6 thoughts on “AI and Transhumanism are coming to a universe near you … soon!

  1. I’m sure that Kurtweil believes that his books and articles should have great impact but let us not forget that his own website acknowledges the great impact some articles have had in halting research into AI:

    “…Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert present the limitation of single-layer neural nets in their book Perceptrons. The book’s pivotal theorem shows that a Perceptron is unable to determine if a line drawing is fully connected. The book essentially halts funding for neural-net research. …”

    We already have ceded a great many functions to the computers and taken human beings(or atleast their minds) out of the loop: jet fighters, convenience stores, customer service desks and any store during a power failure. In these situations only the computers function.

    Merging AI with massive biosensing data can be dangerous: recall perhaps the neural net that was supposed to be learning how to differentiate tanks from trucks but instead had learned simply how to differentiate photos taken on a sunny day from a photo taken on a cloudy day. Or recall perhaps the Falkland Islands War incident wherein a radar controlled gun having detected attacking jet fighters decided to go into diagnostic mode and lock-out the manual firing over-ride system.

  2. Fools Gold as usual many excellent points. The most appealing aspect of all this to me is the advent of conscious computing, which I think will profoundly change a lot of things. Although I think it’s possible that we’ll find human intelligence to be a spectacular and hard to reproduce phenomenon I think the opposite will be the case. When the computer attains a conscious ability to learn it’ll absorb and expand at a spectacular rate, and then dumb things down to communicate with us. I’m looking forward to that day, which should be around 2025-2035

  3. One need only look at speech recognition and the progress that has been made there. Years ago someone said he planned to go to Wai Ki Ki and overturn several trash containers and would therefore wreck a nice beach. Nowadays a computer can differentiate between ‘wreck a nice beach’ and ‘recognize speech’. Knowledge representation and automated learning is progressing, but computers tend to “learn” that most people are famous because computers are often taught about people from an encyclopedia. And computers have to learn that a man with an electric razor is entirely human. Fine distinctions will always have to be made. A few years ago I jokingly referred to “a lesser life form that was based on carbon” … I wonder if the computers will eventually see us as that?

  4. I think it’s inevitable that the computer mind will view humans as a lesser intellectual life form (because that will be clear to everybody), but I don’t think it’ll be Terminator III Rise of the Machines, rather a cooperative and interconnected relationship where the computer effectively uses the humans as “robots” do implement their superior management ideas. If we are smart we’ll do this happily because they’ll be able to *theoretically* optimize things in ways we can only dream of – e.g. food production and distribution, population control, national security. I predict that the most pressing issue around 2050 will be whether we should listen to the advice of the conscious computers. If we are smart, we’ll listen, but we have a poor record of paying attention to the right answers.

  5. We will most likely see a merging of human and computer consciousness, with those refusing be left behind. Downloading someone’s mind onto a computer or gradually replacing brain matter with chips could do it. Either way, if we insist on separating man from machine, then it will gradually become a babysitting society, with only the top 1% intelligent humans actually doing anything with their lives.

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