THE Singularity, that’s what he’s talking about. You know, the point where machine intelligence jogs past human intelligence and brings us to a new era where combined computer cognition is the equivalent of a minor deity. Not only that, but it’s Kurzweil, without the T. I don’t know if that’s Intel’s fault or Cnet’s on the transcription.
What is the Singularity really? It’s where machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence – even by just a tiny bit. At that point, the machines, which are now more knowing than we are, can recursively improve on themselves in a never ending and rapidly accelerating cycle of getting better and better.
Kurzweil tones it down a bit and simply says it’s going to be a time where machines can manifest their own rapidly advancing technology. The implications of a meteoric rise in technology, self replicating smarter than human intelligences and you know, superbeings. . . it’s all still there though. Perhaps in Intel’s mind, the Singularity involves computers designing processors for their next of kin to the point where we have the 1nm Intel processors featuring 10,000 cores.
Is this something we really want to work towards? Is it inevitable? And will these machines become self aware? No one really knows but it’s certainly an interesting concept to think on.
For their part, I’ve awarded the first ever ArsGeek Overreaching Statement Award to Intel. Congratulations Intel! Stating that they are actively working on the Singularity goes a bit beyond miniaturizing processors and coming up with interesting ways to optimize code for multiple cores. It’s a bit like casually stating that your experiments on family dog have yeilded a doberman with the intelligence of your or I and the ability to speak several languages.