Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Era Of Neohumanity - Want To Become Immortal?

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2045: A New Era for Humanity

2045 Initiative
Published on Apr 28, 2012
In February of 2012 the first Global Future 2045 Congress was held in Moscow. There, over 50 world leading scientists from multiple disciplines met to develop a strategy for the future development of humankind. One of the main goals of the Congress was to construct a global network of scientists to further research on the development of cybernetic technology, with the ultimate goal of transferring a human's individual consciousness to an artificial carrier.
2012-2013. The global economic and social crises are exacerbated. The debates on the global paradigm of future development intensifies.
New transhumanist movements and parties emerge. Russia 2045 transforms into World 2045.
Simultaneously, the 2045.com international social network for open innovation is expanding. Here anyone interested may propose a project, take part in working on it, or fund it, or both. In the network, there are scientists, scholars, researchers, financiers and managers.
2013-2014. New centers working on cybernetic technologies for the development of radical life extension rise. The 'race for immortality' starts.
2015-2020. The Avatar is created -- A robotic human copy controlled by thought via 'brain-computer' interface. It becomes as popular as a car.
2020. In Russia and in the world appear -- in testing mode -- several breakthrough projects:
Android robots replace people in manufacturing tasks; android robot servants for every home; thought-controlled Avatars to provide telepresence in any place of the world and abolish the need  business trips; flying cars; thought driven mobile communications built into the body or sprayed onto the skin.
2020-2025. An autonomous system providing life support for the brain and allowing it interaction with the environment is created. The brain is transplanted into an Avatar B. With Avatar B man receives new, expanded life.
2025. The new generation of Avatars provides complete transmission of sensations from all five sensory robot organs to the operator.
2030-2035. ReBrain -- The colossal project of brain reverse engineering is implemented. World science comes very close to understanding the principles of consciousness.
2035. The first successful attempt to transfer one's personality to an alternative carrier. The epoch of cybernetic immortality begins.
2040-2050. Bodies made of nanorobots that can take any shape arise alongside hologram bodies.
2045-2050. Drastic changes in social structure, and in scientific and technological development. All the
for space expansion are established.
For the man of the future, war and violence are unacceptable. The main priority of his development is spiritual self-improvement.

A new era dawns: The era of neohumanity.
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Dmitry Itskov: www.Immortal.me - Want to be immortal? Act!
Fellow Immortalists!
Many of the daily letters that the 2045 Initiative and I receive ask the question: will only the very rich be able to afford an avatar in the future, or will they be relatively cheap and affordable for almost everyone?
I would like to answer this question once again: avatars will be cheap and affordable for many people,… but only if people themselves make every effort needed to achieve this, rather than wait until someone else does everything for them.
To facilitate and expedite this, I am hereby soft-launching a project today which will allow anyone to contribute to the creation of a ‘people’s avatar’… and perhaps even capitalize on this in the future. The project is named Electronic Immortality Corporation. It will soon be launched at http://www.immortal.me/ 
under the motto "Want to be immortal? Act!"
The Electronic Immortality Corporation will be a social network, operating under the rules of a commercial company. Instead of a user agreement, volunteers will get jobs and sign a virtual contract.
In addition to creating a ‘people’s avatar’, the Electronic Immortality Corporation will also implement various commercial and charitable projects aimed at realizing ideas of the 2045 Initiative, transhumanism and immortalism.
We will create future technologies that can be commercialized within decades (e.g. Avatar C) as well as implement ‘traditional’ business projects such as, for example, producing commercially viable movies.
Even the smallest volunteer contribution to the work of the Corporation will be rewarded by means of its own virtual currency that will be emitted for two purposes only: a) to reward volunteer work, and b) to compensate real financial investments in the company. Who knows, our virtual currency may well become as popular and in demand as Bitcoin.
The first steps are as follows:
First, we will establish an expert group, which will shape the final concept and the statutes of the Electronic Immortality Corporation.
Second, we will announce and organize two competitions: a) to create the corporate identity of the Electronic Immortality Corporation, and b) the code of the social network.
