The Grid - 11.10.14 by Tom Randall
Computers are improving at an exponential rate. In many areas -- chess, for example -- machine skill is already superhuman. In others -- reason, emotional intelligence -- there’s still a long way to go. Whether human-level general intelligence is reached in 15 years or 150, it’s likely to be a little-observed mile marker on the road toward superintelligence.
Soon after modern computers evolved in the 1940s, futurists started predicting that in just a few decades machines would be as smart as humans. Every year, the prediction seems to get pushed back another year. The consensus now is that it’s going to happen in ... you guessed it, just a few more decades.
There’s more reason to believe the predictions today. After research that’s produced everything from self-driving cars to Jeopardy!-winning supercomputers, scientists have a much better understanding of what they’re up against. And, perhaps, what we’re up against.
Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, lays out the best predictions of the artificial intelligence (AI) research community in his new book, “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.” Here are the combined results of four surveys of AI researchers, including a poll of the most-cited scientists in the field, totalling 170 respondents.
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