Artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence after 2020, predicts Vernor Vinge, a world-renowned pioneer in AI, who has warned about the risks and opportunities that an electronic super-intelligence would offer to mankind.
Exactly 10 years ago, in May 1997, Deep Blue won the chess tournament against Gary Kasparov. "Was that the first glimpse of a new kind of intelligence?" Vinge was asked in an interview with Computerworld.
"I think there was clever programming in Deep Blue," Vinge stated in the interview, "but the predictable success came mainly from the ongoing trends in computer hardware improvement. The result was a better-than-human performance in a single, limited problem area. In the future, I think that improvements in both software and hardware will bring success in other intellectual domains."
"It seems plausible that with technology we can, in the fairly near future," Vinge continued, create (or become) creatures who surpass humans in every intellectual and creative dimension. Events beyond such an event -- such a singularity -- are as unimaginable to us as opera is to a flatworm."
Vinge is a retired San Diego State University professor of mathematics, computer scientist, and science fiction author who is well-known for his 1993 manifesto, "The Coming Technological Singularity, in which he argues that exponential growth in technology means a point will be reached where the consequences are unknown.
He is best known for Rainbows End, awarded the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The book is set in San Diego in 2025, in a variation of the fictional world Vinge explored in his 2002 Hugo-winning novella "Fast Times at Fairmont High." His Hugo Award-winning novel A Fire Upon the Deep, envisions a galaxy that is divided up into 'zones of thought', in which the further one moves from the center of the galaxy, the higher the level of technology one can achieve.
Posted by Casey Kazan.
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