Third, we will form the Board of Directors of the Electronic Immortality Corporation.  There, we would like to see experienced businessmen with a track record of successfully implemented large projects.
Fourth, we will engage celebrities and public figures from around the world.
Therefore, if you…
- have experience in creating social networks, online games, gaming communities and are willing to discuss the final concept of the Electronic Immortality Corporation,
- are a brilliant designer,
- are a talented programmer with experience in developing large-scale and/or open source projects,
- are a businessman with experience in managing large companies and ready to participate in the Board of Directors of the Electronic Immortality Corporation or you know of such a person,
- are in contact with celebrities and ready to engage them in the Electronic Immortality Corporation;
and at the same time you desire to change the world, to build a high-tech reality, to participate in creating avatars and immortality technologies… if all of this is your dream and you are ready to serve it selflessly,
email us at team@immortal.me
Want to be immortal? Act!
Dmitry Itskov
Founder of the 2045 Initiative
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About Us

Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.
The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies.
The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.
A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.
The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.
An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.
Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society
2015-2020
The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.
2020-2025
Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning  bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.
2030-2035
Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness  with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness  onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.
2045
This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.
Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots  will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover,  prerequisites for a large-scale  expansion into outer space will be created as well.
Key elements of the project in the future
• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of  the project of "Immortality”.
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Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.
The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies.
The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.
A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.
The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.
An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.
Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society
2015-2020
The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.
2020-2025
Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning  bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.
2030-2035
Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness  with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness  onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.
2045
This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.
Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots  will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover,  prerequisites for a large-scale  expansion into outer space will be created as well.
Key elements of the project in the future
• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of  the project of "Immortality”.
16.11.2012
The path to neo-humanity as the foundation of the ideology of the “Evolution 2045” party
HISTORICAL PRE-REQUISITES
Throughout its entire history, humanity has been constantly evolving, facing global crises, step by step creating new forms of culture and moving to new eras, changing types of social organization. In our civilization, these transitions have the nature of revolutionary changes of social organization: the Neolithic revolution, the first spiritual revolution and the industrial revolution.
The Neolithic revolution created a society of a traditional type, reducing humans’ dependence on natural conditions. It is hard to imagine that contemporary civilization could have arisen without the historical transition from a nomadic way of life to a settled one, to crop farming and livestock breeding.
The first spiritual revolution was the period when over an extremely short space of time, great thinkers arose: Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Plato, Christ and Mohammed – a radical humanist revolution in the spiritual life of human beings. Civilization gained systems of values and goals that enabled humankind to overcome the “catastrophe of the bronze age”, the potential of which has not been exhausted to this day.
The industrial revolution was a response by human civilization to the evolutionary crisis, which was caused by the development of agricultural technologies and the destruction of ecosystems. Mass epidemics were combatted with the widespread introduction of new technologies, and global social transformation, secular projects of humanism and the Enlightenment.
The industrial revolution and industrial society required the development of science. Humanity began to conquer nature. The global goods market and goods of mass consumption appeared, and a new period of demographic growth began
With the arrival of technologies, new global problems arose. In the aspiration to solve these problems, modern society is moving to a post-industrial model. The role of information technologies, biotechnologies and nano-technologies has grown drastically. Information corporations have overtaken the major raw-material giants of the planet by their market value.
The reverse side of technologies is the society of mass consumption, which gives rise to the service economy, where the main production resource is the qualification and loyalty of the employee of the corporation, who often rejects an independent spiritual quest, and where the main goal is assembly-line production, and satisfaction of needs.
Modern civilization has nevertheless reached an understanding of the value of human capital, and the creative element of the personality in the development of society. This understanding is reflected in the post-industrial concept of society. It is thought that the USA and several countries of Western Europe have made a transition to a more developed post-industrial model of the economy. But because of the inertia of mass thinking and the indecision of many national leaders, the post-industrial concept of society will not be a panacea for the approaching crises, the pre-requisites for which were laid by the industrial phase of development.
