The Talk –
History of computation –
Computer MIT took up a whole building in 1956 and cost billions of dollars – IBM 305 RAMAC was first shared by thousands of people. It was the first computer with a hard disk drive, weighed over a ton and stored 5mb of data. Now a cell phone is many thousand times more powerful costing a few tens of dollars.
Exponential progression was perfectly smooth for the last 110 years. 1890 the first automated American census. 2001 first live virtual reality performing and musical artist living in virtual reality.
A few decades from now, there won’t be a clear distinction between real and virtual reality.
The future an explosion of human knowledge, explosion of music-art-poetry-science-engineering.
The law of accelerating returns –
Information technology grows exponentially right now doubling every year but even that is increasing over time.
A few hundred years ago, people didn’t even realize theirs was change at all.
Now everyone say, “The only thing that’s constant is change”. But even now, that is changing. It’s going to get to a point where change is so fast that we won’t be able to follow it without enhancing our own – intelligence – WE refer to that as “The Singularity”.
The singularity to me is the point where the exponential rising curve of our technology suddenly becomes the exponential rising curve of ourselves. It’s the point where our technology and ourselves are no longer two different things. Everything – communication- technology – energy – ourselves will transform itself in the PIE (post-information-era) and be subject to this law of accelerating returns.
Early in the decade, we will have Avatars popping up in our field of view. We’ll talk things over with them. They will play a wide variety of roles. They’ll help us conduct all our transactions, help collect information. Unlike todays Search Engines, it won’t wait to be asked if they see we are struggling with something. Over time they’ll become increasingly intelligent –more importantly they’ll have increasingly engaging personalities. If they didn’t have one they’d be quite annoying. (talking to computers on the phone.) These virtual people are going to entertain us. They are going to educate and entertain our kids. Take care of the elderly. Ultimately, they will become our companions, our lovers. That’ll play the role that human’s play- they’ll become human-like.
Primitive virtual life – video games (pong, to games that look realistic & getting more realistic all the time.) Today’ in just a few years, images will be written to our retinas from our eyeglasses. The army uses them; surgeons use them today to actually be in a virtual environment. So if they’re doing surgery on the eye that looks like a very large eye. In addition, they can actually carry out surgical maneuvers. Computers watch their movements and translate that to the very fine movements of a very small robotic surgeon.
In just a few years from now, we will be online all the time. Moreover, if we want to we can enter into a virtual realty environment. We can cut out all of the visual signals, beam images to our retinas – beam sound to our ears and be in a visual & auditory full immersion virtual reality environment. We’ll actually merge the virtual world with the real world.
Our emotional intelligence is actually the cutting edge of human intelligence. But it’s something the human brain does we’re going to understand it in the same precise way that we already understand for instance the skill information – such as catching a fly ball. That’s done by the cerebellum which comprises more than half the neurons in the brain (psychomotor learning) the cerebellum actually does these equations of course without us even being aware of it. How does a small boy catch a fly ball? All he has to do is solve a dozen differential equations – most ten-year-old kids haven’t taken calculus – but we have models and working simulations of the cerebellum. We now understand how that works.
In addition, we’ve modeled some other working areas of the brain like the auditory & visual cortex of the brain. And we’ve tested these simulations and they compare with human performance. Ultimately, we will have models and simulations of the brain that are responsible for our emotions & machine emotions.
We just have to appreciate how profoundly social and emotional we as human beings are and there’s a lot to be understood about these robot & human relationships when these machines start to exhibit these sorts of qualities.
I don’t think that these distinctions between emotion and thinking is useful. I think its blocked psychology for years. Each emotional state is a configuration of mental activities in which you think in a different way. The idea is to create the powers of human intelligence in machines.
People say well where’s the big AI application, they don’t realize that when they go to Google that’s AI intelligence they’re engaging.
There are hundreds of examples of what I call “Narrow AI”.
Automatic diagnoses of electro cardiograms
Interpretation of blood cell images
Fly & landing of airplanes “by wire”
Intelligent weapons guidance systems
Credit card fraud detection
Control of just-in-time inventory levels
Automatic circuit inspect
Solving mathematical theorems & formulae
Routing electronic messages
Connecting cell phone calls
Intelligent computer assisted product design
Energy efficient power plant operation & distribution
Large vocabulary voice recognition
Natural disaster early warning systems
Stock market trading
Where artificial intelligence programs are doing tasks that used to require human intelligence just as well and usually much better than human performance & if all these AI programs stopped working tomorrow our economic eco-structure would grind to a halt. That was not true 25 years ago – this artificial intelligence we’re creating is not some alien invasion that’s coming from mars to invade us. WE are the human machine in civilization. We’ve created machines; we’ve always used them to extend our physical/mental reach. Its part of who we are – were going to have artificial intelligence in our brains. We’re going to have artificial intelligence. We’re going to be biologically enhanced with artificial intelligence. We are literally going to merge with this technology. If we ask you know, what are we – we will be much more machine than we are biological.
Stay tuned for additional installments of “The Talk”.
All my LOVE to you and yours,
Adrian Alexis - 2013