2029 Digital Immortality: Why Does AI Concern Humanity and Not Just Scientists & Engineers?

1. Artificial intelligence (AI) will reach human levels by around 2029. Follow that out further to, say, 2045, we will have multiplied the intelligence, the human biological machine intelligence of our civilization a billion-fold. - Ray Kurzweil, As Humans and Computers Merge, PBS

2. Computers already undergrid our financial system, and our civil infrastructure of energy, water, and transportation. Computers are at home in our hospitals, cars, and appliances. Many of these computers, such as those running buy-sell algorithms on Wall Street, work autonomously with no human guidance. The price of all the labor-saving conveniences and diversions computers provide is dependency. We get more dependent every day. So far it’s been painless. But artificial intelligence brings computers to life and turns them into something else. If it’s inevitable that machines will make our decisions, then when will the machines get this power, and will they get it with our compliance?…. Some scientists argue that the takeover will be friendly and collaborative–a handover rather than a takeover. It will happen incrementally, so only troublemakers will balk, while the rest of us won’t question the improvements to life that will come from having something immeasurably more intelligent decide what’s best for us. Also, the superintelligent AI or AIs that ultimately gain control might be one or more augmented humans, or a human’s downloaded, supercharged brain, and not cold, inhuman robots. So their authority will be easier to swallow. The handover to machines described by some scientists is virtually indistinguishable from the one you and I are taking part in right now – gradual, painless, fun. - James Barrat, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

3. Everything that civilisation has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools that AI may provide, but the eradication of war, disease, and poverty would be high on anyone’s list. Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last. - Stephen Hawking, The Independent

4. Anything that could give rise to smarter-than-human intelligence – in the form of Artificial Intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, or neuroscience-based human intelligence enhancement – wins hands down beyond contest as doing the most to change the world. Nothing else is even in the same league. - Eliezer Yudkowsky

5. Nobody phrases it this way, but I think that artificial intelligence is almost a humanities discipline. It’s really an attempt to understand human intelligence and human cognition. - Sebastian Thrun

6. A powerful AI system tasked with ensuring your safety might imprison you at home. If you asked for happiness, it might hook you up to a life support and ceaselessly stimulate your brain’s pleasure centers. If you don’t provide the AI with a very big library of preferred behaviors or an ironclad means for it to deduce what behavior you prefer, you’ll be stuck with whatever it comes up with. And since it’s a highly complex system, you may never understand it well enough to make sure you’ve got it right. ― James Barrat, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

7. If an AI possessed any one of these skills — social abilities, technological development, economic ability — at a superhuman level, it is quite likely that it would quickly come to dominate our world in one way or another. And as we’ve seen, if it ever developed these abilities to the human level, then it would likely soon develop them to a superhuman level. So we can assume that if even one of these skills gets programmed into a computer, then our world will come to be dominated by AIs or AI-empowered humans. - Stuart Armstrong, Smarter Than Us: The Rise of Machine Intelligence

8. Machines will follow a path that mirrors the evolution of humans. Ultimately, however, self-aware, self-improving machines will evolve beyond humans’ ability to control or even understand them! - Ray Kurzweil, Scientific American

9. What use was time to those who’d soon achieve Digital Immortality? - Clyde DeSouza, Memories With Maya

10. A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God! - Alan Perlis, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach


What are your thoughts, observations and views? http://ow.ly/WrsZO