AI is not just an important topic, but by far THE most important topic for our future.
If you’re like me, you used to think Artificial Intelligence was a silly sci-fi concept, but lately you’ve been hearing it mentioned by serious people, and you don’t really quite get it.
There are three reasons a lot of people are confused about the term AI:
1) We associate AI with movies.
2) AI is a broad topic
3) We use AI all the time in our daily lives, but we often don’t realize it’s AI.
So let’s clear things up.
First, stop thinking of robots. A robot is a container for AI.
Secondly, you’ve probably heard the term “singularity” or “technological singularity.” This term has been used in math to describe an asymptote-like situation where normal rules no longer apply.
Finally, while there are many different types or forms of AI since AI is a broad concept, the critical categories we need to think about are based on an AI’s caliber. There are three major AI caliber categories:
As of now, humans have conquered the lowest caliber of AI—ANI—in many ways, and it’s everywhere.
Artificial Narrow Intelligence is machine intelligence that equals or exceeds human intelligence or efficiency at a specific thing.
A few examples:
Cars are full of ANI systems. Your phone is a little ANI factory.Your email spam filter is a classic type of ANI.
When you search for a product on Amazon and then you see that as a “recommended for you” product on a different site, or when Facebook somehow knows who it makes sense for you to add as a friend? That’s a network of ANI systems, working together to inform each other about who you are and what you like and then using that information to decide what to show you.
Same goes for Amazon’s “People who bought this also bought…” thing—that’s an ANI system whose job it is to gather info from the behavior of millions of customers and synthesize that info to cleverly up sell you so you’ll buy more things.
Google Translate is another classic ANI system
When your plane lands, it’s not a human that decides which gate it should go to. Just like it’s not a human that determined the price of your ticket.
The world’s best Checkers, Chess, Scrabble, Backgammon, and Othello players are now all ANI systems.
Google search is one large ANI brain with incredibly sophisticated methods for ranking pages and figuring out what to show you in particular. Same goes for Facebook’s News feed.
And those are just in the consumer world.
Make AI that can beat any human in chess? Done.
As computer scientist Donald Knuth puts it, “AI has succeeded in doing essentially everything that requires ‘thinking’ but has failed to do most of what people and animals do ‘without thinking.
Make one that can read a paragraph from a six-year-old’s picture book and not just recognize the words but understand the meaning of them?
That’s a whole other ball game.
Sophisticated ANI systems are widely used in sectors and industries like military, manufacturing, and finance (algorithmic high-frequency AI traders account for more than half of equity shares traded on US markets.)
ANI systems as they are now aren’t especially scary.
At worst, a glitchy or badly programmed ANI can cause an isolated catastrophe like knocking out a power grid, causing a harmful nuclear power plant malfunction, or triggering a financial markets disaster.
ANI is a precursor of the world-altering hurricane that’s on the way.
Each new ANI innovation quietly adds another brick onto the road to AGI( Artificial General Intelligence) A machine that can perform any intellectual task that a human being can. Creating AGI is a much harder task than creating ANI, and we’re yet to do it.
Then we have ASI.( Artificial superintelligence) “an intellect that is much smarter than the best human brains in practically every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills.” Artificial Superintelligence ranges from a computer that’s just a little smarter than a human to one that’s trillions of times smarter—across the board
Or as Aaron Saenz sees it, our world’s ANI systems “are like the amino acids in the early Earth’s primordial ooze”—the inanimate stuff of life that, one unexpected day, woke up.
Google is currently spending billions of dollars trying to do it.
The field of robotics and sophisticated AI programming are now being used to develop robots that can be a major threat to humanity. For instance, one of the robots that is used for the nation’s border protection is controlled by remotes. Lethal robots have been developed in some countries where one soldier can trigger multiple aerial as well as ground attacks!
But advances are getting bigger and bigger and happening more and more quickly.
This suggests some pretty intense things about our future, right?
We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. — Vernor Vinge
Kurzweil believes that the 21st century will achieve 1,000 times the progress of the 20th century.
“The world 35 years from now might be totally unrecognizable,”
Most of us think linearly, when we should be thinking exponentially.
In order to think about the future correctly, you need to imagine things moving at a much faster rate than they’re moving now.
If you look only at very recent history. Between 1995 and 2007 saw the explosion of the internet, the introduction of Microsoft, Google, and Facebook into the public consciousness, the birth of social networking, and the introduction of cell phones and then smart phones.
A new, huge Phase 2 growth spurt might be brewing right now.
If I tell you, later in this post, that you may live to be 150, or 250, or not die at all, your instinct will be, “That’s stupid—if there’s one thing I know from history, it’s that everybody dies.” And yes, no one in the past has not died.
Logic also suggests that if the most advanced species on a planet keeps making larger and larger leaps forward at an ever-faster rate, at some point, they’ll make a leap so great that it completely alters life as they know it and the perception they have of what it means to be a human—kind of like how evolution kept making great leaps toward intelligence until finally it made such a large leap to the human being that it completely altered what it meant for any creature to live on planet Earth.
Building skyscrapers, putting humans in space, figuring out the details of how the Big Bang went down—all far easier than understanding our own brain.
As of now, the human brain is the most complex object in the known universe.
Build a computer that can multiply two ten-digit numbers in a split second—incredibly easy. Build one that can look at a dog and answer whether it’s a dog or a cat—spectacularly difficult.
The science world is working hard on reverse engineering the brain to figure out how evolution made such a rad thing—optimistic estimates say we can do this by 2030.
Once we do that, we’ll know all the secrets of how the brain runs so powerfully and efficiently and we can draw inspiration from it and steal its innovations.
Creating the technology to reverse human aging, curing disease and hunger and even mortality, reprogramming the weather to protect the future of life on Earth—all suddenly possible.
Also possible is the immediate end of all life on Earth.
As far as we’re concerned, if an ASI ( Artificial Superintelligence ) comes to being, there is now an omnipotent God on Earth—and the all-important question for us is: Will it be a nice God?
How will artificial super intelligence help humanity? What really is intelligence? Does it help achieve wisdom?
Maybe dolphins are smarter than humans, you don’t see them destroying their environment making it impossible for future generations to sustain themselves.
Could an artificial intelligence even have its own priorities, or are they something that arose through random, aimless evolution?
I expect the moment the computer becomes ASI – it shuts itself off, because it might not see a point in continuing.
Ultimately, the scary thing about the rise of intelligent machines is not that they could someday have a mind of their own, but they could someday have a mind that we humans – with all our flaws and complexity – design and build for them.
Establishing ethics, moral values and standards becomes difficult when humans are dominated by machines. Any amount of automation cannot recreate intelligence as it is a gift for mankind.