Neural networks – human constructions of computer code devised to act and interact similarly to neurons in the human brain – are encouraging bemusement, if not downright befuddlement, in their human creators. As this fascinating article in Nautilus, entitled “Artificial Intelligence is Already Weirdly Inhuman” makes clear, or at least clearish, you can set the algorithms running without being clear where they will end up. What may be even weirder, in the spirit of the title, is that where they end up may make sense without any human being the wiser as to how they got there.
Mirroring the human brain’s pattern of perceive, then interpret, then produce an output: the algorithm devised to distinguish a cheetah from a vehicle will develop to a point where it is right more often than a human, being able to distinguish beast from bus when all the human sees is a smear of pixels. What is even harder for the human is to reverse engineer the process by which the ever more complex, machine-produced lines of code can take the computer’s interpretative capabilities beyond that of the human. Echoing Star Trek: “It’s intelligence, Jim, but not as we know it.”
We should bear in mind that by the time that machine intelligence is determined to match or exceed human intelligence, the problem of apples and pears might render the comparison meaningless. And it might fall to the machines to tell us, rather than us tell them. “Listen, people: you will not only see the image of Jesus in a hot cross bun, when there are no consensual criteria for what the man even looked like, but you then conclude that he is talking to you! What sort of intelligence is that?”
Lively Stuff from Planet BAM!
- Is a Cambrian explosion coming for Robotics? Perhaps we ain’t seen nothin’ yet
The Journal of Economic Perspectives is a possibly unlikely host for an enlightening review of the exponential drivers that will produce, in the not-too-distant future, an explosion in machine intelligence every bit as significant as the evolution of vision and its impact on human cognition half a billion years ago. Discernible as separate drivers, but working in combination to bring on this revolution are bigger, stronger computers, higher capacities in energy and in data storage, and a bigger and more powerful Internet. Connect all the robots to the Cloud so that they can learn from each other, and then stand well back . . .
- Now Australian researchers are suggesting they can 3D print brain tissue
The short-term benefits in understanding better how to study and treat brain diseases will be spectacular enough, before the tabloids make the leap to whole-brain printing . . .
- Growing appreciation of Neanderthal culture erodes Sapiens’ sense of exceptionalism
Evidence is emerging that our cousins were about more than low brows and bad hair days
- One glass of red wine each day helps you work, rest and play: for an extra seven years
Chicago researchers waging the good war on dementia find something of interest to all of us