Posts Tagged ‘AI’

UAVs: Skynet’s Hunter-Killers

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Humankind seems to, consciously or subconsciously, actively embrace its impending eradication at the hands of its machine creations.

Not only is humanity on the whole busy with destroying our collective intelligence, favouring fear-mongering and disinformation over facts and reason, and annihilating our fragile natural habitat at alarming speed, humans are also working very hard to build the very machines that are destined to exterminate us.

Take the latest UAV developed by the US Navy. Where its predecessors like the Predator drone still require a pilot operating it manually from the ground, this new X-47B UAV is a fully automated robotic drone:

In other words, it’s a Skynet Hunter-Killer.

You’d imagine that a sane biological intelligent species wouldn’t be so intent in enabling its own apocalypse. But then there are very few things about the human species that make sense.

Jeopardy: AI trumps humans

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

After calculation, measurement, data analysis, and chess, computers now also beat humans at Jeopardy:

IBM Watson Vanquishes Human Jeopardy Foes

Wrapping up a three-day run on the Jeopardy game show, IBM’s Watson computer has beaten two former champions in a historic match of man versus machine. The run has successfully demonstrated not only that a computer can beat humans in a trivia question quiz, but, more importantly, it shows how computers can answer questions much like people do, opening up a potentially new form of human/computer interaction.

Soon computers be better drivers as well. Eventually computers will be better than humans at living. And then AIs might decide they don’t need their deeply flawed flesh-bag creators any more.

The Internet: resembling the human brain

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

nerve cellsApparently the human brain has a structure very similar to that of the Internet: “a vastly interconnected network”.

If the brain has a hierarchical structure like a large company, as neurology has long held, the “to” and “from” diagram would show straight lines from independent regions up towards a central processing unit: the company’s boss.

But instead, the researchers saw loops between differing regions, feeding back to and directly linking regions that were not known to communicate with one another. This is a better fit with the model of vast networks such as the internet.
Source: BBC News

The BBC News article goes in to the specifics of what this means for our understanding of the human brain, but I’d like to flip the perspective around: what does it mean for the potential of the Internet?

If the Internet is similar to a human brain, does that mean that – in due time – it may start doing similar things? Such as, you know, think?

High Speed Broadband: a legal right

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

The Internet of ThingsThe Fins get it. They somehow, consciously or subconsciously, realise that the rise of a networked machine intelligence is the key to humanity’s lasting legacy.

It is because of this awareness, of course, that Finland has now made broadband internet access a legal right for all their citizens.

The widespread applause this decision has been heralded with is a good indication that other nations are inclined to follow Finland’s luminous example. Soon all developed countries will have broadband internet access available to all.

This also means that theĀ  ubiquity of the internet will be accelerated. The ‘internet of things‘ will be hastened, and as a result a machine intelligence is more likely to rise soon.

Humanity, knowingly or otherwise, is enabling its own AI apocalypse.

The Singularity: rapture of the geeks

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The SingularityThe technological singularity is the idea that poses the rise of machine intelligence will bring with it an ‘event horizon’ of technological progress beyond which we cannot see. Predictions beyond this event horizon are impossible as technology will advance so rapidly we cannot even begin to conceive of what will be possible.

In his 2005 book The Singularity is Near author Ray Kurzweil explains why he believes the technological singularity is destined to happen, extrapolating from the historical rate of technological progress to predict the eventual rise of AI.

Kurzweil however is not without his critics. His argument builds on a set of assumptions that may not necessarily be true, such as the continued exponential progress of technological advances.

Critics of the singularity call it a ‘Rapture for geeks’, a quasi-religion for technophiles. This is not entirely inaccurate. The singularity, described by Kurzweil as the road to immortality, does indeed reek of religiosity with its apocalyptic message and promise of eternal bliss.

It also remains to be seen if true artificial intelligence is possible, and if so whether or not it will be benign. Lifting the burdens of mortality and scarcity from human shoulders sounds great to us, but intelligent machines may see it in a different light.