The Message – a 100 word story
The bottle washed upon the shore. As I picked it out with trembling hands, I could hear whispers from within. I hesitated for a moment, knowing what was bound to happen, then curiosity got the better of me and I unscrewed the cork. A happy genie burst from within and said: “I have a message for you from the Happy Genie Society. Your HGS membership has expired. Your terms are the regular ones. Once you served your sentence, you would be free again for another term respectively.” As I screamed, my body contracted and I was squeezed into the bottle.
Hi there and thanks for stopping by. I’m Guy, and you’re listening to my surreal sketchbook of reality.
Episode 21, Whispers from Within
Intelligence, there are many ways of achieving one that is greater than human intelligence. This episode Is a semi-philosophical look at intelligence and the technological singularity. I’m not a professional philosopher by any means and my approach can be quite absurd, illogical and not at all that serious, so – you’ve been warned. Do not take this podcast too seriously. If you tend to take things too seriously, this might not be the podcast for you. Seriously. I mean it. Find another podcast to listen to.
You’re still here? Good. Let’s talk about intelligence. When you can recognize patterns in the world around you and have the ability to deduce the missing pieces in those patterns by using logic and the power of deduction, you are said to be intelligent. The more complex the patterns, the more intelligent you are. Most people can deduce that if we have 1 and then 2 followed by a 3, the next number would be 4. That is a very simple pattern and can be recognized by almost anyone. It is much harder to recognize the patterns in the movement of stars or the weather and predict how those would develop over the years.
Intelligence can be measured. There is a range of human intelligence that is measured by intelligence tests and given a range of numbers called the intelligence quantity. Those IQ tests show that human intelligence mostly ranges between 85 and 115, 100 being the average number. A person with an IQ over 130 is considered a genius. The highest measured IQ level is somewhat between 250 and 300. Intellect is what drives human society forward, but it is limited. It can only take us so far. That is why we are creating artificial intelligence that can do things that human intelligence can’t. What happens when artificially created intelligence goes beyond human intelligence though? Let me find an intelligent excuse for taking a break. I’ll be right back.
Memory – a 100 word story
First, it was the small things, those little details like forgetting what I had for breakfast and if brushed my teeth, forgetting where I put the car keys, then it was the names of people, their faces, then the things I’ve seen on the morning news. I started making notes but I forgot to look at them. I would forget to eat and wonder why my midsection was making those funny noises. Finally, I forgot my name. I honestly can’t tell you who I am, where I came from or what I did. I just exist. No past. Only present.
Welcome back. One of the biggest problems with current artificial intelligence is pattern recognition, but that is changing really fast. AI can already recognize faces and we are teaching it to recognize traffic patterns so it can drive our cars. It was predicted by very intelligent human beings that AI would exceed human intelligence, probably around the year 2045. Some say that this would be the end of the age of humans as the top of the life chain on earth or even the end of the human race as we know it. The point of time when an intelligence exists on earth that is greater then human intelligence is called the technological singularity.
In astronomy, a singularity is what happens beyond an event horizon where the very rules of physics are not as they are in the world around us. This is seen at the boundary of a black hole where space and time distort completely. The event horizon of the technological singularity is intelligence that is greater than current human intelligence, one that is so great that it changes the world as we know it. This can come about in a few different ways, AI being only one of them. While AI is being worked on, ways of enhancing human intelligence are also being sought after. One way being suggested is the reorganization of the cells of your brain using nanotechnology. Another way is to actually merge our own intelligence with AI using implants, creating a hybrid intelligence. However we go about it, the technological singularity probably cannot be avoided.
The reason we call it a singularity is that presumably, we don’t have the intelligence to perceive what a greater then human intelligence would do and how it would change our world. We have already changed our world considerably using human intelligence in ways that people wouldn’t have been able to imagine a hundred years ago. A superintelligence would be able to do this much faster than anyone realizes. When this happens we could wake up one day and not even recognize the world around us, and no one knows in what ways our world will change. We are heading into the unknown at top speed, and we don’t have our seatbelts on. We can either change ourselves to fit the ride by enhancing our own intelligence, or be left behind. This concludes episode 21 of this podcast. Close the door on your way out and don’t forget – I’m just a figment of your imagination.