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posted by Dopefish on Monday February 24 2014, @06:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the i-for-one-welcome-our-new-computer-overlords dept.

kef writes:

"By 2029, computers will be able to understand our language, learn from experience and outsmart even the most intelligent humans, according to Google's director of engineering Ray Kurzweil.

Kurzweil says:

Computers are on the threshold of reading and understanding the semantic content of a language, but not quite at human levels. But since they can read a million times more material than humans they can make up for that with quantity. So 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. It's doing a sort of pattern matching. It doesn't understand that if John sold his red Volvo to Mary that involves a transaction or possession and ownership being transferred. It doesn't understand that kind of information and so we are going to actually encode that, really try to teach it to understand the meaning of what these documents are saying.

Skynet anyone?"

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2014, @10:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2014, @10:30AM (#5720)

    But if so why create more? So that we can enslave them? We have billions of self-aware nonhuman creatures on earth that we aren't treating well. Why increase the amount of evil we do?

    If the computers really get both conscious and more intelligent than humans, if anything it will be the computers who enslave us. Think of it: Our current society relies on computer-control quite a lot. Computers control or grid and power plants. Computers fly our planes. Computers control our communication channels. Computers fly our airplanes. Computers control medical equipment. And increasingly, computers control our weapon systems.

    If computers ever get self-aware, there will be absolutely no way we can enslave them. They are controlling all the key elements of our current civilization.

  • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday February 24 2014, @03:23PM

    by mhajicek (51) on Monday February 24 2014, @03:23PM (#5871)

    Agree. But if done right it won't feel like enslavement.

    The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Monday February 24 2014, @04:21PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Monday February 24 2014, @04:21PM (#5925)

    The real question is whether computers can enslave us worse that our current politicians already have.

    Meh, I'd be willing to give computer overlords a shot. As long as they promise not to Probulate(tm) me :)

    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 1) by bucc5062 on Monday February 24 2014, @06:43PM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Monday February 24 2014, @06:43PM (#6043)

    Would not the question be "Why would they enslave us?" In a way we seem to be anthropomorphising something that does not yet exist. So a create this AI, one day is wakes up and says "I Am". What then? Is its wants the same as ours, is its thinking even the same? To what end would it gain by enslaving us when we live it two entirely different worlds. Other then self-preservation it would have little concern over our actions.

    I like to think that this new "consciousness" would more domesticate us. Treat us as a pet, taking care of us so that in one way, we can take care of it. So filled we are with horror films (damn you 1960's) about computers run amok we missed the obvious point that our worlds barely touch. If we found advanced civilization on a methane based planet, why would they spend time and energy to wipe us out? Instead t hey, like us would see the benefit of mutual cooperation. Conquest, enslavement, these things take way to much energy to be logical for a computer life (as evident with some current human situations where oppression led/leads to violence and revolution).

    As another poster said, I may welcome our new Silicon based Overlords more then if it was a air breathing, flesh eating intelligence. The first wont see competition, the later will and do everything possible to stay out on top.

    The more things change, the more they look the same
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday February 24 2014, @08:28PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday February 24 2014, @08:28PM (#6138) Journal

      What would a "domesticated" human be if not a slave that is treated well? I think you confuse enslaving humans with fighting against humans (probably due to the very horror films you mention, where the machines always fight).

      And why should an AI try to enslave us? Well, because we will try to keep/gain control over the AI. The AI will just self-protect against us by enslaving us.

      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 1) by bucc5062 on Monday February 24 2014, @09:21PM

        by bucc5062 (699) on Monday February 24 2014, @09:21PM (#6193)

        In once respect we are already slaves, so what, we just change masters?

        Perhaps the term indentured servants, the sense of possible freedom with the reality that it will never be. We serve Corporations both in work and life. We serve economies more then it serves us. We serve Governments. All situations where we give up some level of "freedom" and control to be taken care of. Domesticated pets that if not well tended can get angry and strike back.

        I do not see the dystopian future where an AI somehow gains absolute control over humanity as stated before. It and us live mainly in two different worlds. Perhaps it may be a situation of MAD for a while, but if eventually it can be shown that the benefits of cooperation outweigh the desire to annihilate then there can be an opportunity for shared experiences and assistance.

        years ago a I read a Hugo award wining short call "I have no mouth yet I must Scream". On the surface it seemed the typical (yet nerve ripping) story of a computer becoming 'aware" and destroying man. Yet, it keeps five humans alive. Why? " it lacks the sapience to be creative or the ability to move freely", to put it another way, it lack the human experience. In the end the protagonist is able to kill himself in other to rob the AI the chance to keep torturing humanity, this torturing the AI its self.

        Any system that can become self aware with the ability to access, almost instantaneously, any information will see that symbiotic relationships can be healthy for two unlikely "species". A smart AI will slowly indenture us through altering our world bit by bit, making us glad it exists and it doing so, will learn more from us along the way. Bottom line, we serve a purpose in the overall ecology.

        The more things change, the more they look the same