Intelligence is not Artificial

Why the Singularity is not Coming any Time Soon And Other Meditations on the Post-Human Condition and the Future of Intelligence

by piero scaruffi
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(These are excerpts from my book "Intelligence is not Artificial")

P.S. What i did not Say

I want to emphasize what i did not write in this book.

I did not claim that an artificial general intelligence is impossible, (only that it requires a major revolution in the field); and i certainly did not argue that superhuman intelligence is not possible (in fact, i explained that it is already all around us); and i did not rail against technological progress (i lamented that its achievements and benefits are wildly exaggerated).

I did not write that technology makes you stupid. I wrote that rules and regulations make you stupid; and technology is used to establish, enforce and multiply those rules and regulations (often giving machines an unfair advantage over humans).

I did not write that there has been no progress in Artificial Intelligence: there has been a lot of progress, but mainly because of cheaper, smaller and faster processors, and because of better structured environments in which it is easier to operate (both for humans and for machines).

I did not write that humans will never create an artificial intelligence. We have already created Artificial Intelligence programs that do many useful things, as well as some truly obnoxious ones (like displaying ads on everything you do online). The definition of "intelligence" is so vague that the very first computer (or the very first clock) can be considered an artificial intelligence. In fact, early computers were called "electronic brains", not "electronic objects".

I did not write that Artificial Intelligence is useless. On the contrary, i think that it has helped neuroscience. Maybe the “enumeration” problem (the problem of enumerating all the intelligent tasks that are needed in order to achieve artificial general intelligence) is a clue that our own brain might not be “one” but a confederation of many brains, each specialized in one intelligent task.

I did not write that i am afraid of intelligent machines. Quite the opposite: we desperately need intelligent machines. Technological progress has had many downsides but, overall, it has helped humans live better lives. We do need the progress in machine intelligence that technology has promised and not delivered.

I am not afraid of intelligent machines. I am afraid that it will not come soon enough.


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