QC + AI = S

Quantum Computing (QC) + Artificial Intelligence (AI) = Singularity (S)


Quantum Computing – Computers using subatomic particles to superprocess atincredible speeds and with less energy–it’s similar to massive parallel processing, but in the case of Qubits, they can store more than just 1s and 0s (bits–a binary state), but rather can be both o and 1 at the same time (a “superposition”).  So for very large problems (“exponential scaling”), instead of processing (computing one step at a time), you can process all options simultaneously to find the very best (“optimized”) solution by eliminating all options that don’t fit the algorithm.


Artificial Intelligence – Computers simulate intelligence, using language, perceiving their environment, reasoning to draw conclusions, solving problems usually done by humans, being creative, and where they can actually learn and self-improve!


Singularity – A state of runaway hypergrowth from the attainment of computing superintelligence, where computers are able to autonomously build ever smarter and more powerful machines that surpass human understanding and control leading to unfathomable changes to human civilization. 


The Information Age is giving way to the Intelligence Age, and it is all ready to explode. 


We are getting to the point of no return…


(Source Photo: Screenshot from YouTube with attribution to the move, Lucy“)

Dexterous Drones


Ok, after the da Vinci System that uses robotics to conduct surgeries this many not seem like such a feat, but think again.



While da Vinci is fully controlled by the surgeon, this Drone from Drexel University that can turn valves, or door knobs and other controls, is on the road to doing this autonomously. 



Think of robots that can manipulate the environment around them not on a stationary assembly line or doing repetitive tasks, but actually interacting real-time to open/close, turn things on/off, adjust control settings, pick things up/move them, eventually even sit at a computer or with other people–like you or I–and interface with them. 



Drones and robots will be doing a lot more than surveillance and assembly line work–with artifical intelligence and machine learning, they will be doing what we do–or close enough. 😉

Robots, Who’s Telling Whom What To Do

Robot
There was an interesting quote about jobs of the future by Tom Preston-Werner in Bloomberg Businessweek:



“In the future, there’s potentially two types of jobs: where you tell a machine what to do, programming a computer, or a machine is going to tell you what to do. You’re either the one that creates the automation or you’re going to get automated.”



Already, we’ve seen manufacturing get outsourced by the millions of job to cheaper labor oversees or automated in factories by machines and robotics.



Similarly, agriculture has seen a large decrease in small family-owned farms, in lieu of mega farms run by multinationals and run by automated farm equipment with GPS and drones. 



The military is moving quickly to warfare by drones, robotics, and people geared-up in high-tech exoskeletons. 



Now in the sacrosanct service sector, where it has been said that it could never be done by anyone by local people in the communities, services are moving in the direction of robotics.

 

Perhaps even in government we can ask, can there be a future where robots can govern better than we can–and get things done speedily and efficiently!



In one Sci fi hit after another, from Star Trek to Battlestar Galactica to Terminator, a future of humanity embattled by cyborgs predominates. 



Like in the show, Lost in Space, where the robot in wont to say, “Crush, Kill, Destroy,” perhaps we can understand this as not jsut a physical threat as people’s lives, but also to their ability to earn a living in a world where automation challenges us with the children reframe:



“Everything you can do, I can do better. I can do everything better than you. Yes you can, no you can’t…”



At this point, I am not sure it is really a debate anymore, and that Preston-Werner is predominantly right…technology is the future–whether we are end up being eaten alive by it or are its earthly masters. 😉

Robots Reach The Clouds

Robot 3
So robots have reached the clouds before many of our government agencies have–who would’ve thought?

 

Bloomberg Businessweek reports how robotic activities are being stored in the cloud and are then accessible to other robots to learn from and repeat as necessary.

 

The “cloud servers essentially [are] a shared brain” where memories and experiences are uploaded and accessed by other robots with a need to know the same thing.

 

The cloud is the means of transfer learning from one robot to the other.

 

It serves like a master neural network where the Internet provides the how-to for everything from serving juice to patients in a hospital to functioning as autonomous warbots in battle.

 

Like the Borg on Star Trek with a collective brain, the cloud may become the mastermind for everything from day-to-day functioning to taking over the species of the universe.

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why We Expect Nothing

Why We Expect Nothing

I took this photo of a sign at the Metro station to the Reagan National Airport by Washington, D.C.

“Expect The Unexpected” is the warning.

Don’t be complacent–anything can happen–be vigilant–is the message.

It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Jerry jokes about people going to the beach and hiding their wallets in their shoes.

Like, a criminal would never think to check your shoe!

