Re: Hawking on AI dominance

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Sep 05 2001 - 03:04:37 MDT

Zero Powers wrote:
> I think it's safe to say Hawking is no dummy. I'd think twice before
> dismissing his ideas on any scientific subject. But, my personal admiration
> aside, from the short blurb on the site it does not appear that he wants to
> augment human learning in the hope of keeping up with the pace AI learning.
> Rather, it seems to me, that what he is proposing is some sort of symbiosis
> between the biological and artificial intelligences.

Yes. That is what I got out of it most strongly also. I didn't
get much of a suggestion that [natural] changes of the genome
would be of much primary help.

> Silicon, for all its good properties, does have some drawbacks. When a
> computer crashes, all is lost unless there has been a recent save to
> "non-volitile" memory. Our memories are a seemless integration between RAM
> and ROM. Not to mention the built-in multiple redundant redundancies which
> let you keep going even after something so disruptive as a stroke. Although
> these advantages will increasingly be replicated in computers and, at some
> point, I imagine that the only thing the bio-brain would add to the
> synth-brain would be slowness. At that point we pathetic meat-puppets had
> better cross over and abandon the bio-brain, or get seriously left behind.

At some point, sure. But between here and there we need to get
a whole lot smarter just as fast as we can if there is going to
be any "there" at all much less one we are part of. I don't
agree we are "pathetic". We are the best we have for now and we
need to make the most of what we have on our way toward,
hopefully, better.

- samantha

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