Inventor Ray Kurzell has just published ‘How To Create A Mind’ and he means every word of that title. While philosophers and ethicists fret over an age in which machines seem to be replacing minds, Kurzwell promises you and me [well, you, because me won’t be here] that we will be able to store and augment our biological neocortexes “…by hooking them up wirelessly to cloud-based synthetic ones, resulting in a sort of transcendent iPhone composed of trillions of pattern-recognition modules.”
Got that Silicon Valley…? This is your next mission impossible…!
Kurzwell calculates that by 2040 “a thousand dollars worth of computation will be trillions of times more powerful than the human brain.” But before you decide to either laugh or cheer that prediction, read his 336 page book by Viking Press. I started but stopped, figuring I don’t have the quality brain required to keep up with such a dazzling vision. However, newer generations will be teased by the prospects of such a cosmic leap. Leaving philosophers, theologians, and worry-worts like me in the cosmic dust.
To be fair, worriers have stained the pages of progress from the day one of the tribe grunted that fire looked like a bad idea to him. A friend’s father-in-law groused at his 100th birthday: “I’ve seen a lot of changes in my life, and I was against everyone of them!” And yet here he and the rest of us are.
Kurzwell believes we will not only augment our minds, but hereby create independent and conscious artificial intelligences. “This is not an alien invasion from Mars. We are creating these tools to make ourselves smarter so as to address such ancient plagues as material scarcity, war and death.”
Part of me worries about head-long technological progress that outpaces its best purposes. The other part of me can only imagine what my grandchildren will do with such progress…..
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