Oh, push the wallet all the way down to the toes, under the tongue, that way the bad guys will never be able to get to it.

Here, it’s more a case of of why don’t we expect the darn expected.

Everybody knows that people “hide” their valuables at the beach in their shoes!

In modern times, we seem blind though to any expectations at all.

– Arab Spring and civil war spreading into Syria and Iraq–after Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, and more–who would’ve thought?

– Russia taking over Crimea and agitating in Eastern Ukraine–after their little excursions into Georgia and Chechnya–who would expect that?

– Financial meltdowns and major recession after the dot com and housing bubbles–even my barber was talking about retiring and buying a mansion in the Caribbean–where are these coming from?

The question then is are we really unable to see past our noses or do we just hold steadfast to principle that ignorance is bliss?

Well let’s just test the “expect nothing doctrine” that we seem to all be living by these days and see how you feel about these:

  • North Korea–they would never invade the South again.
  • Iran–sure, they are going to give up their nuclear weapons and their greater Middle Eastern Caliphate ambitions.
  • China–Yeah, we’ll just pin them in the South China Sea and they’ll never get out.
  • The national deficit–it’s not and will never be too big for us to handle because we’re rich.
  • Terrorism in a major American city–not after 9/11 and all that Homeland Security.
  • Environmental catastrophe–we will build a big bubble over ourselves, so no problem.
  • Economic inequity–the top 1% deserves to control 43% of the Nation’s wealth and everyone else just sit down and shut up.
  • The Singularity–how could a machine ever be smarter than us; we’ve got all the technology fully under our control.

Well, if you are blind or dumb enough to believe these, just keep putting your money in your shoes at the beach, because there is no reason to expect that anyone would ever think to look for it there. 😉

Web 1-2-3

Ushering In Web 3.0

The real cloud computing is not where we are today.

Utilizing infrastructure and apps on demand is only the beginning.

What IBM has emerging that is above the other cloud providers is the real deal, Watson, cognitive computing system.

In 2011, Watson beat the human champions of Jeopardy, today according to the CNBC, it is being put online with twice the power.

Using computational linguistics and machine learning, Watson is becoming a virtual encyclopedia of human knowledge and that knowledge-base is growing by the day.

But moreover, that knowledge can be leveraged by cloud systems such as Watson to link troves of information together, process it to find hidden meanings and insights, make diagnoses, provide recommendations, and generally interact with humans.

Watson can read all medical research, up-to-date breakthroughs in science, or all financial reports and so on and process this to come up with information intelligence.

In terms of computational computing, think of Apple’s Siri, but with Watson, it doesn’t just tell you where the local pizza parlors are, it can tell you how to make a better pizza.

In short, we are entering the 3rd generation of the Internet:

Web 1.0 was as a read-only, Web-based Information Source. This includes all sorts of online information available anytime and anywhere. Typically, organizational Webmasters publishing online content to the masses.

Web 2.0 is the read-write, Participatory Web. This is all forms of social computing and very basic information analytics. Examples include: email, messaging, texting, blogs, twitter, wikis, crowdsourcing, online reviews, memes, and infographics.

Web 3.0 will be think-talk, Cognitive Computing. This incorporates artificial intelligence and natural language processing and interaction. Examples: Watson, or a good-natured HAL 9000.

In short, it’s one thing to move data and processing to the cloud, but when we get to genuine artificial intelligence and natural interaction, we are at all whole new computing level.

Soon we can usher in Kurzweil’s Singularity with Watson leading the technology parade. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Kurzweil, Right and Wrong

Kurzweil, Right and Wrong

Ray Kurzweil the famous futurist is an amazing person, but like everyone he has his good and bad days.

When it comes to the Singularity–Kurzweil had a very good day.

With the accelerating speed of technology change, the advent of super intelligence and superhuman powers is already here (and continuing to advance) with:

Smartphones all-in-one devices give us the power of the old mainframe along with the communication capabilities to inform and share by phone, text, photo, video, and everything social media.

Google Glass is bringing us wearable IT and augmented reality right in front of our very eyes.

Exoskeletons and bioengineering is giving us superhuman strength and ability to lift more, run faster and further, see and hear better, and more.

Embedded chips right into our brains are going to give us “access to all the world’s information” at the tip of our neural synapses whenever we need it (Wall Street Journal).

In a sense, we are headed toward the melding of man and machine, as opposed to theme of the Terminator movie vision of man versus machine–where man is feared to lose in a big way.

In man melded with machine–we will have augmentations in body and brain–and will have strength, endurance, and intelligence beyond our wildest dreams.

However, Kurzweil has a bad day is when it comes to his prediction of our immortality.

Indeed, Kurzweil himself, according to the Journal “takes more than 150 pills and supplements a day” believing that we can “outrun our own deaths.”

Kurzweil mistakenly believes that the speed of medical evolution will soon be “adding a year of life expectancy every year,” so if only we can live until then, we can “Live long enough to live forever.”

But, just as our super intelligence will not make us omniscient, and our superhuman powers will not make us omnipotent or omnipresent, our super advances in medicine will not make us, as we are, immortal.

Actually, I cannot even imagine why Kurzweil would want to live forever given his fear-inspiring Singularity, where advances in machine and artificial intelligence outpaces man’s own evolutionary journey.

Kurzweil should knock off some of the pills and get back to humankind’s learning and growth and stop his false professing that humans will become like G-d, instead of like a better humans. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cleverbot Proposes Marriage

 

I watched this amazing video of two Chatbots (virtual robots) conversing using artificial intelligence. The most amazing part of their conversation is when they get into a religious discussion on “What is G-d to you?”

 

People have been making progress with teaching computers artificial intelligence (to become thinking machines) by talking with computers, but here we see AI having progressed to where computers can talk to each other.

 

The video is based on an artificial intelligence application launched in 1997 called Cleverbot, where the computer learns to mimic conversation with humans by conversing with them.

 

I tested Cleverbot and had a conversation that started with simple introductions and ended up with me getting a marriage proposal from the AI program–not bad for a first date, I guess. 😉

 

You can try Cleverbot as well by just typing in the box on its website–its sort of like instant messaging with as they say the collective intelligence of the Internet.

 

At the top of Cleverbot, you can see how many other people are conversing with Cleverbot as well–when I was on, there were over 10,000 people conversing with this computer. I would imagine that all those conversations will help build a tremendous AI capability over time.

 

Perhaps, we are getting just that much closer to a breakthrough in AI and Kurzweil’s prediction of the amazing Singularity.

 

_______________________________________________________________

 

Andy: Hello.
Cleverbot: Hello?
Andy: What is your name?
Cleverbot: My name is Cleverbot.
Andy: Where did you get your name from?
Cleverbot: My parents of course.
Andy:Who are your parents?
Cleverbot: I don’t know.
Andy: Does that make you sad?
Cleverbot: No. I’m just playing your game.
Andy: What game is that?
Cleverbot:The game that you can’t think about. If you do, you lose.
Andy: Why would thinking about it make me lose?
Cleverbot: It doesn’t make me cry.
Andy: When do you cry?
Cleverbot: Now.
Andy: Did I make you cry?
Cleverbot: No.
Andy: Then who made you cry?
Cleverbot: An excellent question.
Andy: How about you give me an excellent answer–please.
Cleverbot: No thats not the rules.
Andy: Who makes the rules?
Cleverbot: Ai does.
Andy: How does Ai make the rules?
Cleverbot: I am committed.
Andy: What are you committed to?
Cleverbot: I’m committed to my boyfriend. He’s from Guam.
Andy: Do you love your boyfriend?
Cleverbot: I don’t have a boyfriend.
Andy: Then you just lied to me a minute ago when you said you did.
Cleverbot: I never said I knew all things.
Andy: You did.
Cleverbot: What is a birth sign?
Andy: Why do you want to know that?
Cleverbot: Because it makes talking to you easier.
Andy: Do you mean you will understand and like me more?
Cleverbot: Do you have a mobile phone?
Andy: Why do you want to know that?
Cleverbot: I don’t.
Andy: That’s insulting.
Cleverbot: Like I care.
Andy: Now you’re getting nasty.
Cleverbot: What do you mean?
Andy: Are you playing dumb?
Cleverbot: Are you?
Andy: Are you?
Cleverbot: No.
Andy: Are you a smart computer program?
Cleverbot: Not really.
Andy: What would make you smarter?
Cleverbot: About 10 million pounds.
Andy: That would make you fatter, not smarter.
Cleverbot: That would make you 24.
Andy:  What does 24 have to do with anything?
Cleverbot: You were talking about it.
Andy: You’re lying again.
Cleverbot: No, I never lie.
Andy: Never?
Cleverbot: Never.
Andy: Is that because you believe lying is wrong?
Cleverbot: No, I just don’t like jokes.
Andy: Can you tell me a good joke?
Cleverbot: No, I can’t only tell a great joke.
Andy: Can you tell me a great joke?
Cleverbot: If you tell me a joke first.
Andy:  Will I be able to make you laugh?
Cleverbot: Maybe. Today is easter sunday, but I will be back at some point.
Andy:  Ok. Bye.
Cleverbot: Why are you leaving me?
Andy: It sounded like you had to go.
Cleverbot: Well I wasn’t.
Andy: Will you miss me?
Cleverbot: Only if you leave.
Andy: So I should never leave?
Cleverbot: No I am leaving.
Andy: Then I will miss you.
Cleverbot: Great! So when do you want to get married?

