Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make. ~Statistician I.J. Good, 1965
All it takes is one technology – Artificial Intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, or perhaps something unforeseen – that advances to the point of creating smarter-than-human minds. That one technological advance is the equivalent of the first self-replicating chemical that gave rise to life on Earth.~AI researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, 2001
TECH IS A HAIR BREADTH AWAY FROM SELF-AWARENESS: Technology is within a hair’s breadth of becoming self-aware. The social networks and properties may be seen as a mass effort by humanity to train our tech to first mimic and then evolve our actions. The intimacy of human-tech relationship has become a red-hot love affair.
I can forget my wallet at home but woe is me if my cell phone remains on the bedside table! With mobile now fully poised to take over as THE access point to all my information and action, that iPhone or Android becomes THE lover in my pocket, my EVERYTHING. I can dock my phone and access all of my content with a wireless keyboard and mouse and my 55″ 3D 1080p screen. And I can store 60 GB of my information in the cloud for $10 per month, giving me the power to link in to my info from anywhere at anytime.
And ALL of this information is scanned and makes up the ever-expanding global mind, which systems like the Chinese-made Tianhe-1A can perfect at rate of 2,507 petaflops (a petaflop is one million billion floating point operations per second). Soon all of this computing tech will occupy a transhuman body, like the hospice cyborgs in Asia.
I do agree that we may be closer than one realizes to the Singularity and that AI has advanced to truly FANTASTIC heights. One need only begin at the Singularity Summit, Singularity University and Humanity+ web pages to get thrown in the deep end of this information AND to realize that humans in the know are keeping long hours preparing for this imminent reality!
WHAT WILL IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN IN THE NEAR-FUTURE? So what happens when many more human duties are done by robots? What happens when the Transhumanists reign supreme? How does one look upon this: as an average consumer, as a corporate leader, as a major VC, as a nation-state concerned about security, as a parent raising children, as the leader of a global religion? For some, there is no action to be taken and submission is the only option due to NO TIME. For others, like the leaders mentioned, the conversation becomes philosophical and nostalgic: the good ol’ days of being human are now over.
Now we also, as leaders, have to understand what it really means to be led by our technology. It presents us with possibilities and solutions we may never have considered: Like finding the cure to cancer OR receiving a fully charted investment strategy yielding 125% growth per annum for 7 generations on your desktop OR just plain old peace of mind. We truly have more possibilities before us as humans now than ever YET at the same time we are in an economic crisis. Or are we?
Hear the following quote from the philosopher Aleister Crowley:
“We are in the middle of a world crisis. It is a very good world crisis — better than any crisis we have had before — and there is no man alive with an intellect big enough to grasp the threads of the problems which confront the world today. There are two ways out of that. Either consult a superior intelligence, which Magick shows you the way of doing, or you can develop your own mind, for it has a faculty which is as superior to the intellect as the intellect is superior to the emotions.
All magical operations require a very elaborate training of one kind or another, but I think the only way out is that we have got to put men in charge of this planet who are really more than men. We must get back to the times of the prophets or we must make ourselves prophets. And we must look at world problems from a standpoint which is entirely alien to that existing at present.”
TECH LEADERS GUIDE GOVERNMENTS AND SIT AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE: Just a few weeks ago, Michael Dell said, “Our report contains straightforward, proven ways to pare back $1 trillion from the deficit while increasing productivity and enabling sustainable competitiveness. We’re serious about helping to provide solutions for the mounting debt crisis, and we’re optimistic that changes today will help lay the foundation for future job growth and innovation for our country.” And the TCC report, entitled One Trillion Reasons, stated: “A $500bn savings opportunity exists by consolidating the government’s myriad supply chains. This would also render the government’s procurement process far more transparent, helping to strengthen public trust.”
With tech leaders applying the power of computing to human inefficiency, we know who the REAL kings of this planet are and will increasingly be. It’s no wonder that men like Michael Bloomberg and Silvio Berlusconi are corporate leaders, political leaders and multi-billionaires. They are the model of the world-king, the Zeus archetype. And men like these have the power and resources to orient tech around cleaning up 20th century messes. Those who have erected Kingdoms of Opacity around the these cesspools are doomed, as we already have seen, while those who embrace Transparency as a route TO greater discovery and engagement with mystery and innovation will rule. The simple mathematical and scientific rule concerning this is Pareto’s Law or Occam’s Razor and Leonardo da Vinci has captured this when he says, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
HUMAN INTERACTION NO LONGER SLOWS DOWN TECH ADAVANCEMENT: Our technology’s solutions are so beautiful now and are being packaged to accentuate this elegance. Solutions on the social intelligence front are just one example of this. With Flowtown, I can upload all of my email addresses and see exactly which social properties these entities currently occupy. With another tool just about to launch I can upload my email addresses and know the exact time of day a Facebook ad campaign should run to reach the maximum online users. With another tool also on the verge of launching, I can determine which tweets and FB statuses have the highest chances of being re-tweeted and passed along AND which ad copy will achieve the highest percentage of click-through rate.
Again, with well-priced and effective solutions, we hurdle opaque entities that shroud previously complex processes in secrecy AND end up with BETTER solutions at BETTER pricing. This principle is horizontally applicable across industries AND is the metaphorical basis for human-tech relationship to leap-frog into a new paradigm of leadership, democracy and independence.
Of course, in the context of all this left-brain, progress-oriented talk, there is the question as to whether cyborgs dream of electric sheep or can enjoy the most human of experiences.