The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Jungle Buzz — By on August 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) will be unlike anything we’ve seen in science fiction. AI won’t resemble big clunky robots in the near future, but rather, will resemble nature. This paradigm shift towards building ever smarter AI should occur around the year 2020, and will effect everything from all of our electronics, food, security, health, medicine, and most likely everything else.

What will drive us towards this future? Moore’s law.

Moore’s law states that “The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.” This basically means that computer chips get twice as small and powerful around every two years. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, wrote a paper about it in 1965. Computers around the 1960’s and 70’s were large enough to fill a whole room and now everyone carries one around in their pocket that’s about 1,000 times more powerful. Within 10 years or so, although, Moore’s law will see it’s end as we move towards molecular computing.

Molecular computing is computing that uses DNA, biochemistry, and molecular biology, instead of silicon based computer (that powers all of our gadgets) technologies. In the future computing won’t be about source code, but about life code, what type of DNA structures would allow us to build what we want.

Scientists have recently taken a major step towards the end of the silicon age, with creating the first artificial neural network out of DNA. “Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have created a circuit of interacting molecules that can recall memories based on incomplete DNA patterns, just like the human brain.” It’s basically a soup of interacting molecules with brain-like behavior. The article states that in the future “such systems could operate within cells, helping to answer fundamental biological questions or diagnose a disease.”

As we move towards molecular computing our technology will be able to act like cells and communicate with each other, imitating the natural world. Moore’s law for integrated circuit based electronics is expected to run out around 2020. There are various projects, such as, the “Human Connectome Project“, seeking ways to map the human mind. The National Security Agency is also working on developing an AI system that can read minds. Once both these areas merge, of computer chip miniturization and of our knowledge of how the human brain works, it will change our world as we know it.

According to leading futurist Ray Kurzweil; a computer will pass the Turing test by the last year of the decade (2029), meaning that it is a Strong AI and can think like a human (though the first A.I. is likely to be the equivalent of a kindergartner). This first A.I. is built around a computer simulation of a human brain, which was made possible by previous, nanotech-guided brainscanning.

While people argue about dumb questions, like, whether the iPhone is better than the Blackberry, the real question should be what size is the system-on-a-chip (SoC) that runs the whole thing. The highest standard currently is 45nm in size, while 28nm will soon replace it.

As our current financial system fails along with the fall of the United States Dollar (USD), a new type of economy will rise up based on this sort of artificial biological intelligence. To get a glance as to what I’m talking about, check out this video featuring Juan Enriquez speaking at a TED Conference in 2009:

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