January 8, 2015, category: Technology
An important milestone has been reached in artificial intelligence.
The most important milestone since computer science exists.
Although it has not been celebrated as such with all the pomp it deserved there is no doubt in the minds of those working in the field that its implications will be phenomenal. For some this milestone was considered as an event horizon, an event where all predictions or attempts to see beyond it become uncertain. That how transformational and life-changing it is going to be.
New algorithms have given computers the ability to learn and understand. That's the moment when computers have become intelligent.
For many it is not so much of a surprise as they already think computers must be very intelligent since they are out performing humans at processing data. That was an illusion of intelligence.
The computers were actually dumb and limited to what they were programmed to do. They had a fantastic calculation power to access a huge knowledge base but were not able to process information beyond what they were initially programmed to do. Without the ability to learn and understand there is no intelligence.
This milestone has been achieved by taking the new approach of modelling how the brain works. Like for the brain, the computer is now able to learn by trials and errors how to store and process the data in a meaningful way. The positive or negative feedbacks it receives while learning direct the creation of links or connections between the data to give it a coherent perception, an understanding of the relation between the data.
A computer can now be given a few examples of what a car looks like and after a short learning period of trials and errors it will recognise a car whenever it sees one with an accuracy even better than humans.
A computer can now see, listen, speak, write and read with the understanding, the coherent links between the pieces of information it processes.
That is a fantastic leap forward.
Whatever the field, computers can now learn from the experts and become as good as all of them combined. And even better. As the first applications have already shown, the computers using the "deep learning" algorithms were also able to recognize new patterns that were previously unknown from the experts and could therefore outperform them.
Very quickly now we can expect to see intelligent machines out performing humans in all the jobs they do.
Computers learn at a much faster pace than humans and with a theoretically unlimited capacity. Their knowledge base can be duplicated from one to another as easily as we duplicate files on a laptop.
It will be far more efficient to teach one machine with the best experts and duplicate it than to train every human being at a particular job. In terms of expertise, efficiency, flexibility, cost, availability humans will be no match and we can expect the intelligent machines to spread like wildfire. All the jobs will be given to the machines.
To give us an idea, it took no more than 4 or 5 decades at the beginning of the last century to see horses being totally replaced by mechanical machines. Since the rate at which new technologies are being adopted follows an exponential curve and dramatically increases with technology, it could take 4 or 5 years to see humans beings being totally replaced by intelligent machines in the workplace .
Consider how the spread of radios, telephones, TVs, PCs and mobile phones compare to each other. What was taking decades is now taking years and months. Tomorrow when everyone will be connected and have access to 3D printers, every new invention will be made available instantly everywhere.
Along with the jobs, we can also predict the disappearance of schools and universities. No need to go through a painful memory overload when everyone will carry devices that give them instant access to the knowledge they need when they need it, coming from the best teachers in a format perfectly suited to the individual. That will free our mind and our time for what we really enjoy to do.
Intelligent machines will become our best friends. The movie "HER" is a very entertaining and realistic fiction about what our relationships with intelligent machines could become.
Our interaction with intelligent machines will eventually become very intimate. And when the machines will become biologic they will also become sexual partners being perfectly designed for our sexual needs or desires. Everyone being sexually satisfied, it will elevate human relationships beyond the sexual needs to a higher level of intimacy.
For paradism, the biological robot is the most important technological goal and we have just made a significant step toward it.
With the birth of the intelligent machine we have reached the golden age when humanity can be free from all forms of enslavement. We should celebrate this advent as one of the greatest achievement of mankind. If it is not and goes largely unnoticed it is because all revolutionary inventions are first welcome with great scepticism and terrifies those who hold to the past as a safeguard to a leap into the unknown.
It is our mission as paradists to explain all the benefits and the promises of this new technology.
It is not artificial intelligence we should be afraid of, it's natural stupidity.