Today, civilization stands on the threshold of a series of global crises – anthropological, economic, political, ecological and genetic. For the first time in history, these are crises of a planetary scale, threatening the environment where human beings live, and their existence as a species.
The current model for the development of society has ceased to provide an adequate response to the challenges of the times.
Scientific and technical progress, which could become one of the factors in overcoming global problems, is not directed towards the fundamental development of civilization in the era of the consumer society. Progress is skillfully simulated by making unimportant changes to already existing developments, and value is added by making investments in brands.
The scientific technologies being developed today are sufficient to expand the human population and acquire new living space, but not sufficient to compensate for the negative consequences of this expansion.
The humanitarian technologies that are widely available are not capable of influencing society and changing the devastating vector of development. Our expansion is not compensated for by fundamental transformations of the individual or the mass consciousness. Human society as a collective mind does not have the meaning or value guidelines required to overcome crises.
Theoretically, human civilization may still await a fundamental leap forward. But as the experience of previous revolutions shows, it will be the result of a severe crisis, which is accompanied by a dramatic reduction in the size of the human population. And in the worst case, humanity may be unable to overcome the polifurcation point of the middle of the century.
Another way for civilization to move to the next level of development is for humanity to develop and pass a new evolutionary strategy as soon as possible. The foundation of this strategy is constant and intensive development, reaching a higher level for controlling reality, towards new ideas, meanings and values, and the creation of a fundamentally new model for the existence of society: spiritual, humanistic, ethical and high-tech.
SPIRITUAL AND BODILY EVOLUTION AS A NEW DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
The successful realization of the new development strategy requires large-scale transformations from humanity, comparable with not one, but two revolutions of the past: spiritual and scientific and technical.
A spiritual revolution means a wide program for the transformation of the individual and mass consciousness, according to which:
– negative human qualities will be taken under control: aggression towards others, excessively egoistic aspirations, unrestrained consumerism, inertia;
– positive qualities will be brought out: inner purity, beauty, sympathy, love for all living beings, harmony, altruism, the ability to serve the good of society, sacrifice and commitment;
– the creative awareness of the genius will be revealed, along with the resources of development of the personality, stability of emotion and will, initiative, figurative thinking;
– using tested and recommended ancient methods, extrasensory perception will be developed, along with skills of controlling life energy, regulating inner process of the organism using will power, controlling reality by the power of thought.
As our own potential is developed and revealed, our individual consciousness will become complex, flourishing, flexible and playful. Multi-varied and paradoxical, it will inevitably begin to come into conflict with its limited mortal protein-based carrier – the biological body.
Overcoming this conflict will be the main stimulus for a scientific and technical breakthrough. The convergent development of NBICS-technologies open up possibilities for creating self-organizing systems capable of reproducing the functions of life and the mind on non-biological substrates. Over the coming decades, human beings will gain a new, practically immortality carrier of the personality.
This is the path of replacing biological evolution with cybernetic evolution. In these transformations lies the essence of a new strategy of development of society – the strategy of spiritual and bodily evolution, or evolutionary trans-humanism.
Modern science already knows a great deal about the evolution of the cybernetic body. Cybernetic bodies will develop from robotic bodies to bodies made of a cluster of nano-robots, and then to hologram bodies. These transformations will completely change the accustomed infrastructure of human civilization.
In describing the prospects of the future of humanity connected with revealing the potential of individual consciousness, we may rely primarily on ancient spiritual texts, but we expect that there will be a flood of new approaches to studying this in cognitive sciences.
Evolutionary trans-humanism will make it possible to move to a new form of social organization, to a completely new era – neo-humanism, where the great goal will be evolution, the self-improvement of every human and all humanity. All goals and tasks of future society will be set taking into account the evolution of the new cybernetic body of the human, and revealing the potential of the human consciousness.
Pursuing this goal will become the voluntary and conscious choice of everyone. In this society, made up of enthusiasts wishing to serve a great global goal, a super-task, a mega-project, corruption, crime and inter-ethnic conflicts will be unthinkable.
