manicwave

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100,000:1. Are You?

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Given that The Singularity is Near, I've been brushing up on what the singularity is. It seems important to know what I'm talking about when I tell my six year old "You can do that when you transcend your physical being onto a non-biological substrate!"

I of course indulged in reading popular treatments thereof including Accelerando by Charlie Stross (available via Amazon or by download at accelerando.org .

I recently came across this from the Singularity Institute for Artifical Intelligence. The article, entitled 'Becoming a Seed AI Programmer' is an entreatment to join forces to create seed AI (defined loosely as 'Artificial Intelligence designed for self-understanding, self-modification, and recursive self-enhancement'). The article suggests that folks qualified for this task will be a 10,000:1 or 100,000:1 kind of person. In short, the kind of people that neither I nor you know.

For the record, I am removing myself from nominations for the position.

While reading The Singularity is Near (of which at least the first half of the book is quite excellent) I note that Kurzwiel spends a lot of time on the preconditions and approaches to constructing non-biological intelligence systems. What is not yet clear is how these AIs interface with information stores and respond to information queries. I know that I increasingly want system augmentation that allows me to spin a thought off into the ether and have results presented to me when I think about it again.

Who's working on the pragmatic side of information acquisition? What are the interface strategies? As great as Web 2.0 is, I really want an out-of-band system that is working on my behalf