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Ivan Kirigin's views on Robotics & Culture: future. perfect. progress.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Interview - CIO Magazine

Machine Dreams:: Ray Kurzweil spoke at RI25. Well, when I say "at", I mean that he was projected onto a transparent screen, in what was perhaps the highest quality tele-presence I've seen.

But still, he lacked situational awareness, and it was awkward at times. I wanted to ask questions, but there wasn't an option.

The interview linked above is a lot like his talk. He talked about the numerous exponential growths in recent technology, and not just Moore's Law.

He figures that he should try to be healthy until 2020, then a biomedical revolution will keep him healthy for another 20 years, and then a nano-technology revolution will kick in to keep him alive forever.

By "alive", he means that his intelligence propagates in the cold, soul-less heart of a machine. But considering that I agree with him that there is no ghost in the shell, this soulless form doesn't seem that bad. At least you're still sentient!

I agree with the principle, that there is nothing to stop this, that all technology is pushing us in this direction, and that it would prove to be a very positive experience. I do not necessarily agree about the time frame. I can't really trust the curves that he fits with so much confidence. Then again, I'm 32 years younger than him, so if he is off by 32 years, I guess I shouldn't complain :)

Last night at a party, drunk enough to make the discussion interesting, some folks objected to the extrapolation of the increasing rate of expansion of scientific knowledge. What guarantee is there, after all, to find all the secrets in that time? I would say first that the rate of growth in the number of researchers alone could do it. Also, increases in productivity, have always been accompanied with "this pace can't continue" claims, which have always been wrong.

Also brought up was the notion that life is defined by death. That is a very defeatist thought, which I will fight, err, to my grave. In addition, some thought they would get bored if they lived forever. I would say that I could never complain about there being "more books than i could ever read", which is a great thing. Also, I've always wanted to get really good at GO.

Finally, the notion of replication of machine intelligence was introduced. Someone claimed that I shouldn't discount the important sociological and physical implications of being born from a human whom. I agreed, only to realize that the first few moments of any existence will have a huge implication on the formation of the individual intelligence. So if I copy myself, I'll have to think of a few appropriate words to introduce the other me into this world. So far, all I can come up with is "hi".


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