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The future of artificial intelligence & ethics on the road to superintelligence

Discussion in 'Stories, Fiction & Essays' started by bL4nkcode, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. bL4nkcode

    bL4nkcode Enthusiast Established

    The human brain, consisting of roughly 86 billion neurons, rivals the world’s best supercomputers in
    terms of magnitude, efficiency, and speed, using as little energy as a small 20-watt light bulb. Human evolution took tens of thousands of years to adapt noticeable brain size and architecture changes.

    Evolution is a slow process that can take eons for changes to occur. Technology, on the other hand,
    is amazing in terms of how fast it is moving along, blending into the world seamlessly. The
    technological evolution notably occurs at a faster pace compared to biological evolution.

    To further understand the situation, imagine a frog in a pot of water that heats up 1/10th of a degree
    Celsius every ten seconds. Even if the frog remained in that water for, say an hour, it would be unable
    to feel the minute changes in temperature. However, if the frog is dropped into boiling water, the
    change is too sudden and the frog jumps away to avoid fate.


    Let's take a gigantic chessboard and a grain of rice, for scale, and place each grain of rice to a
    corresponding chess square following a sequence: for each passing square, we double the amount.
    Upon applying this, we get:

    1) 1
    2) 2
    3) 4
    4) 8

    And so on. You must be thinking, “What difference does doubling a grain of rice for every box
    make?” But one must remember that, at some point, the number from which the count started will
    be totally indistinguishable to the end result. Still on the 41th square, it contains a mountainous 1
    trillion grains of rice pile.

    41) 1,099,511,627,776

    What started out as a measly amount, barely feeding a single ant, has become massive
    enough to feed a city of 100,000 people for a year.


    The development of technology over time

    In the year 1959, the global output of transistor production of 60 million was huge. It was deemed a
    manufacturing achievement to produce such an amount. Although looking at the world today, it
    pales because of how far the transistor development has come. A modern i7 Skylake processor
    contains around

    (Skip to 5:15 in the video, to hear the global transistor manufacturing achievement in 1959)

    1,750,000,000 transistors. It would take 29 years of 1959’s transistor global production to match
    one i7 Skylake transistor count.

    The transistor manufacturing size in an i7 Skylake processor is 14 nm. For reference, a silicon atom
    is about 0.1176 nm across: 14/0.1176=119 Meaning, a transistor in an i7 Skylake processor is only
    about 119 atoms across.

    Therefore, one can conclude that it takes technology to build technology. In the past, civilization was
    limited to the usage of paper and writing. Calculations done by hand tend to be slow and tedious.


    More advanced technology gives us better means of designing even more complex technology. Modern computers have more processing power to model out deeper concepts and ideas which, in turn, help towards building even more sophisticated computers, leading to a loop of technological progress. See, civilization started at a point where little progress is seen over a long time. After centuries of innovation, there will come a time where progress is noticeable by the second.


    As storage, computing power and computer architecture, in general, improve over time, the interconnectivity of man goes up as well, leading to the beginnings of the Internet, the phase where humanity can globally upload, store and share information.

    As time passes, we also tend to outdo ourselves. From Deep Blue which beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov in the year 1997 to computers that you can hold in your hands, computing was used not only to perform tasks that require extensive manpower but also to surpass it. For example, the modern smartphone, compared to the ENIAC, provides more computing power and is thousands of times smaller.

    In short, the impossible becomes possible. What was once considered fictional can become reality

    Side note, recommended read:
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    Check out "The Far Future—Coming Soon" section. Reading this will give you an even better understanding of linear thinking and exponential thinking

    One can see that the pace of technological progress is increasing over time, leading to smaller and more powerful technologies like the smartphone among other technology. AI research has also increased over time. Since by nature it takes technology to build technology, better technology makes it easier to make even better technology. Progress might seem to move at a snail's pace for the longest of times, but it would move much quicker than expected. Google DeepMind, for example, was able to beat a champion Go (a Chinese game where players try to take control over most of the board) player.

    To scale, an average go game of 250 moves on a 19X19 board has about 10^360 possible moves. Compared to chess of 10^120 possible moves, a Go game of a higher complexity level would have over 10^240 more possible games compared to chess. Go also allows the player more freedom for movement, on any of the 361 possible spots to play on the first turn, then 360 for second turn. With a much higher tree branch, it is vastly more complex of a game.

    While typical brute forcing can be used on chess, trying Deep Blue's method of calculation manually on Go would take much longer than the entirety of the universe’s existence

    We are, by nature, linear thinkers

    We, as innovation-oriented species, tend to project our ideas outwards in a linear path. For example, one can look in old TV shows’ predictions of the future, and can see us tending to our nature of linear thinking. Below is part of the TOS Bridge, first aired in 1966 known for its projection of the 23rd century, using buttons and crude computer displays of light indicators. At the time, it seemed vaguely plausible due to the technologies we had in the year 1966.

    Read More: ( Please or Register to view links)
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