Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No Singularity in sight. Ever.

The debate between proponents and opponents of strong Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues. A biologist specializing in the field calls Kurzweil's bluff:

(MTR 2/18/13) “The brain is not computable and no engineering can reproduce it,” says Nicolelis, author of several pioneering papers on brain-machine interfaces.

[F]uturist Ray Kurzweil, recently hired on at Google as a director of engineering, has been predicting that not only will machine intelligence exceed our own, but people will be able to download their thoughts and memories into computers.

Nicolelis calls that idea sheer bunk. “Downloads will never happen,” he said during remarks made at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston on Sunday. “There are a lot of people selling the idea that you can mimic the brain with a computer.”

Nicolelis thinks in the future humans with brain implants might be able to sense x-rays, operate distant machines, or navigate in virtual space with their thoughts, since the brain will accommodate foreign objects including computers as part of itself.

Recently, Nicolelis’s Duke lab has been looking to put an exclamation point on these ideas. In one recent experiment, they used a brain implant so that a monkey could control a full-body computer avatar, explore a virtual world, and even physically sense it.
 tags: control, brain, interface, computing, intelligence

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