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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: 2, Interesting) by Namarrgon on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:36AM

    by Namarrgon (1134) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:36AM (#6344)

    There's two good reasons for optimism.

    First, AIs do not compete for most of the resources we want. They don't care about food or water, and they don't need prime real estate. The only commonality is energy, and ambient energy is abundant enough that it's easier and much more open-ended to collect more of that elsewhere, than to launch a war against the human species to take ours.

    Second, without the distractions of irrational emotions or fears over basic survival, they will clearly see that the universe is not a zero-sum game. There's plenty of space, matter and energy out there, and the most effective way of getting more of that is to work with us to expand the pie. Fighting against us would just waste the resources we both have, and they'd still be stuck with the relatively limited amounts available now. Much more cost effective to invent better technology to collect more resources.

    Humans value empathy because as a species we learned long ago of the advantages of working together rather than against each other, and empathy is the best way of overcoming our animal tendencies to selfish individualism and promoting a functional society. AIs do not have that law-of-the-jungle heritage (maybe evolved AI algorithms?) so there's no reason to assume that they can't also see the obvious benefits of trade and co-operation.

    Why would anyone engrave Elbereth?
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