This is so weird that I just have to comment on it. Via Tyler Cowen, it’s Bruce Sterling, arguing that true artificial intelligence isn’t in our future:
We’re no closer to “self-aware” machines than we were in the remote 1960s. Modern wireless devices in a modern Cloud are an entirely different cyber-paradigm than imaginary 1990s “minds on nonbiological substrates” that might allegedly have the “computational power of a human brain.” A Singularity has no business model, no major power group in our society is interested in provoking one, nobody who matters sees any reason to create one, there’s no there there.
Obviously I don’t know any more than you do about whether or not we’ll eventually create true AI. But no business model? Nobody interested in creating it? Nobody who even sees any reason to create it?
Huh? The business value of true AI is immense beyond measure. If you had it, you could run your business better than anyone else and far more profitably since you’d no longer need any human labor. And even if that weren’t true, there are loads of people interested in creating it regardless. It doesn’t even matter if there’s a reason to create it. Lots of people are working their way toward that goal anyway.
I’m genuinely stonkered by this. If we never achieve true AI, it will be because it’s technologically beyond our reach for some reason. It sure won’t be because nobody’s interested and nobody sees any way to make money out of it.
(As for the Singularity, a hypothesized future of runaway technological advancement caused by better and better AI, who knows? It might be the end result of AI, or it might not. But if it happens, it will be a natural evolution of AI, not something that happens because someone came up with a business model for it.)