Friday, February 25, 2011

34 Years Old + 172 Days


There is an event know as a singularity. For all you out there that do know what it means, then forgive my rough discription, in the center of a black hole in space is a singularity. This is the point within a black hole that the super sun, or suns, have collapsed into each other and have a gravitational pull so stong and mighty that even light cannot escape out of... therefore it looks like a black hole.

But this is not the singularity I am talking about... this is a concept that I believe in, and other people believe in too and the singularity is the name for it. Basically it is the following. There will come a time when computers become so fast at computing data, and so complex that they can emulate brains with such accuracy that they will become intelligent.

A quick word on intelligent.... within the field of computers, there is currently artificial intelligence. So for example, with one specific thing a robot/computer is intelligent enough to be able to do one thing brilliantly. It might be printing patterns onto a wooden board... but it is intelligent enough to be able to tell if there is a mistake and disgard the piece of wood and then continue on with its work.. that is not the type of intelligence that I mean. The term I am looking for you to understand is artificial general intelligence. That is what we mean when we think of sci-fi robots or HAL or Data off Star Trek. A computer that can talk to you about your feelings, you can converse with. It can help you with your home work, give you a back massage. In other words, the computer is smart enough to talk to you as if it were a person.

This type of computer would pass the Turing Test... if you were able to chat with it over a screen, like any instant message chat program that you would not know if you were talking to a perons or a computer... then the comuter passes the turing test.

So to get back on track... talking about artifical general intelligence.... when will we have it? I have read a really internesting article in Time magazine that said that with 4 years we will have a computer with the brain power to that equavliant to that of a mouse. Now before you stand in front of your laptop or xbox 360 and point and laugh at its "not even mouse powered brain strength", the article then got scary... scary for me anyway becasue I believe this.

It said that by the year 2023, 12 years in other words... that a computers will be able to surpass the brain power of a human brain. Take a second... what age are you now... add 12 to it. You are not old... and within your life time a computer will appear that is equal to your intelligence... this is not science fiction.... this is a prediction made by very smart and intelligent people. The same type of poeple that make Google, Facebook, Microsoft... you believe in those don't you.

But the most interest/scary thing is that, this article says, that by the year 2045, in other words 34 years in the future... only 34 years in the future - like if you are reading this, the odds are you will still be alive in that time, that computers will surpass the brainpower equivalent to that of all human brains combined.

Think about that for a second.

This is the Singularity... the point at which we cannot step back from technology... it is the point where technology can step back from us. I am not a one man army of concerned parents agains't technology. I love computers.. I love technology. I am speaking of this like prophets did of Jesus before he was born. I am telling you because it is such a huge, huge thing that I think all people should be thinking about it.

Read up on Raymond Kurzweil for more information on this, and Time (Feburary 21, 2011) magazine is where I have gotten this informaiton from. Today you can look at the laptop that you are reading this on and when you are finished you can throw the laptop in the bin when you are finished. It is YOUR laptop. But, in the future, when an intelligence exists that is smarter than us... we will not be able to figure out what it is thinking. We will be the mice then, well not really, but you get what I am saying.

It is really interesting. I remember when my sister Brid was taken home from hospital when she was born. I actually remember is so clearly. I remember where her cot was in the kitchen.. I remember everyone standing around her, looking at her. It is a cloudy memory and strange becuase I was no longer the baby in the family. I actually remember thinking that.

If I can remember 30 years ago from today, will I remember today in 30years time? What will the world be like? What will you be like... what will children you know be like. One thing is for sure... humanity as we know it will end. The human race will finish and we will be in a time when humans and machine will live side by side, peacefully.

Hopefully :)

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