Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 173 - Artilect

This is a new term used in the documentary Transcendent Man about the inventor Ray Kurzweil.  Ray has a new book out called Singularity is Near.  Artilect is a combination of the words Artificial Intellect that is used to describe the future when everything will become intelligent.  Nanobots will in fuse everything, flowers, rocks and trees.  Eventually Mr. Kurzweil theorizes that the artilect will expand to the universe and as it searches the galaxies to find other matter and energy it will eventually find it and the intelligence will then be expanded.  The key to expansion that Ray wants everyone to understand is that it is expanding exponentially at a rate that only gets faster as it grows.  It is happening so fast that we really can't contemplate it.  The universe will wake up one day and just "be" intelligent.  The film ends asking Ray if God which he responds..."Well not yet."

Ray has told us other things about technology and we didn't believe him.  At the age of seventeen he invented a computer that composed classical music.  He then revolutionized the music industry by building on this invention and introducing us to the modern day synthesizers.  His dad composed music and had a heavy influence on him by his absence during his childhood.  Ray's dad was gone most of the time working conducting symphonies.  Ray's dad also wrote notes about everything.  Ray has kept the notes since his father passed at a young age due to heart failure.

Ray went on to invent the first flat bed scanner and the first OCR (Optical Character Reader).  An OCR scans text and then converts it into a digital file.  From this he expanded the technology to invent software that converts text into speech and vice versa vocal speech recognition software.  He continued and invented a camera for the blind to photograph a page of type and read out  loud so that the visually impaired can read without sight or at least listen to a page of text.  He has an uncanny ability to see what isn't and say why not and then go on to make "it" so. 

Singularity he describes as the future period, in which technology changes so rapid, impacts so profoundly, that every aspect of human life will be irreversibly transformed.  He feels his mission is to tell the world what the future will be like.  He forsees Artificial Intelligence being here by 2029 in which computers will be in our head.  Singularity will happen about 2045.  He bases this on his Law of Accelerating Returns.  He simplifies it for us by explaining that we have seen computers double in strength every two years and decrease in size by half in the same time.  But now the rate will exponentially change.  It was increasing by two, like taking sixteen steps so by the time we got to the six step it was 32 times as fast.  Now we can take six steps and the rate of change will be 65,536x in the same six steps.

He believes we will eventually be able to send thoughts via the internet.  Laugh?  The documentary showed a man who had an implant of wires put in his arm with a chip that connected to a computer.  the computer transferred his electrical brain waves over the internet to a robotic arm in another country around the globe.  The robotic arm did what he told it to do with his mind!  He disconnected and had the chip removed and tells us that he felt one with the computer and it didn't take anything away from him once the chip was removed.  Computers and humans as one....Every prediction Ray has made has come true thus far.

Robotic Arm connected to the internet
He goes on to see energy plans in five years that cost less per watt using solar power than the cost per watt of coal.  He sees in ten years, fossil fuels that can replace energy with solar panels.  The best part of his philosophy for me was the quote, "Intelligence is the biggest problem of our society, it can be solved through intelligence however."  [Wonder if they can teach us all as humans how to vote for the candidate that tells the would probably tell us we couldn't vote for ANY of the candidates! Now that's intelligence.] IN 2029 AI (artificial intelligence) will match human intelligence and give us super human intelligence.  This will enable us to solve problems we can't solve today.  We will basically be machines that can stop aging and will live indefinitely.  We will become mental amplifiers. 

Ray theorizes that there are three overlapping Revolutions coming that he as coined the GNR Great National Revolutions:
 1. Genetics - Mastering the information processes in our biology; reprogramming biology away from disease and aging
2. Nano Technology - nanobots that are injected into our blood stream and brains
3. Robotics - Artificial Intelligence

Singularity in space occurs at a black hole.  It is when things break down and change dramatically.  At that moment is when we become one.  It is coming he says.  Humans will lose control like Terminators in the Movies.  Most of us are not comfortable with this scenario.  Fear prevents us from seeing the good this can be.  Ray is the eternal optimist and even believes that he will be able to enter all his dad's notes into a database and some day be able to recreate his father that was never there for him as a child.  He wishes he could have invented something to prevent his father's heart attack in the first place.  Ray takes over 200 supplemental pills a day.  He believes our body breaks down and by taking these supplements, he is changing the chemistry of the body to its youthful state.  Thing is he had a congenital heart defect and had a heart attack too.  He survived however.

Some people believe Ray's prediction is right but most say he's a modern day prophet that is wrong about this one. I agree with the latter, for one reason only.  I believe that Ray was wrong about the existence of God. He does exist and as a Jew, I'm not sure how Ray can answer with such an emphatic statement of denial.  And he himself is the perfect example of the first lines in the first book of the Bible, Genesis where God creates Adam in his own likeness.  Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Ray is just doing what he was made to do, fulfilling God's be more like God, ever knowing and omnipresent. But then again, if we were in the future, at the time Ray predicts, Ray would already know that.

Check out this robot...

I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.~Socrates

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