTubeLinkedIn | Facebook

Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

[mepr-show rules="146" unauth="message"]

Access Your Perks in the

Duke Humfrey's

[mepr-hide rules="146" unauth="message"]

Access Member Perks in the

Duke Humfrey's

Already a Member? Log in here