Saturday, February 12, 2011

Many describe the thing that became the big bang as a Singularity.  Now there is a new singularity.  This is not a new idea.  People have been thinking about the time when computers will take over for us since the time we first thought of computers.  But this article puts it into focus and touches on some salient points.  From Time:

So if computers are getting so much faster, so incredibly fast, there might conceivably come a moment when they are capable of something comparable to human intelligence. Artificial intelligence. All that horsepower could be put in the service of emulating whatever it is our brains are doing when they create consciousness – not just doing arithmetic very quickly or composing piano music but also driving cars, writing books, making ethical decisions, appreciating fancy paintings, making witty observations at cocktail parties.

We are talking about the day when computers are better at thinking than we are.  It’s not as far in the future as you might think.

We will successfully reverse-engineer the human brain by the mid-2020s. By the end of that decade, computers will be capable of human-level intelligence. Kurzweil puts the date of the Singularity – never say he’s not conservative – at 2045. In that year, he estimates, given the vast increases in computing power and the vast reductions in the cost of same, the quantity of artificial intelligence created will be about a billion times the sum of all the human intelligence that exists today.

One of the most humbling aspects of creating a computer that can think better than us (notice I said and believe it will be better, not just faster) is that it would make sense for that special computer to work on,….what?  Well, it will work on making computers even better.  That’s where the exponential development will really take off beyond our control.

I will be old when this happens, but it seems it will be within my lifetime.  Amazing.

I believe this is going to change everything.

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