Skip to comments.WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS
Posted on 05/01/2011 3:01:09 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
In the 1950s computers demonstrated their dexterity at manipulating very large numbers over minute increments of time.
...they seemed to say-but after giving the matter some thought, we decided not to awake our master for mere arithmetic, just yet. Twenty years passed. In the 1970s computers began to reproduce themselves in automated factories in accordance with John von Neumann's principles of how automata can grow more complicated from one generation to the next.
...their advancing numbers proclaimed-but we decided that mere spreadsheets and word processors did not merit raising the alarm. Another twenty years passed. Computers, now teeming like herring in early spring, began pooling their intelligence, exchanging states of mind in the blink of an eye, half a dozen languages removed from those that we can comprehend. Only an esoteric fraternity, uttering one line of code at a time, still holds congress with the machines.
TIME IS PAST!
...can be read between the lines. But the warning goes unheeded as we stand transfixed, like monkeys given a mirror, by the novelty of our own image reflected in the surface of the web. When the smoke clears and the master wakes, the computer as disembodied brazenhead will have disappeared, replaced by a diffuse tissue enveloping us in nebulous bits of meaning, as neurons are enveloped in electrolyte by the brain.
Fredric Brown ping
Mammon awoke, and lo! it was naught but a follower.
Waiter! I’ll have what he’s having!
You might enjoy Vernor Vinge’s last novel, “Rainbows end.”
When the cloud comes, and every device has it’s own microcontroller and wireless interface, there will be no distinction between a computer and “man made media machine”.
The cloud as thus envisioned can’t come until it has been made user friendly enough for people to want it.
Uh, as one of the "esoteric fraternity" who "holds congress with" (and designs) the machines, I can say most of this rant is nonsense. There is now, and never was, no such thing as artificial intelligence. The only thing that has improved computers is HUMAN intellect and HUMAN thought, amplified through computer aid.
Von Neumann was a crackpot.
Garbage. Perhaps in 200 years, but not now...
Agreed. I’ve been in the supercomputing biz for quite some time....for those who don’t know, the most powerful computers on the planet....and I know them for exactly what they are.
They’re tools. Damned expensive tools, but tools, nonetheless. I’ll tell you what the most expensive systems on earth are primarily used for: modeling. Lots of math. Modeling, folks. Not that sexy, but damned important.
Is a single brain cell intelligent?
Are ten brain cells intelligent?
How many brain cells do you need in communication with each other to qualify as intelligence? Is a dog intelligent? A rat? A lizard? A fish? A worm?
The way our internet functions is similar (although extremely dumbed down) to the way brain cells function. Packet switching and nodes...info being passed from one end of the network to the other. A few things are required to simulate a rudimentary brain. The first is self organization. We have that with the world wide web. The second is sheer number of nodes. We are getting there if not already. The third is communication speed. there is a speed threshold beyond which the individual nodes cease being individual entities and start becoming part of a collective. We are not there yet. But I don’t think it is that far away.
No, my friend, we’re a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way from what you envision. For many, many reasons.
Know that it will never happen on its own, and man would be foolish to attempt to ‘create’ such. IOW, ain’t happenin’.
Make mine a double. It’s been a long day. LOL
You are not making sense. it’s not happening on it’s own. every day thousands of very smart people are struggling to boost the power and the speed and the size of not only the world wide web, but of every constituent piece of it.
Already since the dawn of super computers we have seen the equivalent “evolution” from an amoeba to a cockroach in terms of brain power. This was achieved in roughly half a century. How long do you think it will take to “evolve” from a cockroach to a lizard in terms of brain power? I think before the year 2050 we will see autonomous robots with intelligence equal to or greater than a lizard.
There is nothing natural about the speed at which our computers are evolving. Do you really think man will suddenly say “that’s far enough” when a supercomputer has achieved the level of a rat or a dog?
Well, 27 years in the industry, including the last decade in high performance computing exclusively, and dealing with many of the largest supercomputers on the planet...tell me that you haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re talking about. Computers aren’t sentient or even remotely close to sentient. They’re inherently very, very ‘dumb’. They execute commands/functions extremely quickly (they’re overwhelmingly used for modeling apps.); they can ‘communicate’ at a very base level, but they are anything BUT sentient.
IOW, your analogies simply show me you’ve been reading too much sci fi.
Put the bong down on the coffee table and chill...
I am a s/w engineer and have done some work in AI. We are very far from achieving machine intelligence. The WWW is in no way sentient, nor is it self-organizing.
take that bong and stick up your ass. I don’t smoke.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.