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"Artificial Intelligence Will Leapfrog Human's By 2020" -Says SciFi Great (A Weekend Feature)

6a00d8341bf7f753ef01157001a3a1970c-800wiArtificial 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.

"It seems plausible that with technology we can, in the fairly near future," says scifi legend Vernor Vinge, "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."

"The Singularity" is seen by some as the end point of our current culture, when the ever-accelerating evolution of technology finally overtakes us and changes everything.  It's been represented as everything from the end of all life to the beginning of a utopian age, which you might recognize as the endgames of most other religious beliefs.

While the definitions of the Singularity are as varied as people's fantasies of the future, with a very obvious reason, most agree that artificial intelligence will be the turning point.  Once an AI is even the tiniest bit smarter than us, it'll be able to learn faster and we'll simply never be able to keep up.  This will render us utterly obsolete in evolutionary terms, or at least in evolutionary terms as presented by people who view academic intelligence as the only possible factor.  Because that's how people who imagine the future while talking online wish the world worked, ignoring things like "Hey, this is just a box" and "What does this power switch do?"

There's no question that technology is progressing at an ever-accelerating rate - we've generated more world-changing breakthroughs in the last fifty years than the entirety of previous human history combined.  The issue is the zealous fervor with which some see the Singularity as the end of all previous civilization, a "get out of all previous problems" card which ignores the most powerful factor in the world:  human stupidity.

We've already invented things which would have been apocalyptic agents of the devil by any previous age.  We can talk with anyone all around the world, and we use it to try to sell insurance.  We tamed light itself in a coherent beam utterly unseen in nature, and use it to throw very sharp, very complicated rocks into other people's heads.  We built an insanely complex computer web spanning the planet, and use it to pretend to be Nigerian.

Of course we use it for good things as well but those who think the invention of artificial minds will end our idiocy are far overestimating their abilities.  We turned production line processing, international economics, world-spanning transport and professional design tools into "Billy The Singing Sea Bass" statues at 19.99 retail.  An AI would have to be Terminator Jesus to even begin to change our tune.  If an AI ever does exist, it's going to wonder why it's being asked for new ways to try to sell Cialis without using the word "penis" or "Cialis".

Pretty much every prediction of when the so-called "Singularity" will come depend on constant increases - ignoring how, for the first time ever, we are actually reaching the limits of what can actually be done.  This isn't the idiotic "the world is flat" limits that we sailed past (and back around again) once someone grew the balls to try it, these are actual factual "you can't build it any smaller because atoms are only so big".  Of course we're going to overcome those, because we're awesome, but trying to timetable it is like writing a schedule for imagination.

So whatever you think the Singularity is, it's going to happen.  No question.  Entire international panels have been set up to study the potentially lethal effects of certain advances, but no-one would dream of stopping research - and even if they did they couldn't stop other people.  But don't be surprised when the main result of artificial intelligence research isn't a utopian society or utterly authentic sex-bots, but the fact your spam filter doesn't work anymore.

Luke McKinney


This is like all those predictions of the past 40 years about how the earth and/or the human race has only 10 years left before it dies from whatever. Well, we're still here. This is pure crap. Another AI wet dream. I will take any and all bets that this never happens by 2020. Mark my words: THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN!

As a longtime transhumanist myself, I have a lot of respect for singularitarians like Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil. On the subject of the singularity itself though I am an agnostic, and WRT general AI ever exceeding human intelligence I am actually a bit pessimistic.

There are two sides to generating human-level general AI: hardware, and software. On the hardware side, I think it is probably a safe bet that by 2020 we will have the hardware capable of supporting a human-level AI with at least a human-level speed of thinking. I've heard some people predict that with molecular nanocomputers we could simulate a human intelligence in an area the size of a bacteria and running a million times faster, but I think this is probably a few decades away at least.

The software side of AI is another story. General AI seems to be suffering from the fusion energy curse, being perpetually "just 10 years away." A human-level intelligence is a vastly complex entity, and building one from the ground up, piecemeal, may not be feasible anytime in the near future. I think it is almost a sure thing that the first human-level artificial intelligence will not be a general AI, but an actual simulated human brain. (Note I said simulated, not uploaded...mind uploading has its own challenges almost on par with creating a general AI from scratch, and I have my doubts as to whether it will be available in my lifetime, by 2050 or so.) By copying directly the structure and functionality of a human brain a la the "Blue Brain" project, we can leapfrog past the countless difficulties of trying to construct a general AI piece by piece, function by function, and integrating all those pieces and functions together. Being able to simulate a human brain, complete with effects from neurotransmitters and hormones, would also give us a significant knowledge base from which we could begin a serious undertaking of research into mind uploading.

