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Ray Kurzweil was a great inventor but a lousy prophet

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Maybe there is a relationship. John Stossel writes,

Ray Kurzweil — inventor of things like machines that turn text into speech — has popularized the idea that we are rapidly approaching “the singularity,” the point at which machines not only think for themselves but develop intellectually faster than we.

At that point, maybe we no longer talk about “human history.” It will be “machine progress,” with us along for the ride — if machines keep us around. Maybe they’ll keep us in a zoo, like we do with our monkey ancestors.

Scientists and ethicists are beginning to wrestle with the question of how to make sure artificial intelligence, when it arrives, is nice to us.

The overlooked problem is that, apart from the fact that machines lack consciousness (and no one knows what it is anyway), they also lack motivation to do anything in particular. They are designed by humans to do something.

More realistic worry: The people behind the machines may be smarter than we are and may be up to no good. It happens.

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7 Replies to “Ray Kurzweil was a great inventor but a lousy prophet

  1. 1
    nightlight says:

    the fact that machines lack consciousness

    That’s not a fact but an opinion.

  2. 2
    News says:

    nightlight, has your toaster been talking to you recently? It’s not the toaster, you know. Talk to someone.

  3. 3
    humbled says:

    ” That‚Äôs not a fact but an opinion.” Nightlife, I would argue it was common sense?

  4. 4
    humbled says:

    Silly autocorrect, Nightlight I meant ūüėČ

  5. 5
    nightlight says:

    @2,3 — it’s still merely one among various opinions on the subject. Panpsychism is the only coherent position that has a chance of growing into a science someday.

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    again the computer is just a memory machine. Thats all. if memory is intelligence then machines can be intelligent. if memory is just memory then they can’t.
    They can’t.
    mankind has not realized mankind uses its memory for most of what we do. We only think a little.
    computers are boring visual books. they have no thoughts. None. they are as dumb as a rock.

  7. 7
    Dionisio says:

    Woman or machine? New robots look creepily human

    The new robot guides at a Tokyo museum look so eerily human and speak so smoothly they almost outdo people‚ÄĒalmost.

    Japanese robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro, an Osaka University professor, says they will be useful for research on how people interact with robots and on what differentiates the person from the machine.

    “Making androids is about exploring what it means to be human,” he told reporters Tuesday, “examining the question of what is emotion, what is awareness, what is thinking.”

    In a demonstration, the remote-controlled machines moved their pink lips in time to a voice-over, twitched their eyebrows, blinked and swayed their heads from side to side. They stay seated but can move their hands.

    http://www.rdmag.com/news/2014.....8;type=cta

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