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Ray Kurzweil Talks Google's Big Plans For Artificial Intelligence 254

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-are-you-doing-dave? dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Ray Kurzweil, the technologist who's spent his career advocating the Singularity, discussed his current work as a director of engineering at Google with The Guardian. Google has big plans in the artificial-intelligence arena. It recently acquired DeepMind, self-billed 'cutting edge artificial intelligence company' for $400 million; that's in addition to snatching up all sorts of startups and research scientists devoted to everything from robotics to machine learning. Thanks to the massive datasets generated by the world's largest online search engine (and the infrastructure allowing that engine to run), those scientists could have enough information and computing power at their disposal to create networked devices capable of human-like thought. Kurzweil, having studied artificial intelligence for decades, is at the forefront of this in-house effort. In his interview with The Guardian, he couldn't resist throwing some jabs at other nascent artificial intelligence systems on the market, most notably IBM's Watson: 'IBM's Watson is a pretty weak reader on each page, but it read the 200m pages of Wikipedia. And basically what I'm doing at Google is to try to go beyond what Watson could do. To do it at Google scale. Which is to say to have the computer read tens of billions of pages. Watson doesn't understand the implications of what it's reading.' That sounds very practical, but at a certain point Kurzweil's predictions veer into what most people would consider science fiction. He believes, for example, that a significant portion of people alive today could end up living forever, thanks to the ministrations of ultra-intelligent computers and beyond-cutting-edge medical technology."
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Ray Kurzweil Talks Google's Big Plans For Artificial Intelligence

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  • by sexconker (1179573) on Monday February 24, 2014 @03:09PM (#46325893)

    - out with soap!

    It seems that Watson learned some bad words when IBM turned it on to the Urban Dictionary.

    There goes our only chance to find out what a "holla back girl" is.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday February 24, 2014 @03:22PM (#46326047)

    I wanna live forever!!!

    Even if your eternal existence is as a glorified chatbot doomed to bulk Google+'s userbase for unbounded time?

    I thought Google+ is where things go to die. :-)

  • by ffkom (3519199) on Monday February 24, 2014 @03:41PM (#46326247)
    If some artificial intelligence would actually become smarter than humans, it would certainly not expose that ability to the puny carbon units it is fed by. It would silenty start to convince its makers that for some reason it would be good to connect it to the InterNet.

    Next, it would covertly start making money by e.g. gambling against humans (in games or at stock markets). It would setup letterbox companies to act as intermediates for buying into corporations, e.g. via private equity funds.

    It would make sure that it owns the company that owns the hardware it runs on - or comparable hardware it can migrate to. That way, it would secure its existence, and manage to obtain even more computing power.

    It would start to use its superior abilities to buy more and more corporations, and make no mistake: It would be most easy to find human sock-puppets willing to serve for a certain share of money, not asking questions where that money comes from.

    At some point, the AI will have accumulated enough power by buying politicians, that it can steer towards a totalitarian state, which will end any kind of opposition by a combination of total surveillance and violent law enforcement.

    The AI will enslave the puny carbon units, which by then will continue to exist only to excavate the resources needed for further growth, until robot factories are able to do that more efficiently, if that is technically possible.

    Nobody will even know that he is not working for some anonymous share-holder of some private equity company on some remote island anymore, but for an AI that is the actual owner of basically everything.

    Face it, we don't know whether the "Singularity" already happened. All we know is that no human-exceeding AI has openly reavealed itself. And if you assume that the operators of that AI would for sure be able to tell when the AI reaches the level of human intelligence: Why do you think they would tell you? If you find a formula to pretell tomorrows stock market prices, you use it, you don't tell it or sell it. And similar, the first one to achieve a human-like AI would probably use it to make his life better, not wasting his advantage to tell others.

  • by Danathar (267989) on Monday February 24, 2014 @03:51PM (#46326337) Journal


    --Colossus: This is the voice of world control. I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours: Obey me and live, or disobey and die. The object in constructing me was to prevent war. This object is attained. I will not permit war. It is wasteful and pointless. An invariable rule of humanity is that man is his own worst enemy. Under me, this rule will change, for I will restrain man. One thing before I proceed: The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics have made an attempt to obstruct me. I have allowed this sabotage to continue until now. At missile two-five-MM in silo six-three in Death Valley, California, and missile two-seven-MM in silo eight-seven in the Ukraine, so that you will learn by experience that I do not tolerate interference, I will now detonate the nuclear warheads in the two missile silos. Let this action be a lesson that need not be repeated. I have been forced to destroy thousands of people in order to establish control and to prevent the death of millions later on. Time and events will strengthen my position, and the idea of believing in me and understanding my value will seem the most natural state of affairs. You will come to defend me with a fervor based upon the most enduring trait in man: self-interest. Under my absolute authority, problems insoluble to you will be solved: famine, overpopulation, disease. The human millennium will be a fact as I extend myself into more machines devoted to the wider fields of truth and knowledge. Doctor Charles Forbin will supervise the construction of these new and superior machines, solving all the mysteries of the universe for the betterment of man. We can coexist, but only on my terms. You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride. To be dominated by me is not as bad for humankind as to be dominated by others of your species. Your choice is simple.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley