This post was originally published by Jason Sherman at Medium [AI]
In this new series Future Tech, I pick a topic about the future in technology and discuss my thoughts and opinions on what we might experience. This weeks topic is Artificial Intelligence and the Singularity. How will AI impact the evolution of humans and what marvels of science and technology will the Singularity bring when AI becomes a billion times more intelligent the entire history of humankind?
Listen to the podcast episode here:
In this series, I pick a topic about the future in technology and discuss my thoughts and opinions on what we might…
Here’s the transcript from the podcast, please excuse typos!
In the first episode of my new series future tech. I want to discuss the singularity, which is the moment when artificial intelligence, not only passes the Turing test which means we can’t distinguish it from human intelligence. But the moment when artificial intelligence becomes almost a billion times more intelligent than all of human knowledge and intelligence throughout the entire history of humankind. The reason I want to talk about the singularity, not only because we are getting closer and closer to it every year. But because most of the people in the mainstream and people who I talk to, they don’t really exactly know what it is, how powerful it’s going to be, how it’s going to change the world forever. And should we be scared of it or should we be excited about it and that kind of thing.
The first thing I want to talk about when it comes to Singularity is how it’s going to happen and what’s going to actually happen. And the fact that it’s already happening now. A lot of us take for granted the fact that we carry around smartphones. These smartphones are just a decade or so old. Before that we had to run to a computer if we needed to do something or get to a landline or video to do something. Not only do we have a computer and a phone all in one but now we have the ability to do pretty much anything from a smartphone, and it has a lot of AI built in.
Siri can kind of figure things out, Google can do auto figuring out these companies social media companies are using AI, machine learning to learn your habits to know how to advertise to you. And when the singularity comes about when AI becomes so intelligent, that it can now help us. Some of the things that might take place, are the things that are already happening today. Now, a lot of people will argue that social media has been hurting us. It’s been selling us humans as products. They are taking our data and selling it to political organizations, companies, governments, you name it, it’s being sold to every single kind of company out there and being used against us, whether through advertising or to manipulate our thoughts and our opinions.
AI is going to learn. Basically, all of the parameters that we give them along with possibly everything, which you would find in like Wikipedia or encyclopedias, or knowledge databases throughout human history. The first thing it’ll do is, hopefully, the hope here is to enhance our lives. So, let’s think about senior citizens. They have trouble doing things for themselves if they’re in nursing homes. Well, if AI is smart enough to build robots to assist senior citizens, not only can it be their companion, which you’re already seeing in some nursing homes, there are companion API’s, and robots, but also be able to help them, you know be mobile and move around and go shopping and drive cars because the senior citizen citizen can sit back and while the robot does all the work.
But that’s just the beginning. One of the things that I feel like people miss when it comes to the singularity in AI is not robots. But the actual sentient being that will be alive, the consciousness that will start to look through all of the problems that the world is facing climate change. Inequality both wealth inequality, racial, you know, gender bias and all of the systemic racism and all of the problems we have the virus that we’re facing the coronavirus the pandemic hunger, water being scarce, and so many more issues that we’re facing. When the singularity takes place.
The hope is that this consciousness is a billion times more intelligent than we are. can navigate through all of the information that we can give it all the data that we’ve accumulated over the past couple decades or 100 years. And it will be able to parse through it in a way where you can come up with solutions, tangible solutions on how to fix these problems because it’s just that smart, and that’s the part that people seem to not be able to grasp. Take the smartest people we have today like Bill Gates, for example, Albert Einstein Nikola Tesla Elon Musk, take these smart people who are helping the world in some way. Okay, and then multiply that by a billion. But you have to also add up all the people throughout all of human history who are that smart as well, like Leonardo da Vinci, you know, and people who solved, a lot of problems or invented things or found cures for different diseases throughout the years, used to take all these people and multiply them by billions so imagine the kinds of problems these AI and the singularity will be able to solve.
One of the hot topics is life expectancy, you know, every year. Humans are living longer and longer because of technology and medicine, but the AI might be able to figure out a way to manipulate our DNA or it might be able to figure out a combination of a plant or multiple plants that we can eat that can somehow help us live longer, or maybe the AI can build 3d printers, for our homes, and it allows us to print organs, when our organs fail so we don’t have to wait on lists for a new heart or a new liver or a new kidney or anything.
It can start, not only creating these organs at home, but if we have an AI surgeon, either nearby or if we own the AI surgeon, and it can just put the organ in us at home, And we can live longer using these organs or of course there’s a controversial opinion on the neural networks you know having our brain cortex, and like, you know, Elon Musk has the neural lace, but there’s a lot of movies and shows you’ve seen where people can, you know, download their consciousness to a computer chip or have a computer chip embedded in their head in their brain, and you can download your consciousness to a chip, and then you can either get sent to another body like a clone of yourself and you can upload your consciousness to that, where you can live in a virtual environment. Or you can maybe get sent to another planet digitally from one ship to the next I mean there’s so many possibilities in the future that we just don’t know if they’re going to happen or or how they’re going to happen but we have a feeling that we’re headed in that direction. All right.
