As this topic continues to hit the mainstream,
let's pick up on some latest developments:
Scott Huffman - Google engineering director
Google's director of engineering, Scott Huffman has confirmed in an
interview my estimate of around 5 years until full natural voice search:
My team is working very hard on the idea of a richer conversation
with Google. We use a fairly complex linguistic structure in conversation
that Google today doesn’t understand.
“But five years from now we will be having that kind of conversation
with Google and it will just seem natural. Google will answer you the same
way a person would answer.”
The engineer adds:
“Google will understand context in conversation but it’s not an armchair
psychiatrist. You can’t have a conversation about your mother. Google
can’t talk to me about how I feel about things until it understands factual
‘things’. We’re just getting started understanding ‘things’ in the world.”
Good luck with extending Google search to understand human contexts.
That goal is easily achieved by being born a human infant in society.
But the best Google can hope for is to mimic contextual knowledge by
imitating raw data, with true understanding still a techno-pipe dream.
Nevertheless, voice control will have a huge impact. _________________ Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
There's a telling scene in THX-1138 where Duval sits in the booth to talk to god - which is actually a tape recorder. But the canned responses, due to his own compromised mental state due to enforced drugging, seemed credible.
Sounds more like a frill unless this is where we are headed for most apps which seems to be the case. I'm sure this will eventually work both ways. Consider how voice pattern recognition is used in other disciplines such as alternative healing. We will be monitored (then "corrected") in every way. So learn to be a smooth talker...
All this striving for advanced tech and the optimistic outlooks... Par for the course yes but ain't it slightly odd considering we've Multiple vectors heading straight towards an extinction scenario? Like, do these big players know something we don't about say Fukushima or the Gulf or the spiking methane etc?
We hear about Fukushima a lot which is bad and getting worse. But the situation in the Gulf is not that far behind. It is spreading and folks are dying yet there's a complete black out.
So let's design some frill apps for future amusement. Having typed that... I just had the thought that this project could be part of that attempt to eventually, almost literally, wire us up to one big (borg) network.
So this attitude seems to indicate that things are going to go on as before... for some. Or $ome. Perhaps transhumanists.
What's important here is the growing ability of a trained robotic system
to determine a person's intent by comparing a live analysis of their brain
waves to previously seen brain wave patterns. Awesome potential. Soon.
WIRELESS BRAIN IMPLANT AIMS TO GIVE
PARALYZED POWER OVER THEIR LIMBS
By: Cameron Scott - Posted: 01/25/14 7:28 AM
Prosthetic limbs that users control with their minds aren’t yet widely available, but several have been shown to work. Soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made amputeeism a much more prevalent disability, and one with enough funding to drive innovative solutions.
Those who are paralyzed have remained more difficult to help because human nerves and muscles require more intricate forms of control than the simplified prosthetic devices.
But BrainGate, a program that pools research from several universities, is moving ever closer to giving paralyzed patients use of their limbs by using the same technology developed to drive computerized prosthetics to drive the paralyzed limbs.
BrainGate is developing a system in which a patient’s mental signal to move an arm is recorded, filtered through a computer and sent as a command to an electric stimulation device that activates the patient’s muscles.
An implanted 16-channel sensor records the patient’s brain signals looking for those related to limb movement and sends it wirelessly to a computer. There, an algorithm designed to recognize motion-related signals translates the information into a command for an electrical stimulation device that prods the muscles used in the motion the patient envisioned. The stimulator can spur as many as 18 hand and arm muscles into action.
“The patient thinks ‘up and to the right,’ and we have a controller that actually figures out the correct muscle activations to move in that direction,” Robert Kirsch, a project collaborator, chair of biomedical engineering at Case Western and executive director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Functional Electrical Stimulation Center, told the MIT Technology Review.
The BrainGate researchers first tested their ability to record brain signals and convert them into simple commands for a computer cursor. They then succeeded at having paralyzed patients control robotic arms with brain signals........
The mainstream continues to catch up, but the scale of the employment
changes which are coming is being mostly downplayed, and this whole
robotics issue continues to be handled with kid gloves.
Why? Because corporate employers fear a luddite backlash of sorts?
I don't see that a likely motivation. More likely is that the big corporates
fear everyone will catch on that our current neoliberal economic system
can't handle the new reality!
