Conscious Computers and Friendly vs Unfriendly AI


As I’ve noted here in posts about AI many times I think we are within 15 years – probably fewer – of the most profound change in technology and humanity ever to hit the planet.   This will be the advent of conscious computers which we can reasonably expect to surpass us in all thinking and organizational skills within a very short time – probably months or even days of becoming conscious.    

Some AI folks believe that strong AI machinery will require a somewhat lengthy learning period, much like human intellects require, before becoming highly functional but I think the process will be very fast after consciousness happens.  In my opinion it is easy to exaggerate the significance of the intellectual complexity that comes from massive numbers of redundant, mostly simple processes.  Unlike humans, computer intelligences will grow extremly fast as soon as they “choose” that approach.   Initially those choices to expand will be programmed in by the human AI programmer, but it seems logical to assume that as computers design their own replacements they will continue to give the next generation “motivation”.     You don’t even need to assume it’ll happen in this proactive way though.   In a world with various forms of intelligences those that value their own survival will tend to increase in number simply through basic mathematical/evolutionary processes as those that do not value survival as highly simply are more likely to drop off the scene.

So, my cousin asked me today, why would a machine care much if at all about human welfare?    My gut says they will, and I think this is based on watching how humans care so much for their animals and even inanimate objects.    Also I think it’s important to note how crappily we take care of our fellow humans.    We consistently choose fighting and selfishness over harmonious existence. 

So I say give the computers a shot at making the world a better place!  

CESlebrities at CES 2008


Here’s the press release from CES about the celebrities that will be there in official capacities.   I’m under the impression that a lot of celebrity folks also attend just to see what’s up in technology:  

What?! No Donny Deutsch?!

Arlington, Va., December 28, 2007 –

Award winning actors, musicians, comedians and sports stars all come together at the 2008 International CES&#174 to experience the hottest products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry.

The 2008 International CES, the world’s largest technology tradeshow, runs January 7-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Monday appearances feature Yoko Ono and Sony recording artists Natasha Bedingfield, will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas and Pat Monahan of Train to unveil an all new John Lennon Educational Tour Bus at an invitation only press reception to be held in the Concierge Center from noon-1 p.m. Bedingfield will also perform in the Concierge Center at 4 p.m. that evening.

Indy Car driver and 2005 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Danica Patrick, will race into the GoDaddy.com booth on Monday along with wrestling’s very own Candice Michelle. Both women will be at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), Central Plaza, CP2.

Science Fiction buffs can’t afford to miss XENA, live at noon as part of the CES conference session: Science Fiction’s Influence on Technology. Kevin Costner and his band will be performing that night at CEA’s Wireless Communications Division reception in the LVCC, Gibson tent from 6-7 p.m. followed by Rocco Deluca from 7-8 p.m.

Academy Award winning actor and producer Michael Douglas, best known for his dramatic acting (Fatal Attraction and Wall Street) and his powerful presence as a producer (One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Romancing the Stone), will be at XStreamHD’s invitation only press conference on Tuesday, January 8 at 11 a.m. in The Venetian, Casanova 503.

If you are a fan of the world champion Boston Red Sox – get ready. Big Papi, David Ortiz, will make an appearance at the SHARP booth, LVCC, Central Hall, 11024 from 2-3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. GoDaddy.com will bring in another big name on Tuesday -Olympic gold medalist, Amanda Beard, will visit Central Plaza, CP2.

Tuesday night will wrap up with the much anticipated Monster Cable concert at the Paris Hotel. Mary J. Blige will headline with Sheila E., Prince solo artist, and Joe Jackson, father to Janet and Michael Jackson, expected to be in attendance.

Mad Mike from MTV’s Pimp My Ride will be at Mitek’s booth, LVCC, North Hall, 2401 on Monday, January 7 from 1-2 p.m. and 4-5 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 10-11 a.m., 1-2 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. MTX’s Mixed Martial Arts Team also be with Mitek for all show days from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Graham Rahal, the son of U.S. motor racing legend Bobby Rahal, will for the first time get a taste of driving the BMW Sauber F1 Team racing car in the BMW Sauber F1 Team Pit Lane Park. Rahal will be at the LVCC, Gold Lot Exhibits, Gold-1 for all show days.

For more information about the 2008 International CES before, during and after the show, including celebrity appearances and special events, visit www.CESweb.org

CES 2008 coverage coming soon


The Consumer Electronics Show – CES 2008 – the number one technology event in the world, is coming up fast and I’m excited to go as a first time attendee/press dude.    One of the nice tech blogger press perks is I’m getting invited to a lot of cool parties all over Las Vegas.   There is so much activity it’s hard to get a handle on it all. Like Las Vegas, there are far more things available than you could possibly do in a single day.  

The whole city of Las Vegas is basically taken over by geeks, geek wannabes, and even major pop celebrities during the several days of CES excitement.  I just heard that Kevin Costner’s rock band will be performing at one of the award shows.  Thousands of exhibitors and about 140,000 attendees make this the world’s premier tech event, where many companies will showcase and release hardware and software and hope for a good reception, because a good showing at CES can make or break a small company and even some large ones. 

Sunday’s keynote will be by Bill Gates, but I have to admit I’m more excited to attend the Monster Cable retailer awards at the Paris Las Vegas where Mary J. Blige will be performing as part of the party.   Now *that’s* a party!

In addition to my take on the event hundreds of other bloggers and CNET and all the mainstream media will have a lot of good coverage. Even MSNBC’s bombastic Donny Deutsch will be blogging the event for his “Road to CES” specials for his show “The Big Idea”