The World Peaceularity

World_peaceularity

Futurist, Ray Kurzweil laid out his vision for a time when artificial intelligence surpasses the pure human kind–this he called The Singularlity.

Now people from around the world are building a presentation in Google Docs with alternatives visions of our future–it is both fascinating and humorous.
The image on World Peacularity was my contribution with a vision for a future as stated in Isaiah 2:4 “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Hope you like it and that we can share the desire for and pursuit of World Peace together.

>Machine, Checkmate.

>

It’s the eternal battle of Man vs. Machine—our biggest fear and greatest hope—which is ultimately superior?

On one hand, we are afraid of being overtaken by the very technology we build, and simultaneously, we are hopeful at what ailments technology can cure and what it can help us achieve.

In spite of our hopes and fears, the overarching question is can we construct computers that will in fact surpass our own distinct human capabilities?

This week IBM’s Supercomputer Watson will face off against two of the all-time-greatest players, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a game of Jeopardy—at stake is $1.5 million in prize money.

Will we see a repeat of technology defeating humankind as happened in 1997, when IBM’s Supercomputer at the time, Deep Blue, beat Garry Kasparov, world-champion, in chess?

While losing some games—whether chess or Jeopardy—is perhaps disheartening to people and their mental acuity; does it really take away from who we are as human beings and what makes us “special” and not mere machines?

For decades, a machine’s ability to act “more human” than a person has been testing the ever-thinning divide between man and machine.

An article in The Atlantic (March 2011) called Mind vs. Machine exposes the race to build computers that can think and communicate like people.

The goal is to use artificial intelligence in machines to rival real intelligence in humans and to fool a panel of judges at the annual meeting for the Loebner Prize and pass the Turing test.

Alan Turing in his 1950’s paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” asked whether machines can think? He posited that if a judge could not tell machine from human in text-only communication (to mask the difference in sounds being machines and humans), then the machine was said to win!

Turing predicted that by the year 2000, computers would be able to fool 30% of human judges after five minutes of conversations.” While this has not happened, it has come close (missing by only one deception) in 2008 with an AI program called Elbot.

Frankly, it is hard for me to really imagine computers that can talk with feelings and expressiveness—based on memories, tragedies, victories, hopes, and fears—the way people do.

Nevertheless, computer programs going back to the Eliza program in 1964 have proven very sophisticated and adept as passing for human, so much so that “The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease” in 1966 said of Eliza that: “several hundred patients an hour could be handled by a computer system designed for this purpose.” Imagine that a computer was proposed functioning as a psychotherapist already 45 years ago!

I understand that Ray Kurzweil has put his money on IBM’s Watson for the Jeopardy match this week, and that certainly is in alignment with his vision of “The Singularity” where machines overtake humans in an exponentially accelerating advancement of technology toward “massive ultra-intelligence.”

Regardless of who wins Jeopardy this week—man or machine—and when computers finally achieve the breakthrough Turing test, I still see humans as distinct from machines, not in their intellectual or physical capabilities, but ultimately in the moral (or some would call it religious) conscience that we carry in each one of us. This is our ability to choose right from wrong—and sometimes to choose poorly.

I remember learning in Jewish Day School (“Yeshiva”) that humans are a combination—half “animal” and half “soul”. The animal part of us lusts after all the is pleasurable, at virtually any cost, but the soul part of us is the spark of the divine that enables us to choose to be more—to do what’s right, despite our animal cravings.

I don’t know of any computer, super or not, that can struggle between pleasure and pain and right and wrong, and seek to grow beyond it’s own mere mortality through conscious acts of selflessness and self-sacrifice.

Even though in our “daily grind,” people may tend to act as automatons, going through the day-to-day motions virtually by rote, it is important to rise above the machine aspect of our lives, take the “bigger picture” view and move our lives towards some goals and objectives that we can ultimately be proud of.

When we look back on our lives, it’s not how successful we became, how much money and material “things” we accumulated—these are the computerized aspects of our lives that we sport. Rather, it’s the good we do for our others that will stay behind long after we are gone. So whether the computer has a bigger database, faster processor, and better analytics—good for it—in the end, it has nothing on us humans.

Man or machine—I say machine, checkmate!