Monopoly financial capitalism is a lame duck out of water in a new world
where simple "winner takes all" dynamics just doesn't hack it any longer.
In an adaptive inter-networked symbiotic system, all players(people)
must be protected/insulated from structural unemployment.
Long-term unemployment in the social body is like gangrene.
It can permanently disable a nation. That's the challenge.
Countries which do not rise to that challenge will fall behind.
Anyway, here's a best of recent mainstream coverage:
Artificial intelligence could lead to mass unemployment, warn experts
Academics say half of US jobs could be automated within a decade or two
JAMES VINCENT Author Biography Wednesday 29 January 2014
DeepMind has been operating largely unnoticed by the wider UK technology scene, although its advances in artificial intelligence have obviously been of interest to the experts - founded in just 2012, DeepMind is Google's largest European acquisition to date.
Dr Shanahan hailed DeepMind as “a company with some outstanding people working for it,” noting that the company has mainly been working in the areas of machine learning and deep learning, which he described as “all about finding patterns in very large quantities of data.”
Google’s purchase of the company has led to speculation as to how they might implement the technology. Although there had been some talk of using DeepMind’s algorithms to give ‘brains’ to Google recent robotic purchases, insiders have said that the acquisition was about improving search functionality, not AI....... http://bit.ly/1d9jJoQ
Is Google Cornering the Market on Deep Learning?
A cutting-edge corner of science is being wooed by Silicon Valley,
to the dismay of some academics.
By Antonio Regalado on January 29, 2014
This week, Google reportedly paid that much to acquire DeepMind
Technologies, a startup based in London that had one of the biggest
concentrations of researchers anywhere working on deep learning, a
relatively new field of artificial intelligence research that aims to achieve
tasks like recognizing faces in video or words in human speech.
The acquisition, aimed at adding skilled experts rather than specific
products, marks an acceleration in efforts by Google, Facebook, and other
Internet firms to monopolize the biggest brains in artificial intelligence
What jobs will the robots take?
Nearly half of American jobs today could be automated in "a decade
or two," according to new research. The question is: Which half?
Joined: 26 Feb 2011 Posts: 262 Location: west, pa, usa
Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:26 am Post subject:
some things I didn't see in these articles about the difference between the first and second industrial ages
when industrialization arrived in England and Europe
the millions that were displaced went to North or South America or Australia
so the problem of "unemployed" and what to do with them
wasn't a big deal (for the PTB)
when industrialization arrived in Russia and China, well, the commies knew what to do with "useless eaters"
now there isn't any empty place to send them
so unless the space program makes some remarkable strides
or we return to the Lenin/Stalin/Mao solution
the problem of excess workers is going to be a big deal
and the amount of time available to transition may be less than these experts believe
the "race with machines" rather than "race against machines"would be OK
the machines were programed to "race with nature" rather than "race against nature" _________________ formerly known as duane in a previous registration
duaneh: now there isn't any empty place to send them....
Damn right. And five times the population.
Time, it seems, for a whole new ball game.
Speaking of which, Ray Kurzweil has some ideas.
He's joined Google, by the way:
Ray Kurzweil – How the World Will Change
2017: Self-driving cars
Google self-driving cars have gone half a million miles without human drivers on highways and city streets, with no incidents. Within ten years they will be ubiquitous. Humans have a fairly narrow field of view, these cars have sensors, both visual and laser, and artificial intelligence to be able to assess what’s going on in their environment. Ultimately these cars will communicate with each other and co-ordinate their movements. You also won’t need to own a car, there’ll be a pool of them circulating, and you’ll just call one from your phone when you need it.
2018: Personal assistant search engines
Right now, search is based mostly on looking for key words. What I’m working on is creating a search engine that understands the meaning of these billion of documents. It will be more like a human assistant that you can talk things over with, that you can express complicated, even personal concerns to. If you’re wearing something like Google Glass, it could annotate reality; it could even listen in to a conversation, giving helpful hints. It might suggest an anecdote that would fit into your conversation in real time.
