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The Singularity is Near: IBM takes on the Jeopardy Challenge

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While you are watching the video read this…

In 2005 Ray Kurzweil wrote a book called: The Singularity is Near

Here are the four basic postulates of the book:

  1. A technological-evolutionary point known as “the singularity” exists as an achievable goal for humanity.
  2. Through a law of accelerating returns, technology is progressing toward the singularity at an exponential rate.
  3. The functionality of the human brain is quantifiable in terms of technology that we can build in the near future.
  4. Medical advancements make it possible for a significant number of his generation (Baby Boomers) to live long enough for the exponential growth of technology to intersect and surpass the processing of the human brain

Kurzweil predicts the Singularity will occur around about 2045

At this point …

  1. $1000 buys a computer a billion times more powerful than the human brain. This means that average and even low-end computers are hugely smarter than even highly intelligent, unenhanced humans.
  2. The Singularity occurs as artificial intelligences surpass human beings as the smartest and most capable life forms on the Earth. Technological development is taken over by the machines, who can think, act and communicate so quickly that normal humans cannot even comprehend what is going on; thus the machines, acting in concert with those humans who have evolved into postbiological cyborgs, achieve effective world domination. The machines enter into a “runaway reaction” of self-improvement cycles, with each new generation of A.I.s appearing faster and faster. From this point onwards, technological advancement is explosive, under the control of the machines, and thus cannot be accurately predicted.
  3. The Singularity is an extremely disruptive, world-altering event that forever changes the course of human history. The extermination of humanity by violent machines is unlikely (though not impossible) because sharp distinctions between man and machine will no longer exist thanks to the existence of cybernetically enhanced humans and uploaded humans.

So, how are we progressing toward the Singularity?  Enjoy the video and the related links below…

From the IBM web site cited below…

A computer system that can directly and precisely answer natural language questions over an open and broad range of knowledge has been envisioned by scientists and writers since the advent of computers themselves. Consider, for example, the “Computer” in Star Trek. Taken to its ultimate form, broad and accurate open-domain question answering may well represent a crowning achievement for the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

While current computers can store and deliver a wealth of digital content created by humans, they are unable to operate over it in human terms. The quest for building a computer system that can do open-domain Question Answering is ultimately driven by a broader vision that sees computers operating more effectively in human terms rather than strictly computer terms. They should function in ways that understand complex information requirements, as people would express them, for example, in natural language questions or interactive dialogs. Computers should deliver precise, meaningful responses, and synthesize, integrate, and rapidly reason over the breadth of human knowledge as it is most rapidly and naturally produced — in natural language text.

The possibilities for enriching our global community and accelerating the pace at which we can exploit and expand human knowledge, solve problems and help each other in ways never before imagined, rests on our ability to bring information technology out of the era of operating in computer terms and into the era of operating in human terms.

The DeepQA project at IBM shapes a grand challenge in Computer Science that aims to illustrate how the wide and growing accessibility of natural language content and the integration and advancement of Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval, Machine Learning, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, and massively parallel computation can drive open-domain automatic Question Answering technology to a point where it clearly and consistently rivals the best human performance.

A first stop along the way is the Jeopardy! Challenge…


Sculpting the Mind of a Synthetic Human in the Cloud

Watch –


Written by frrl

February 3, 2011 at 7:52 pm

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