AI vs. AI

Artificial Intelligence vs. Augmented Intelligence:

From IP: “The advent of strong AI (exceeding human intelligence) is the most important transformation this century will see, and it will happen within 25 years, says Ray Kurzweil, who will present this paper at The Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence Conference: The next 50 years (AI@50) on July 14, 2006.”

Let’s just be clear that AI (exceeding human intelligence) means: Something smarter than us. For me this has already happened; there are plenty of people out there much smarter than me.

I’d like more effort on how I can better work with these people.

AI is great and useful in specific areas. But why can’t we also invest more in what Doug Engelbart calls ‘augmenting human intelligence’ as well?

When will someone say something like: “in the next 25 years we will have a word processor with the capability to quickly and efficiently work with the person writing.”

Or how about this: “in the next 25 years we will have an email system more advanced than we have today”.

OK, that last one was a bit facetious, I am a little bitter that email has not improved (user interface or capability wise) much in the last 15-20 years or so. Seriously, the minds on IP have nothing better to communicate through (technically) than Dave’s (fantastically well moderated) plain text email list!

Please, please, computer games and movie graphics are doing well on the back of Moore’s law. There is so much that can be done here. And before I get the ‘what are you doing then’ question, we are (as many here know) making a tiny little widget that let’s you interact with all the text on the web, fundamentally altering its structure (for Firefox now, IE soon). And this is a self-funded, almost hobby project. Imagine what MS or Apple or Adobe could do if they bothered.

So how about another read-through of Doug Engelbart’s ‘Augmenting Human Intellect’ paper, first published in 1962, a useful framework for how to apply this Moore’s law delivered power. –

Remember the Jetsons’s? There is a great scene in one of them, where Mr. Jetson goes to work and presses a button which is labeled (something like) ‘Do Work’ and the computer does all the work. When this happens (in 25 years or whenever), why would Mr. Jetson be needed to press that button? Why would people be needed at all. At that point, should we just trust AI to make important decisions for us?

Argh, at the risk of repeating myself; don’t replace me, augment me!


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