You ever notice how supposedly smart people are often too dumb to realize that there are different kinds of intelligence. I mean, Jimi Hendrix probably wouldn’t be able to write code for shit, but he could play the hell out of a guitar. Last time I checked, Henry Miller isn’t a science legend and LeBron James isn’t a technological icon. I love that sermon that Jesus gave about organic chemistry. I’m pretty sure that’s the one that got him killed. Man, what’s at the movies this weekend? Yeah, a bunch of new films about how to make better computers, totally. I suppose the reason I mention this has to do with the fact that in the last week or so I’ve stumbled upon roughly 5 different articles by highly respected scientists informing me that computers are going be smarter than humans in the near future. Anytime anyone says something like this the appropriate response should be, what the fuck are you talking about?… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Ray Kurzweil
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That an octopus called Paul had a better success rate than Goldman Sachs when predicting World Cup results (credit to the Wall Street Journal for the headline “Octopus Beats Vampire Squid”) tells you something about the wisdom of guessing the future in public.
Guessing what the world will look like in 50 years’ time, however, is pretty safe, as I won’t be here to see myself proved wrong. Or will I?
If Google’s director of engineering has his way, we’ll all be around indefinitely – in the cloud at least. AI (artificial intelligence) guru Ray Kurzweil is one of a number of technologists, inventors and futurists who believe that the ability to upload our minds to the web, create virtual bodies, and thereby live forever, is within touching distance.
Kurzweil invented the first flat-bed scanning and optical character recognition systems, foresaw the internet explosion and correctly predicted that a computer would beat a chess Grandmaster by the turn of the century.
“Today we travel into the pure world of sci-fi to investigate the much vaunted, mysterious potential future event known as ‘The Singularity’. What will a machine consciousness mean for humanity? What are the ethical, political, military and philosophical implications of strong A.I.? And what would an AI sound like when spitting rhymes over a dope beat? All this and more shall be revealed in Rap News 28: The Singularity – featuring a special appearance from famed technocrat, futurist and inventor, Ray Kurzweil, in full TED talk mode; everyone’s favourite warmonger, General Baxter; and we welcome back the dauntless info warrior Alex Jones, who last made an appearance in RN6. Join Robert Foster on this epic Sci-Fi quest into the future/past of humanity.”
“Her” here we come! That’s the prediction of Ray Kurzweil, futurist in chief at Google, reports CNBC:
In less than two decades, you won’t just use your computers, you will have relationships with them.
Because of artificial intelligence, computers will be able to read at human levels by 2029 and will also begin to have different human characteristics, said Ray Kurzweil, the director of engineering at Google.
“My timeline is computers will be at human levels, such as you can have a human relationship with them, 15 years from now,” he said. Kurzweil’s comments came at the Exponential Finance conference in New York on Wednesday.
“When I say about human levels, I’m talking about emotional intelligence. The ability to tell a joke, to be funny, to be romantic, to be loving, to be sexy, that is the cutting edge of human intelligence, that is not a sideshow.”
The Oscar winning movie ‘Her,’ which was about a man who fell in love with his operating system, foreshadowed many of Kurzweil’s predictions about how artificial intelligence (AI) will evolve…
[continues at CNBC]
Do you believe in transcendence, about which Wikipedia says “In religious experience transcendence is a state of being that has overcome the limitations of physical existence and by some definitions has also become independent of it. This is typically manifested in prayer, séance, meditation, psychedelics and paranormal ‘visions'”?
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This Friday, a movie called Transcendence will arrive in theaters. Directed by Christopher Nolan’s go-to cinematographer, Wally Pfister, and penned by first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen (whose script appeared on the infamous Black List), Transcendence is being sold as Hollywood’s next sci-fi epic. So far, reviews haven’t been kind (although they’re still rolling in), and box office predictions have been tepid.
The movie follows Johnny Depp’s Dr. Caster’s journey from being fatally shot to uploading his mind into a supercomputer, where he achieves the all-knowing, all-powerful state he’s only dreamed about before.
What is smarter than hoovering up the personal information and innermost thoughts of every person on the planet and then stuffing it into a single database? Creating an artificial intelligence system capable of understanding it. From The Guardian:
Google has bought almost every machine-learning and robotics company it can find, or at least, rates. It made headlines two months ago, when it bought Boston Dynamics, the firm that produces spectacular, terrifyingly life-like military robots, for an “undisclosed” but undoubtedly massive sum. It spent $3.2bn (£1.9bn) on smart thermostat maker Nest Labs. And this month, it bought the secretive and cutting-edge British artificial intelligence startup DeepMind for £242m.
And those are just the big deals. It also bought Bot & Dolly, Meka Robotics, Holomni, Redwood Robotics and Schaft, and another AI startup, DNNresearch. It hired Geoff Hinton, a British computer scientist who’s probably the world’s leading expert on neural networks.… Read the rest
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Most people don’t know about the existence of quantum computers. Almost no one understands how they work, but theories include bizarre-sounding explanations like, “they reach into alternate universes to derive the correct answers to highly complex computational problems.”
Quantum computers are not made of simple transistors and logic gates like the CPU on your PC. They don’t even function in ways that seem rational to a typical computing engineer. Almost magically, quantum computers take logarithmic problems and transform them into “flat” computations whose answers seem to appear from an alternate dimension.
For example, a mathematical problem that might have 2 to the power of n possible solutions — where n is a large number like 1024 — might take a traditional computer longer than the age of the universe to solve. A quantum computer, on the other hand, might solve the same problem in mere minutes because it quite literally operates across multiple dimensions simultaneously.
Ok, so Ray Kurzweil is a man of above average intelligence and achievement, even if he only just got his first job (Google, of course), but is a desire to live forever a wise choice or foolish hubris? The Wall Street Journal reports on his quest for immortality:
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Ray Kurzweil must encounter his share of interviewers whose first question is: What do you hope your obituary will say?
This is a trick question. Mr. Kurzweil famously hopes an obituary won’t be necessary. And in the event of his unexpected demise, he is widely reported to have signed a deal to have himself frozen so his intelligence can be revived when technology is equipped for the job.
Mr. Kurzweil is the closest thing to a Thomas Edison of our time, an inventor known for inventing. He first came to public attention in 1965, at age 17, appearing on Steve Allen’s TV show “I’ve Got a Secret” to demonstrate a homemade computer he built to compose original music in the style of the great masters.