[ExI] Will the Singularity take an unexpected path?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Sep 15 08:24:53 UTC 2007

On 12/09/2007, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> <http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/about/news/1418>
> An AI professor in the UK has made a presentation that sounded unusual
> to me.  He sees narrow AI proliferating wildly, until we are
> surrounded by thousands of invisible helpers, all doing their own tiny
> process.
> Quote -
> He believes that we are now seeing the emergence of Assistive
> Intelligence which can be characterized as a different kind of AI.
> 'These results can be seen everywhere,' he says. 'Rather than being
> conscious brains in a box, as Hollywood would have it, they are in
> fact small pieces of adaptive and flexible software that help drive
> our cars, diagnose disease and provide opponents in computer games.'
> And he sees this as a trend that will continue. 'There will be
> micro-intelligences all around us – systems that are very good and
> adaptive at particular tasks, and we will be immersed in environments
> stuffed full of helpful devices.'
> ---------------
> This is a form of human augmentation that I haven't heard before.
> More like augmenting the environment around humans, so that the matter
> around us is gradually becoming intelligent.  Quite a thought.

Is this piecemeal, distributed augmentation of human intelligence
fundamentally different to direct augmentation? Phylogenetically, we
started off as simple entities with simple wants, and over time
various bits were added, resulting in the human brain and its
associated motor and sensory devices. The current technical limitation
of low bandwidth between our technology and our brain means it is not
incorporated into a unified consciousness in the way our cerebral
cortex is, but this fact can be ignored if we are just interested in
the behaviour and intelligence of the human-technology hybrid system.

Stathis Papaioannou

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