“Borgs” By 2045

nym | 01:10 PM

Ray Kurzweil, who has a new book called "The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology", is predicting that a borg singularity, like that of Star Trek. His prediction is based on Moore's Law, which when applied to current techology, claims that by 2030 a $1 computer will be as powerful as the human brain, which lends to the transfer of a brain to computer, or at least a merging of the two.

Your concept of the future relies heavily on "strong AI," the idea that artificial intelligence will become self-aware and eventually surpass human intelligence. But it seems like AI researchers have abandoned that idea for focused real-world applications like face recognition. I was at a speech this week where computer science professor Rudy Rucker said that strong AI was dead.

Kurzweil: There are hundreds of applications where AI is performing projects that would have required a human level of intelligence a few years ago. Those include diagnosing heart disease, routing e-mail messages, cell phone routing, landing planes.

We are now in an era of narrow AI, meaning it's not strong AI. It's not the full range of human intelligence. But it's performing functions that used to require human intelligence. Looking for credit card fraud is one example of that. These were research projects 15 years ago.

This isn't 2029. We'll make a billionfold increase in hardware capacity between now and then. We're also doubling the resolution of brain scanning every year. So it's a long case, which is why it took a whole book to express it. But we'll have the hardware and software in the 2020s for strong AI. We're a factor of a billion (away).

The tools we have to model the brain, to scan the brain, to simulate these processes, all of these are doubling every year. What that means from the perspective of the 2020s is that it's a very doable project.

I tend to be on the verge with this one; technology has limitations, which lend to coming up with dramatically different solutions to computational problems, but that really comes down to what you think of Moore's Law. I'm also unsure about AI's ability to really make complicated decisions when they still make lousy opponents in video games.

[ Link via Gizmodo ]

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