RE: Is an SI possible with today's hardware?

Billy Brown (
Fri, 19 Feb 1999 08:52:38 -0600

Jane Kurtz wrote:
> What's an SI?

Short for 'Super Intelligence'. The term springs from some relatively recent ideas about intelligence enhancement, artificial intelligence, uploading, and related ideas.

The idea is that at some point in the future there will probably be minds that exist purely as software running on advanced computer systems. They might be AIs, or uploaded humans, or even cyborgs or some other type of hybrid intelligence. What matters for this purpose is that they have hardware that is vastly more powerful than the human brain.

There are two major opinions about what such an entity would be like. The 'weak SI' school expects that it would be able to think very fast, and do lots of different things at once, but it would not necessarily be any smarter than you or me. The 'strong SI' school expects that the extra processing power would actually make the SI smarter - so at 10^2 times normal brainpower it is an incredible genius, and at 10^6 times normal it becomes a godlike intelligence.

A related term is 'Power', or 'Vingean Power' - a strong SI with far more processing power (and thus intelligence) than our entire species, and extremely advanced technology to match.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I