Re: Right on schedule?

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From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 11:01:20 PDT

"Adam L. Beberg" wrote:
> On Sat, 24 Jun 2000, Ka-Ping Yee wrote:
> > What do you think? Are we on schedule? Any bets for when
> > the computational power of an affordable desktop machine will
> > approach the computational power of a human brain?
> A very good book, and he was quite good on the C-SPAN Book TV too.
> Couple things of note when you talk about this stuff.
> The $1000 point is nifty and all, but when you talk about computer
> intelligence, one machine is pointless, you have to talk about all the
> networked ones together. The entire internet. Not really true yet, but
> it will be very soon *grin*.

Why so? If we are going to have single machines for $1k in the near
future with brain-like processing powers then why can't we talk about
a single machine being capable of intelligence? I don't see it requiring
a huge Internet-esque collection of machines at all.

> As soon as computers start acting intelligent in public, 98% of people
> will feel threatened and take baseball bats to them. So to answer your
> question, the desktop machine will never get to the human brain point,
> but the gigabrain will be in the server room safe from the hoard.

I think that is an unlikely scenario. As soon as an AI exists capable of
both human-level creativity/logic/thinking, and running its thoughts
at a much higher speed than realtime it will likely quite quickly
recode itself to be smarter. And smarter. And smarter. And within a very
short time you end up with a superintelligent AI that the humans have
no possible chance of "taking baseball bats to." In fact if such an
AI is created, most people won't know what hit them if indeed there is
something to notice...

If there is going to be a backlash it will be against PEOPLE like Hugo
de Garis who are working to create such AIs.

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