Thursday, June 11, 2009

Everlasting Life: Humanoid Droids

A frequesnt commenter to this blog, Steve, posted this comment, "I just read today on a science blog...LINK...that scientists working in A.I. expect to have an 80 percent chance of achieving human level intelligence and sentience within the next 10 years!"

The link takes the reader to an interview with Dr. Ben Goertzel. Dr. Goertzel has a PhD in mathematics and is currently one of the world's top Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) researchers. In this interview, Dr. Goertzel makes some noteworthy points:

- There is an 80% chance of creating a sentient AI within 10 years with proper funding. Adequate funding would only be $3 million per year. Even without this modest funding Goertzel is still confident (80% probabilitiy) that AGI will arrive within 20 years.

-The pace of AI research is clearly accelerating - forums and conferences are occuring at an increasing pace, and corporations are increasingly interested in AI

- Several industries, including robotics and search engines, could become major drivers of AI research in the next few years.

-Goertzel is working with J Storrs Hall and others to create an artificial intelligence roadmap similar to the Foresight/Batelle roadmap unveiled last year. The creation of this roadmap will be challenging but should further spur AI development.


Steve remarks that in Spielberg's AI, 'In the end, mankind has gone extinct, but taking mans place is a human like altruistic machine race, the product of mans creation.' He then says, 'I've been thinking about the bible a lot lately, mostly from a science fiction perspective. I've thought that it would be interesting to rewrite the bible as a science fiction prophesy of mankinds future and as an evolutionary narrative of how mankind achieved immortality and conquered the universe.' Then he says, 'The bible talks about "glorified bodies" ...

Glorified bodies. Eternal life. Biblical prophesy. The right brain unlocks, the imagination hums, the creative juices begin to flow...

What if this AGI of which Dr. Goertzel speaks can be installed in human-looking droids not unlike R2D2 and his buddies. This AGI will be programmed to continually 'learn' as it is exposed to more and more reality, ever-increasing data? It will 'update' itself on a regular basis, just as one's PC and anti-virus programs. It will acquire an ever-greater AI as it 'ages' [so to speak].

But wait! as the infomercial suggests, there's more. What if the 'learning' that the droid-AI receives is about you. Yes, you! What if its program is to learn all that there is to know about one person? It will learn your history up to X point in time. It will learn your likes and dislikes, your speech pattern, your movement style, your favorites, your essence. It will update itself as you change or modify yourself.

Finally, when it has learned all that there is to know about you, its exterior can be artificially enhanced to resemble you, at whatever stage of life you deem it to represent. The biblical, "Glorified body."

Not only that but, hold onto your hats, it can reproduce itself, yourself! It will program a generic warehouse droid with all of its [your] information and exterior changes will be made to resemble the original droid. Just in case the original droid [you] should fall off a cliff, there would be another model in the storage facility which could Resurrect itself [you.] Then, as Steve suggests, humans will have attained immortality as also suggested in the Bible.

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