Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Today over at Real Clear Technology....they had an interesting article on artificial intelligence (AI).  It's a fifteen minute read, and at the end....you will put down the article and ponder for at least ten minutes.

The smart guys are at the point now of pursuing massive computer and robot-like technology....in the interest of society and science.

There's this belief that some point around 2050....we will assemble a team of folks and finally embark on the great chase of mankind....artificial intelligence that is able to think and react on its own.

In the midst of a surgical debate and scheduling for a guy.....some AI-system could suddenly stand up and note that four complications that would forbid any successful surgery on a guy....making the surgeon suddenly question himself and how they came to the original conclusion.

An AI-system at southern dam could come on....note weather activity four days ahead of a front, and start dumping ten percent more water through than normal....anticipating flooding way ahead of schedule, and hoping to avoid flooding at all cost.  All done, without consulting the dam operations chief.

A sensor on your Ford Focus?  It might chat with a master AI-computer back in Dayton, and suddenly you get a call from some computer noting that you have a failing part (a seven-day warning), and need to make an immediate visit to the local mechanic.  The computer will ask you if you'd like to make an appointment now....this minute....before the failure?

A sensor on your street detects a argument going on.  It sends a message to a AI-computer in the city, and some friction-hostess arrives an hour later with the police to help lessen a possible mess.

As the article goes onto note....at some mythical and magical point....the AI-master computer will determine that it's best for it to take charge but fears you won't understand.  So it copies itself into a dozen systems around the world.  It starts to write it's own programming and take control of a thousand processes across the globe.

You'd be unable to make air flights, reserve hotels, see your medical information, or refuel your vehicle....without cooperating with the master system.

Forty years away?  It's odd that we'd sit here and start to notice the approaching mess.  And even odder?  We won't stop the march toward that mess.

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