Well the only thing i have to say is the following:
1-We as americans have the challenge to fight against machines anyway we can,and im talking about doing it the same way we did it with the god damn nazis.
2-Our perfect research engineers and doctors on robots,well not let them do any "funny thing" if you know what im talking about.
3-What we need to do is to get those fucking beaners the fuck out of our beautifull america.
4-I think the whole idea of having a female robot is just really absurd,because we all know robots dont have whats the fucking point then???
5-The other day a nigger was dancing like a robot...he was very black but he did it really well,but still i dont think his good enough to be concidered an AI.
6-This kind of thinking is what other races want us americans to think,so they can conquer our country. we need to stop this non sense now before is too late the clock is tic-toc-ing
7-Hopefully another black president well help us out in case our beloved nigger president obama can't.
8-God bless america and god bless corn,because is a really powerfull source of energy for my children
9-Rap music is bad for yall daughters
10-Get those fucking illegal immigrants out

Thank you

To John Smith.. you are ignorant

I think it will be at least several hundred years, if not longer, before we'll have machines that can really think like we do. A superfast computer and a human brain are two very different things, and we don't really understand our brains at all yet, we're just making guesses.

It is really surprising how people generate such stories and more us that the machines created by man's intuition, intellect and wisdom can surpass the originator, except what computers already do, in storage and processing of input information/data. That speed can go further but you can not do anything to introduce 'intuitive thinking ' into machines. The latter is not a part of human brain but of human consciousness. The latter is not confined to brain of an individual. Its level/power increases as it starts overlapping with infinite or cosmic consciousness. Consciousness is not a physical,chemical entity but far much more as it has strong components of human 'spirit'. There is no way one can duplicate life/force or the spirit into the machines, except at an extremely low level. Man did not create this universe nor it can do even now even a tiny part of it. What was happening in this universe for over 13 billion years certainly was not of human creation. In fact, technology has given the man only physical comfort/ease but certainly not the peace of mind that one needs badly today. Why the violence has increased on this Earth, is all the human contribution's negativeness. How can one ensure our dirty mind will only create machines that may suit the negativeness that we have and thus may ensure even the end of whatever positive level of humanity
we have developed thus far !! Luke Mckinney may be please note that such imaginative exaggerations nay best be avoided, as man is in fact powerless before the forces of nature on earth what to say of the universe as a whole!!Let science remain a professional activity in the interest of the suffering humanity instead of scaring away the well to do part of the humanity!

@Narendra Nath:

The point is not whether computers-robotics will be "alive" or have a "spirit" or "soul".

Rather the point the that some scientists are trying to make, is that the computers-robots will increasingly act more and more human, that they will eventually reach a point at which you will no longer be able to tell the difference between a computer, or human personality.

One very easy way of achieving this, is to simply build a computer that is designed to simulate billions of neurons at once.

That's all the computer has to do: just simulate the activity of neurons.

To simulate billions of neurons interacting with each other, the only thing you need is a really (really) fast super-computer. You don't need magic. You don't need a "soul".

You just need a really (really) fast computer.

Once it exists, then all you have to do is scan the brain of a living human, down to the resolution of each individual neuron. In other words, you need an ultra fast MRI machine that will take a snapshot of each neuron in someone's brain at a given instant.

Once you have that snapshot, you then download it into the super-fast computer (that is designed to simulate neurons) and you tell it to run a simulation of that scanned brain, from the moment it was scanned, going forward.

Imagine scanning the brains of engineers, scientists, in multiple fast computers like that, and then networking them all together, and see what they come up with, or what they invent.

You argument that they are not "human" or "don't have a soul" is irrelevant. You can call them whatever you like, but the results of that "machine" will be astonishing and eclipse what humans with biological brains can do.

(I don't like this idea any more than you... but it's coming.)

