When will we know that superintelligence has reached the so-called “Singularity”? (When artificial intelligence, or A.I., has exceeded human intelligence.)
Well, how about when the microchips in your shoes are smarter than you.
That’s SoftBank Robotics CEO Masayoshi Son’s thesis. He proffered it last week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There, his keynote address focused on the rapid advancement of A.I.
I must admit that I’m fascinated by this subject. The idea of superintelligence and the Singularity are cases where science fiction will soon be science fact … and well-within my lifetime.
According to Son, as reported in at the tech frontier website Inverse, by 2047, a single computer chip will have an IQ of 10,000.
That easily surpasses the most-intelligent people in the world.
In fact, the highest IQ ever reportedly belonged to William James Sidis, who at the age of 11 was studying mathematics at Harvard. His IQ was estimated to be between 250 and 300.
Seems like we humans are way behind the intelligence curve.
According to the SoftBank founder, and one of the richest men in the world, artificial intelligence will be able to continuously improve itself and control all of the smart technology and connected devices.
Son thinks this is something that can and should be embraced by humans, and not feared. In this way, he is very much like Tesla Motors (TSLA) genius CEO Elon Musk.
Both think humans can and should consider A.I. and the Singularity a partner in human progress.
Here’s the money quote from Son from his talk at the Mobile World Congress:
“One of the chips in our shoes in the next 30 years will be smarter than our brain. We will be less than our shoes. And we are stepping on them … I think this superintelligence is going to be our partner. If we misuse it, it’s a risk. If we use it in good spirits, it will be our partner for a better life.”
Yet how will we be able to live with intelligence all around us that dwarfs our own?
More importantly, how can we control and make a partnership with intelligent machines that can “outthink” us?
There are a lot of issues here. And there are many smart people working on solutions in the fields of computer science, mathematics, robotics … and even ethics.
To make his point, Son used an interesting analogy about the number of neurons in the human brain and the number of connections found in computer chips.
|Son’s prediction for how computer chips will have more connections than within a human brain by 2047. Source: Inverse.com|
In referring the graphic above, Son said:
“The point is that mankind, for the last 2,000 years — 4,000 years — has had the same number of neurons in our brain. We haven’t improved the hardware in our brain … But this [see graphic], in the next 30 years, is going to be one million times more. If you have a million times more binary systems, I think they will be smarter than us.”
One thing interesting about Son is that he’s definitely embracing the Singularity.
His company is developing A.I. via the SoftBank Vision Fund. His plan is to use the $100 billion fund to back technology companies developing artificial intelligence solutions.
Son’s glee about superintelligence was by no means hidden.
Per his speech:
“If this superintelligence goes into moving robots, the world, our lifestyle dramatically changes. We can expect all kinds of robots … Flying, swimming, big, micro, run, two legs, four legs, 100 legs.”
With that many super-intelligent robots in that many places, will there be room for humans, too?
What do you think about superintelligence, A.I. and the future of humanity? It’s a complex, interesting and eminently important subject, and I’d like to know what you think of it. And, doing so is easy. All you have to do is leave me a comment on our website or send me an e-mail.
Yesterday’s session kept its title as the best market day of 2017 so far. Today traders took profits off the table, and the Dow Industrials saw a triple-digit loss (-112.6 points, or 0.5%) that left it just above the 21,000 mark.
• Broker price war: E*Trade (ETFC) just lowered its commissions to $6.95 for all customers, from $9.95. This after both Fidelity and Schwab (SCHW) dropped their online stock and ETF trading commissions to $4.95 earlier this week. ETFC fell 3.2% today.
• The biggest tech IPO since Alibaba: Snap Inc. (SNAP) priced its shares at $17, which valued the company at around $24 billion. “24” was clearly the magic number here, as shares ended their first day of trade at $24.48, up 44%.
• Another reason to ‘cut the cord’: YouTube TV is coming to a computer or smartphone near you in the next few months. Alphabet’s (GOOGL) live and on-demand streaming TV service is set to debut with up to 40 channels. The bundle will include broadcast networks, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, Disney, Bravo, E!, National Geographic and more for $35 per month. (Variety)
• $14 million: After an investigation into its massive security breaches that it failed to quickly divulge, Yahoo! (YHOO) won’t give CEO Marissa Mayer a 2016 cash bonus. She also forfeited her 2017 annual equity award. Add Mayer’s $14 million personal loss to the now-$350 million that’s been shaved off Verizon’s (VZ) takeover offer for YHOO, and remember what we told you: “The cover-up is always worse than the crime.”
• 70% odds: The CME’s FedWatch Tool puts the likelihood of a rate hike at the Fed’s March 14-15 meeting at 70%.
Good luck and happy investing,
Uncommon Wisdom Daily