Saturday, January 10, 2015

An Intelligence Greater Than Human

The Internet is the Borg. You have been assimilated.

There is an important sense in which an ant colony is "smarter" than any individual ant. It's also true that in many ways a society, in the wide sense (civilization, tribe, corporation, social club or scientific society) is smarter than any of the individual members. These collectives, working together, have information and algorithms that no individual member has, and can solve problems that no one member can. There is a fair amount of evidence that much of the evolutionary development between us and the remote ancestor we shared with chimpanzees was devoted to making us better at cooperating with each other.

From that point of view our first ventures in Artificial Intelligence was the creation of progressively more elaborate societies for sharing information, technology and algorithms.

Once the computer was created, our ability to store, manipulate, and compute was multiplied by an enormous factor. Today the internet links most of the computers and people of the planet. Together, we constitute an enormously greater intelligence than any individual human or pre-computer society.

Stop worrying about when AI will exceed human intelligence - it already happened. The only question is how long the meat part of this intelligence will remain necessary.