Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Artificial intelligence in 20 years, godlike intelligence in 40 years

Kevin Drum has an excellent post on AI pioneer Ray Kurzweil's latest book. I read one of Kurzweil's books years ago and found him very persuasive. All my friends think I'm crazy for believing we will be superseded by computer intelligence in a few decades, but I think I'm right. Kevin lays it out very well: current computers have insect-processing ability, in 20 years they'll have human processing ability, and 20 years past that they'll be a million times better than humans at processing information. What's stopping them from becoming the smartest life forms?

"the only serious arguments I've ever heard against the eventual development of genuinely intelligent machines all boil down to a thinly veiled belief that there just has to be something more to human intelligence than mere neurons and biochemistry. Well, no there doesn't. The pope's opinions notwithstanding, the evidence to date suggests that the brain really is just a biological computing device."

I think there will be an interim period where we'll merge human and artificial intelligence together, but the human part will become less and less important over time. Best case scenario is that super-intelligent computers will ignore us and go off to think their godlike thoughts, and those of us who choose to remain all or mostly human can go about our lives.

key: science, artificial intelligence

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