The Coming Singularity - When Computers Become Sentient

This article is about one of my favorite subjects ... AI, artificial intelligence. I think we're on the verge of something that will change the face of the world. Although I do not see this happening in the coming years, technological advances occurring today are leading increasingly to fruition.

I have often heard the term "singularity" mentioned in astrophysics. Used to describe a 'black hole'. An object of almost infinite mass and gravity that only a few years ago was considered a theoretical possibility. Now we know that there are millions, probably billions of gravity of these sinks scattered throughout the universe. Our own Milky Way has a lurking at its center. In astrophysics, the singularities and black holes are synonymous. This is a place where time and the known laws of physics no longer apply.

There is another sense of the word "unique", which is beginning to emerge in the computer bulletin boards, newsgroups, AI, and even conventional television. This singularity refers to a time when teams get the equivalent processing power of the human brain. From this moment, we will not be far from the sensitive computer first. The construction of a sentient computer is an objective shared by the military, the world's governments, and many of our most prominent universities.

Predictions abound when will this feat. The best estimates seem to fall into a range somewhere between 2030 and 2050, the above, the most subscribed too. Much depends on whether we can continue to achieve exponential growth in processing power that began 50 years ago. But if it is eventually going to come about.

There is speculation in artificial intelligence circles that the Internet could be the 'seed' that will bring the singularity. Even now, is the closure in the number of available connections in the human brain. When singularity occurs, it will happen at a speed that humans can not even imagine. All the knowledge man has accumulated through the history is being digitized and stored on computers, most of which is available on the Internet. A sensitive team will have access to this knowledge instantly. Who knows what's going to do with it?

Many scientists believe that the AI consciousness once a team has accomplished, there is nothing impossible to him. Think of an artificial brain that is not limited by the size or speed. A brain whose neurons function millions of times faster than their counterparts in the flesh and blood. Even now, massively parallel computers are being used to analyze the world's climate. What other tasks that are getting too? Each year, the goal is to see who can create the fastest, the most powerful supercomputer yet devised. This race does not end ... not by choice anyway.

AI is creeping into general computing. I'm using right now as I write this article. Microsoft Word uses an AI engine to keep track of where I am in my document. Among other things, providing context sensitive help whenever you need.

Face recognition, language translator, medical expert systems, voice recognition ... are just some of the applications that would be impossible without AI. Carbon based agencies have ruled the world from the beginning, perhaps the next generation of intelligent beings is silicon?

No comments: