Got AI?


If you are not familiar with the ideas of futurist Ray Kurzweil you should read some of his rather remarkable but reasonable notions of how artificial intelligence will pan out over the next few decades.   In short Kurzweil sees an explosion of artificial intellectual capability changing our culture in ways we can’t even imagine yet.

We were pondering the intersection of humans and technology during our 5 days of camping with friends on the Oregon Coast at Honeyman State Park.    It’s a simply beautiful park with huge dunes, 2 pretty lakes, and nice campsites.

3 thoughts on “Got AI?

  1. I’ve been following Ray Kurzweil’s contributions to the Singularity concept for a while now, and have found the whole subject really fascinating. I work in computer software/hardware, and trying to keep up with the advances in efficiency is a real mind bender, particularly as the curve accelerates.

    A couple of years ago I read, “Radical Evolution – The promise and peril of enhancing our minds, our bodies – and what it means to be human” by Joel Garreau, and it was quite an enjoyable light read. Kurzweil is featured in one of the chapters; His most interesting (and I think his furthest “out there” idea) is that he believes in a very short period of time (on the order of 100 years) we will all cease to need a physical body – that we’ll find it more efficient to become “mists of vapor” rather than using our traditional form…I like Ray. That’s not thinking outside of the box – that’s thinking in a whole new cardboard dimension.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Thx Jeremy – I hadn’t heard of the “Radical Evolution” book. All these ideas would have been deemed “almost insane” even a few decades ago, and still by many, but the experiments and theory are catching up with the sci fi quickly. Bill Gates – hardly a crackpot – suggested that Kurzweil is probably doing the best futurist thinking on the topic of AI, and as you note a Kurzweil future is one amazing place.

    I’m looking forward to it – we hardly can claim that human intellect is managing the planet “really well”, but I think with enhancements and expontial growth we could do a good job.

  3. The intersection of REAL humans and technology:
    You want to know about ‘humans and technology’ and futurism, don’t focus on bionics and the like.

    A good starting point for contemplating the issue might be that state park: how do people interact with computers to discover the park, remind themselves of it, locate it, sample it, find out costs involved, make reservations, etc.
    That is how people experience computers.

    Will, an AI program someday: select this park for you based on your past behavior? Select your route to the park based on traffic preferences, restaurant preferences etc? Monitor your blood pressure and glucose values as you drive to that park? Will you paddle on the lake in a kayak assisted by an AI program that keeps you from tipping over in rough waves? Will the paddle sense the strength of your grip on it and warn you of too loose a grip on it? Or measure your grip strength and use it to select which hormones should be checked on your next doctor visit? Or will the AI program measure your enjoyment of the scenery and react to your subtle emotions?

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