The end of humanity as we know it is ‘coming in 2045’ and Google is preparing for it

This isn’t the prediction of a conspiracy theorist, a blind dead woman or an octopus but of Google’s chief of engineering, Ray Kurzweil.

Kurzweil has said that the work happening now ‘will change the nature of humanity itself’.

Tech company Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son predicts it will happen in 2047.

And it’s all down to the many complexities of artificial intelligence (AI).

AI is currently limited to Siri or Alexa-like voice assistants that learn from humans, Amazon’s ‘things you might also like’, machines like Deep Blue, which has beaten grandmasters at chess, and a few other examples.

But the Turing test, where a machine exhibits intelligence indistinguishable from a human, has still not been fully passed.

Not yet at least…

What we have at the moment is known as narrow AI, intelligent at doing one thing or a narrow selection of tasks very well.

General AI, where humans and robots are comparable, is expected to show breakthroughs over the next decade.

They become adaptable and able to turn their hand to a wider variety of tasks, in the same way as humans have areas of strength but can accomplish many things outside those areas.

This is when the Turing Test will truly be passed.

The third step is ASI, artificial super-intelligence.

ASI is the thing that the movies are so obsessed with, where machines are more intelligent and stronger than humans. It always felt like a distant dream but predictions are that it’s getting closer.

People will be able to upload their consciousness into a machine, it is said, by 2029 – when the machine will be as powerful as the human brain – and ASI – or the singularity – will happen, Google predicts, in 2045.

There are many different theories about what this could mean, some more scary than others.

‘We project our own humanist delusions on what life might be life [when artificial intelligence reaches maturity],’ philosopher Slavoj Žižek says.

‘The very basics of what a human being will be will change.

‘But technology never stands on its own. It’s always in a set of relations and part of society.’

Society, however that develops, will need to catch up with technology. If it doesn’t, then there is a risk that technology will overtake it and make human society irrelevant at best and extinct at worst.

One of the theories asserts that once we upload our consciousness into a machine, we become immortal and remove the need to have a physical body.

Another has us as not being able to keep up with truly artificial intelligence so humanity is left behind as infinitely intelligent AI explores the earth and/or the universe without us.

The third, and perhaps the scariest, is the sci-fi one where, once machines become aware of humanity’s predilection to destroy anything it is scared of, AI acts first to preserve itself at the expense of humans so humanity is wiped out.

All this conjures up images of Blade Runner, of iRobot and all sorts of Terminator-like dystopian nightmares.

‘In my lifetime, the singularity will happen,’ Alison Lowndes, head of AI developer relations at technology company Nvidia, tells at the AI Summit.

‘But why does everyone think they’d be hostile?



GM said...

C. said...

Dear GM,

Διαβάζοντας το περιεχόμενο του λινκ νομίζω ότι θα διαφωνήσω για πολλούς και διάφορους λόγους.

Ο ανθρώπινος εγκέφαλος δεν είναι σαν πρόγραμμα. Τα προγράμματα προσπαθούμε να τα φτιάξουμε όπως (νομίζουμε πως) λειτουργεί ο ανθρώπινος εγκέφαλος. Το αυγό και η κότα.

Εξ ου και η ανάπτυξη της έννοιας της τεχνητής νοημοσύνης, των συστημάτων εκμάθησης κ.ά.

(ακόμα δυσκολεύομαι να περάσω τα τεστ I'm not a robot)

 GM said...

Μα αυτό λέει και το άρθρο, ότι ο εγκέφαλος δεν είναι σαν πρόγραμμα, και η μεταφορά που χρησιμοποιούμε από την επιστήμη της πληροφορικής για να αναφερθούμε σε/περιγράψουμε τις λειτουργίες του, δε μπορεί να είναι κάτι παραπάνω από σχήμα λόγου.

Παρόλ'αυτα, πρότζεκτς όπως το uploading της συνείδησης συζητιούνται πολλές φορές σοβαρά ως ενδεχόμενα, βασισμένα ακριβώς σε αυτή τη μεταφορά.