Ray Kurzweil: Why Should We Create a Mind?

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There was a time was when Google engineers spent all their days counting links and ranking pages. The company's famous algorithm made it the leading search engine in the world. Admittedly, it was far from perfect. That is why current efforts are aimed at developing ways for computers to read and understand natural language. Enter Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and expert in artificial intelligence. Kurzweil's goal is ostensibly to help the company improve the accuracy of its search results, but that is certainly not all. Kurzweil, after all, is one of the world's leading advocates of "hard AI," or the development of consciousness in an artificial being. Kurzweil believes this will come about in 2029, to be specific. So in addition to Google's development of autonomous cars and its aggressive play in robotic delivery systems, the company is also looking to build an artificial brain, aka "The Google Brain." As Steven Levy notes on Wired, this is a fact that "some may consider thrilling and others deeply unsettling. Or both."Kurzweil is collaborating with Jeff Dean to find the brain's algorithm, and Kurzweil says the reason he is at Google is to take full advantage of the company's deep learning resources. In the video Kurzweil outlines three tangible benefits that he expects to come out of this project. Beyond building more intelligent machines, if we are able to reverse-engineer the brain, we will be able to do a better job at fixing it. We will also gain more insight into ourselves, he says. After all, "our identity, our consciousness, the concept of free will is closely associated with the brain."Transcript --You could say it's the goal of art and science to understand ourselves and our brain, our thinking is the most interesting aspect of ourselves. The three reasons to reverse engineer the brain; one, is to do a better job of fixing it. I quote one of the pioneers of the New Orleans Plant for Parkinson's Disease in saying we're now treating the brain of circuitry, not as a chemical soup, which drugs like SSRI, drugs just treat it like a soup of chemicals. It is in fact an elaborate network and if we actually understand how that network works we can do a much better job of overcoming problems and limitations, and for that matter we're all , we can create more intelligent machines. We've done a fairly good job without actually understanding how the human brain works, but now that we're beginning to get biologically inspired methods, this is going to greatly accelerate thirdly, it'll provide more insight into ourselves. We can't understand ourselves if we don't understand how our brains work. Our identity, our consciousness, the concept of free will is closely associated with the brain. Now it's not exactly the same thing. We can talk about how these philosophical concepts relate to the brain, but you can't really have a discussion about consciousness, free will, and identity without talking about the is also what we need to solve all the major challenges of humanity and of the planet and so on. We need more intelligence. In fact, we won't be able to solve the major problems that we have without more intelligence. So for all those reasons, it's important to understand how the brain works, and it's really only very recently, I would say in the last year, that we have enough information to actually make intelligent statements about intelligence and how human intelligence / Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton

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