2020: Switch off our fat cells
It was in our interest a thousand years ago to store every calorie. There were no refrigerators, so you stored them in the fat cells of your body, which now means we have an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Thanks to the Human Genome Project, medicine is now information technology, and we’re learning how to reprogram this outdated software of our bodies exponentially. In animals with diabetes, scientists have now successfully turned off the fat insulin receptor gene. So these animals ate ravenously, remained slim, didn’t get diabetes, and lived 20 per cent longer. I would say that this will be a human intervention in five to ten years, and we will have the means of really controlling our weight independent of our eating.
2020: Click and print designer clothes at home
Currently there is a lot of overenthusiasm about 3-D printing. Typically where people are prematurely very excited it leads to disillusionment and a bust, like the dot.com crash. I think we’re about five years away from the really important applications. By the early 2020s we’ll be replacing a significant part of manufacturing with 3-D printing. We’ll be able to print out clothing and there’ll be an open source market of free designs. There will be personal 3-D printers, but also shared ones in your local Starbucks, for example.
2023: Full-immersion virtual realities
Computer games have pioneered virtual reality, and within ten years — but probably more like five — these will be totally convincing, full-immersion virtual realities, at least for the visual and auditory senses, and there will be some simulation of the tactile sense. To fully master the tactile sense we have to actually tap into the nervous system. That will be a scenario within 20 years. We’ll be able to send little devices, nanobots, into the brain and capillaries, and they’ll provide additional sensory signals, as if they were coming from your real senses. You could for example get together with a friend, even though you were hundreds of thousands of miles apart, and take a virtual walk on a virtual Mediterranean beach and hold their hand and feel the warm spray of the moist air in your face.
2030: Vertical meat and vegetable farms
There will be a new vertical agriculture revolution, because right now we use up a third of the usable land of the world to produce food, which is very inefficient. Instead we will grow food in a computerised vertical factory building (which is a more efficient use of real estate) controlled by artificial intelligence, which recycles all of the nutrients so there’s no environmental impact at all. This would include hydroponic plants, fruits and vegetables, and in vitro cloning of meat. This could also be very healthy — we could have meat with Omega-3 fats instead of saturated fats, this sort of thing.
2033: 100 per cent of our energy from solar
We are applying new nanotechnologies to the design of solar panels, and the costs are coming down dramatically. A recent report by Deutsche Bank said that ‘the cost of unsubsidised solar power is about the same as the cost of electricity from the grid in India and Italy. By 2014 even more countries will achieve solar grid parity’. So I do believe that within 20 years we could get all our energy from solar energy. I presented this not so long ago to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was actually my classmate at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and he said: “Ray, do we have enough sunlight to do this with?” and I said: “Yes, we’ve got 10,000 times more than we need.
2040: Stay young for ever
Twenty years from now, we will be adding more time than is going by to your remaining life expectancy. We’ve quadrupled life expectancy in the past 1,000 years and doubled it in the past 200 years. We’re now able to reprogram health and medicine as software, and so that pace is only going to continue to accelerate. There are three bridges to life extension. Bridge 1 is taking aggressive steps to stay healthy today, with today’s knowledge. The goal is to get to bridge 2: the biotechnology revolution, where we can reprogram biology away from disease. Bridge 3 is the nanotechnology revolution. The quintessential application of that is nanobots — little robots in the bloodstream that augment your immune system. We can create an immune system that recognises all disease, and could be reprogrammed to deal with new pathogens.
Perhaps in hindsight we all should have seen Google’s turn to robotics coming when, under Andy Rubin, the company dubbed its mobile operating system Android. With Rubin now in charge of Google’s still mostly secret robotics division, the software engineer’s trajectory seems to be the key to what the company is up to in robotics.
While details are still scant and Google declined to comment for this article, an executive from the Chinese electronics manufacturer Foxconn spoke out of turn recently to the Wall Street Journal, telling the paper that Foxconn will partner with Google to try out some industrial robots made by the tech giant.
After acquiring seven robotics companies, several of which focus on industrial machines, it’s no surprise that Google is preparing to try out a few new toys. And it makes sense that it would seek to do so away from prying eyes in Silicon Valley.
Foxconn, with notorious labor problems, has also long looked to replace its disgruntled human employees with robots.
Industrial robots, particularly those that run shipping warehouses, could also help Google’s Shopping Express service compete with Amazon to become the department store to the world, according to the Wall Street Journal report and Forrester Research robotics analyst Anthony Mullen.
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