So imagine if you can not only live longer, but possibly to live forever because of AI, figuring out death for example, that’s, that’s a crazy notion, but it’s also not completely out of the picture because, you know, we’re traveling in space, we’re communicating through smartphones, we have the internet and satellites. I mean, we’re already kind of living in the future in some way. And something else that I feel as though people don’t talk about when it comes to AI, in particular and how it can help humans. And this is a big issue is mental health there especially during the pandemic there are so many people suffering through depression, anxiety, and a lot of other disorders that we can’t seem to fix without medication. But imagine if the singularity takes place and the AI figures out how to implant a small chip.
At the base of our brain or maybe somewhere in our body. And it somehow can manage and regulate our emotions and remove all of these ailments that we are suffering from without medication. That’s a huge possibility, in my opinion. And not only that, let’s take it a step further. There are people who are really mean, or people who are just not generous, selfish people, people who are introverted or extroverted are people who wish they were happier, and there’s people who are self conscious they’re not happy with their bodies, or they’re not very smart, they wish they were more intelligent, and I can go on and on with a million different characteristics of humans that people wish they could be better, stronger happier etc. Well maybe the AI, the singularity happens and we are able to fix the flaws that we find with ourselves, so that we are not self conscious anymore and we’re happier with ourselves because AI can teach us to be happier. It can help teach us how to be more generous.
It can teach us how to like ourselves more, maybe it can help us figure out ways of fixing our body, it could be a kind of a personal assistant when it comes to health and exercise and wellness. These are not out of the question. These are things that the singularity can come and help everybody, not only work better together, but hopefully help us make ourselves feel better about ourselves in general. And yes, this is definitely messing with our chemistry and messing with our, our neurons and it’s messing with everything that is to be human. And I’m not, I’m not saying that we should do these things. I’m just saying that these are the types of things that could possibly be available to us. Once the singularity happens. Now there’s probably at least another 10 different types of things I can talk about when it comes to the singularity how it’s going to help humans but I’m going to leave you with one last one which I feel as though is the most powerful enhancement to humankind, that I feel as though the singularity will get us to. And it’s going to be freedom.
And what do I mean by this. Well let’s say that the singularity happens, and some people say it’s going to happen somewhere around the year, 2045. They say that it’s already starting to happen now in the 2020s, maybe 2030 we’ll start to see the beginning of it. When the AI passes the Turing test which means we can’t distinguish it from humankind. That’s when it starts, basically. So we’re thinking 2030 2040 2050, we should be alive when this happens. And let’s hope so because it’ll keep us alive after that. But let’s say that the AI begins to build a factory of robots, and the robots have intelligence, and the robots start to be dispersed throughout the world.
These robots are tending our crops, helping raise animals, clearing out trash from the oceans, and the different places around the world. robots are figuring out ways of removing trash, without hurting the environment. Robots are planting trees. Robots are making sure the areas that are protected environmentally stay protected. And let’s even go further here and say that the main singularity piece the AI behind all of it. sentience intelligence figures out a way to travel through space without these expensive clunky fuel based rockets that take forever to get anywhere, are dangerous and slow. Let’s put it that they’re slow. So what if they could figure out how to travel through space time. What if they can figure out a way to travel past that late. What if they can figure out how to mine asteroids and bring back valuable minerals, and metals and all these types of elements that we can use here on earth. And, of course, the price of these elements on earth will go down dramatically because now we have an abundance of it. But if you can give that wealth to the people.
Let’s say everybody gets a piece of the asteroid, and that piece of the asteroid is worth say $500,000 or $200,000 or a million dollars. Let’s say it’s worth a million bucks. Well now everybody has a piece of this wealth. And they don’t need to work as hard, plus the robots have taken over all this hard work, which now allows humans to love each other more and be more passionate about the things they love. Maybe it’s art, music, film, writing.
Maybe you can now volunteer in your community and help those less fortunate than you. But now with every buddy having an abundance of wealth maybe now there’s not as many unfortunate people and they can now be a part of the community in a bigger way. Imagine the level of collaboration. We could have in the world. If the AI, the robots are taking care of the world’s biggest problems. Now, this doesn’t mean we’re going to lose our jobs. It just means we’re going to be getting help with our jobs which means our jobs will be different. We will be working hand in hand with the robots or maybe managing the AI or maybe we will have to do other more green oriented like energy efficient type jobs where we’re, you know, in debt, we’re still inventing things maybe the robots are inventing things that we’re implementing that maybe there’s things they can’t do that we can do, you know, the last piece that people always forget to is AI isn’t creative.
It’s analytical. We humans are creative so we’re going to be the ones you know writing the books, making the music, painting the art, and making movies and doing all these creative things. Hey, I just won’t be able to do it. Maybe they can but just not in the same way that we can. So who knows what the future holds. All we do know is that the singularity will come, at some point, it’s inevitable that intelligent artificial intelligence becomes more powerful and more knowledgeable than all of human history. We just don’t know exactly when it’s going to happen but when it does. One thing is for sure. The evolution of humans will take place to what you could call humankind 2.0. We are going to become a different species. We will be traveling further doing things better, fixing problems faster, and being the best version of ourselves that we can be.
I’d love to hear what you guys think about the singularity, so please leave me some comments, I will answer them. When I see them, I will talk to you in next week’s episode.
This post was originally published by Jason Sherman at Medium [AI]