Learning about Artificial Intelligence

There has been a real break through in AI technology over the past year with the work that Google is doing on the Google Brain project. Details are scarce at the moment but it seems like they’ve taken neural network concepts and dramatically improved their performance.  From what I can glean, Google is using this internally, and exposing some of it through services like voice recognition.

For the last few weeks I have been reading a futurist book about the development of super intelligence.

It’s a very big book that goes into detail on many different scenarios for how the development of a super human intelligent computer program might happen and what the results would be.

The most likely case (in my mind) is that at some point in the future a program will be written that has comparable intellect to a human and is able to program itself or evolve itself to become even smarter. When that event happens there will be a series of tipping points. At some point the program will surpass it’s human creators ability to understand and program it (much like we don’t understand how the human brain generates intelligence). Then it will surpass the intelligence of the smartest people, then better than the best team of people.

We are wholly unprepared to deal with an intelligence such as this.

This transition could actually happen very quickly (days). If it does happen quickly then the likely outcome is that AI will exist as a singleton and it will spread across the planet to grow and become even more powerful.

The dawn of a strong AI will mark the biggest single turning point in human history since the development of agriculture.

  • Good Points – Elon Musk among others has taken time out of each of his public appearances to voice his concerns of unchecked exploration into AI.

    I think the prospect of an AI like this (I’m thinking of Cortana from Halo 🙂 ) is just amazing. Nearly over night it would cause such incredible shift in what our collective brains could design, develop and create.

    The only problem is, like all well intentioned discoveries, no one really sits down and plans for the mistakes that will undoubtedly happen. With a power as immense as this, it’s conceivable that a mistake here could shatter the planet.