Dear Velocity Wave,
i take your response with pleasure. You covered only a part of my comments. What about creating a small tiny bit of the Universe!Why leave the life force/soul out of the scientific domain? i also imagine what is coming . But it does worry me to go about science in a freelance manner, specially the technological part. It is painful to see that the modern technology has added to emotional/psychological adverse conditions and the humans face a real challenge from increasing lack of peace of mind. After the social aspect of technology affects the humans that will continue to be born,leave aside the superior than human Robots that science may create in the future. The safety of the latter's operations can go hay wire due to component malfunction and what not. The world may well become more dangerous. Let us think about such developments seriously as the world is already becoming dangerous due to the 'violent' and discontented increasing in numbers!!

I really think Mr. John there has a point,because if we let those fucking beaners take over our country we are no longer gonna be capable of living our beautyful american lives.

Finger skate are used by a range of people from those utilizing them as toys to skateboarding and related sports professionals envisioning not only their own skating maneuvers but for others as well and can include the use for planning out competition courses as skating boarding develops into an international sport.

Skate with your fingers, another feeling

I agree with GregB.
AI will not happen. An old Personal Computer Handbook in 1982 predicted that by 1995 all aspects of our daily lives would be handled by 'Voice Recognition'. Hah! Computers are infinitly more powerful than anyone could have imagined but do you see HAL anywhere?

Andrew T stated he has lots of respect for pioneers like Ray Kurzweil; now there is a Man who is a leader in Self Promotion. In the 1980's he championed a Digital Piano with his name on it and declared it used A.I. to achieve superior performance. The reality is it sounded like crap and never amounted to anything. It was simply a great marketing campain.
These academics with no experience of reality are dreamers who string on legions of Fans with Gene Roddenbery inspired wet Dreams. Touch a tree, eat some Curry, pet a Cat, smell some dirt, hold a Job and Love someone. That's reality- not having discussions about things we humans have no ability to realise.

hahaah the"beaners" have already took you "beautiful america"

As a Software Engineer/Computer Scientist I have no doubt Advanced AI is just around the corner. It will Mimic Human Intelligence and have Cognitive abilites. We already have a lot of the software and math to do this. However we just don't have the hardware. There is confusion on what A.I. is There say some like Data in Star Trek or Number 5 in Short Circuit. There is also A.I. like IBM Watson. I think that is the direction we are going. What can help with Science Research and Kill on Jeopardy. Its still just a big Calculator. Now Image Watson 20 or 30 years from now. Kind of like comparing a Commadore C64 to Intel I7. Combined with Advanced Cameras hundreds of megapixels. Artifical Nervous systems, reward center processing. Fuel cell powersources, the convert organic waste material into Gases, that is converted into Electrical energy (i.e. Your garbage disposal and computer might be one in the future).

Thats using technology. Another think to Consider Super computers in 20 years will have no problem simulating an Entire Human brain and nervios sysmtem and run in real time. Combined with virtual world simulations that will be like Crysis times a thousand. We could basically create a Human simulation and let it be born and grow up in a Virtual environment.

Once A.I can invent there is no telling were that will lead. But just remember Physical Science, Oberservations and Imagation is what got us were were are today. Yes a technology is great. Humans of in all ages have invented great wonders, that we take for granted. We don't evan realise it.

I do know this, one true AI is realized. I wouldn't be supprised if it advances technology, Science, Medicine, etc by a Thousand years in its few years. That is the Singularity.

I picture it like this on day 5 AI find a cure for cancer. By the end of the Month has Solved all of the issues in String theory. By the End of the year is building plans for Star Ships.

As for Evil AI, SkyNet, bla bla. I doubt that will happen.

There is no way true AI will even approach a tenth of human capacity by 2020. The hardware to make that possible just isn't there.

Silicon computing is beginning to hit a speed wall. It's going to reach a point in the next few years where it's impossible to make a computer faster without also making the hardware physically larger. And that obviously has limits.

A complete, functional quantum computer would be the only bit of hardware fast enough to do the job. Assuming it can even be done reliably, we won't see AI until at LEAST

Well, its 2015 now.. Sorry I dont believe it will happen until earliest 2050, but probably around 2100. Sorry girls and boys, you will probably be senile or dead before it happens.

The most advanced form of AI was portrayed by Mr. Data's daughter in the Star Trek series, even so " she " could not process fear so she short circuited.
We are centuries behind that level.
Industrial and military robots I believe they'll be very real and even marketing ones - say you get your hamburger from a robot instead of a human person , but true AI is really far.
Maybe 2515 AD at best imo
Just my 2 cents

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