IBM has created a supercomputer that functions like a human brain. It’s called SyNAPSE or Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics and it has the ability to learn. According to DARPA; “The vision for the SyNAPSE program is to develop electronic neuromorphic machine technology that scales to biological levels. SyNAPSE supports an unprecedented multidisciplinary approach coordinating aggressive technology development activities in the following areas: hardware, architecture, simulation, and environment.” Source: DARPA This technology could change the world and as such it is likely that its very existence will stir both wonder in some and deep fears in others.
Editors note: As we approach the Singularity it is important to keep a level head and an open mind about these ground breaking developments. There will always be the need to ask questions, have debates and consider the implications of what it means to live in a world of thinking machines. At EBG we see debate about these topics as a good thing, but fear and millenarian proclamations about this development or that development only serve to stifle healthy debate and ultimately contributes to a world view that sees technology only as something to fear.
Many believe the exponential accelerating pace of technological development will eventually lead to a Technological Singularity. For the first time we will have the ability to create machines endowed with super intelligence and possibly consciousness. The prospect of such a reality evokes fascination and hope in some while stirring fear and paranoia in others. The coming technological singularity is poised to create one of the most divisive debates humanity has ever undertaken. Some scholars like Hugo de Garis, believe that it could lead to a war what he calls an “Artilect War” making the nuclear arms race of the last century pale in comparison. In a world divided between homo-sapiens, cybernetically augmented humans and super intelligent “Artilects” or (artificial intellects) species dominance could come to define the nature of all global politics. According to de Garis ; “this will be the worst, most passionate war that humanity has ever known, because the stakes – the survival of our species have never been so high.”: Source Forbes
In the documentary “Building Gods” film maker Ken Gumbs explores the implications of creating “god like” super intelligent machines. The film includes interviews with a theologian, a philosopher, a “brain builder” and a researcher that has conducted several successful cybernetic proof of concept procedures on himself.
Intelligence embedded within Amazonian plant biology and Google as a Consciousness entity? These are just some of the topics covered in this interesting and unusual techno-metaphysical TED talk by Social Media strategists and developers Rome Viharo and Maf Lewis. Their work suggests that; “there is a likelihood that Google’s search algorithm may already be sentient, what it means, and what it represents as a metaphor for collective problem solving”. Source: Viharo and Lewis
In this fascinating documentary Stephen L. Thaler, Ph.D. illustrates how a radically different form of AI using artificial neural networks of Imagitrons and Perceptrons can actually create their own logic and learn by using simple rules that arise spontaneously from unintelligent natural means. In this two part system imagination and perception combine to create a brainstorming dialogue within the Creativity Machine to from a model of cognition and true machine intelligence. The machines Thaler creates can literally think for themselves there by eliminating the need to engineer intelligence via sophisticated programming schemes. These Creativity Machines as they are called, can both imitate and produce creative thinking. The design of automobiles, aircraft and music compositions have all be accomplished using Creativity Machines. The implications of Thalers work are truly astounding and could advance the field of AI by many decades.