You've probably heard the narrative before. At some point, we will invent an artificial intelligence that is more intelligent than we are. The superhuman intelligence will then have the capability to either build an improved version of itself, or engineer upgrades that improve its own intelligence. This will set off a process where the system … Continue reading Is the singularity right around the corner?
Why alien life will probably be engineered life
Martin Rees has an interesting article at Nautilus: When We Find Aliens, We Might Find Something Like the Borg This September, a team of astronomers noticed that the light from a distant star is flickering in a highly irregular pattern.1 They considered the possibility that comets, debris, and impacts could account for their observations, but each of … Continue reading Why alien life will probably be engineered life
A darker vision of the post-singularity: The Quantum Thief trilogy
I just finished reading Hannu Rajaniemi's Quantum Thief trilogy: 'The Quantum Thief', 'The Fractal Prince', and 'The Causal Angel'. (The official name of the trilogy is the Jean le Flambeur series, named after one of the chief protagonists, but everyone seems to call it the Quantum Thief trilogy instead.) Most visions of society after the singularity … Continue reading A darker vision of the post-singularity: The Quantum Thief trilogy
What do you think about machines that think?
The Edge question for this year was, "What do you think about machines that think?" There are a lot of good responses, and some predictably inane ones. Daniel Dennett gives a good write up on why the Singularity is overblown, and points out something that I've said myself, that the real danger isn't artificial intelligence, but … Continue reading What do you think about machines that think?
Worm ‘Brain’ uploaded into robot, which then behaves like a worm
Steve Morris clued me in to this article: Worm ‘Brain’ Uploaded Into Lego Robot | Singularity HUB. Can a digitally simulated brain on a computer perform tasks just like the real thing? For simple commands, the answer, it would seem, is yes it can. Researchers at the OpenWorm project recently hooked a simulated worm brain to … Continue reading Worm ‘Brain’ uploaded into robot, which then behaves like a worm
Enthusiasts and Skeptics Debate Artificial Intelligence
Kurt Anderson has an interesting article at Vanity Fair that looks at the debate among technologists about the singularity: Enthusiasts and Skeptics Debate Artificial Intelligence | Vanity Fair. Machines performing unimaginably complicated calculations unimaginably fast—that’s what computers have always done. Computers were called “electronic brains” from the beginning. But the great open question is whether a … Continue reading Enthusiasts and Skeptics Debate Artificial Intelligence
xkcd: AI-Box Experiment
Click through for full sized version and yellow caption. via xkcd: AI-Box Experiment. I do keep saying that AIs won't want what we want.
Push back against AI alarmism
We're finally starting to see some push back against the AI (artificial intelligence) alarmism that has been so prevalent in the media lately. People like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Max Tegmark, and many others have sounded the alarm. Given my previous post from last night, I think these alarms are premature at best, and are … Continue reading Push back against AI alarmism
Human level AI is always 20 years in the future
Steven Pinker highlighted this study which tracks the predictions of when human level AI (artificial intelligence) will be achieved. According to the paper, the predictions cluster around predicting that it will be achieved in 15-25 years, and they have been doing so for the last 60 or so years. The paper also notes that expert predictions have fared … Continue reading Human level AI is always 20 years in the future
Is the human species still evolving? Of course.
It looks like Bill Nye, the science guy, is coming out with a new book on evolution, with an excerpt at Popular Science: Is The Human Species Still Evolving? | Popular Science. We cannot step away from evolution. Our genomes are always collecting mutations, and we are always making mate selections. Are humans preferentially mating with … Continue reading Is the human species still evolving? Of course.