WHAT NEW HUMANITY WILL BE LIKE
Throughout history, the evolution of human society has had the following vectors:
– human beings have moved away from nature, their influence on natural processes has increased, and the ecological niche has expanded and deepened;
– demographic growth, growth of the lifespan of the individual;
– an increase in the internal diversity of society, its complexities and technological power;
– a change in the inner nature of the human being in accordance with the growth of the scale and consequences of their activity;
– an increase in the influence of culture on the historical process;
– an increase in the level of self-organization and integration of society
The realization of the new evolutionary strategy will to a significant degree increase the self-organization of society, and the process will begin of the integration of humanity into a common collective super-mind, a super-being, capable of solving many problems that seem impossible to solve today within a short period.
Neo-humanity will change the bodily nature of the human being, and make them immortal, free, playful, independent of limitations of space and time. These transformations will not restrict the individuality and freedom of each separate person, but on the contrary will ensure maximum creative development and reveal their unlimited potential. This is an adequate response by thinking humanity to the challenges, crises, risks and threats of the new times.
Neo-humanity as an ideology, socio-economic structure and form of civilization will open a fundamentally new era – the cosmic civilization of people of the future. It will provide something that has never existed before and which could not have existed, something which may appear fantastic and incredible today. All history will prove to be merely a process of preparing for an unprecedented leap forward in evolution.
The main features of neo-humanity:
– the aspiration towards self-improvement and self-development – instead of creating, accumulating and consuming material goods;
– the ability to unite in a collective gigantic mind, the noosphere, a complex self-organizing free society of progress, evolution and synergism. Values, ideology, the mentality and economy are focused on moving forward, on the growth of the global nature of goals and tasks;
– synergy of technological and spiritual development, super-mind, immortality, multi-corporeality, cosmic creativity, technologies directed towards improving the physical carrier of the personality.
The world will become the way that we plan it to be. For the swift implementation of the necessary transformations, we must bring together as many enthusiasts as possible, linked by a common vision of the future, and ready to serve a great idea. Existing scientific achievements and reserves are sufficient to start putting this plan into practice. The great goal is a new futuristic reality, based on five principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies.
The goals and tasks of the transitional period – the 21st century:
– to refocus science completely on the creation of breakthrough technologies (such as for the realization of the “Avatar” project to transfer the personality to an alternative carrier, the main technological project of the third millennium);
– to create conditions for an amalgam of science and spirituality;
– to develop and introduce new energy sources;
– to create new forms of transport (individual portable super-speed means of transport);
– to create eco- and futuropolies with a controllable climate;
– to create underwater, floating and flying cities;
– to develop and introduce weaponry that prevent the possibility of waging war;
– to develop new space technologies, to create pre-requisites for human expansion into outer space;
– to develop trans-humanist medicine based on avatar technologies: technologies of cybernetic artificial organs and systems, technologies for moving the individual mind of the human being to a non-biological substrate – an artificial body;
– to eliminate aging, illnesses and death;
– to make people with restricted abilities become people with additional abilities;
– to nurture people who are spiritual, humane, with aspirations for the future, creative, and with belief in their divine potential;
– to overcome existing global crises and a possible catastrophe of the middle of the century;
– to introduce new organizational technologies for managing society;
– to form a self-organizing human society directed towards further self-improvement according to the principle of blossoming complexity;
– to create conditions for cultural flourishing and the development of every nation, bringing them together under the aegis of evolutionary trans-humanism, in order to transform a citizen of a separate nation into a citizen of Earth;
– to carry out a cultural revolution;
– to ensure a drastic rise in the level of mass education;
– to persuade the international community of the importance of ideas of evolutionary trans-humanism;
– to eliminate crime and any conflicts, including conflicts between ethnic groups and nations;
– to neutralize natural disasters and cataclysms.
The goals and tasks of neo-humanity for the 22nd-23rd centuries:
– to conquer aging and dying universally, for every human being and all of humanity, using technologies for moving the individual to another carrier. To gain unlimited immortality, i.e. to perfect the capabilities of the artificial body in order to realize existence of unlimited length for it (freedom in time);
– to realize free unlimited movement in outer space;
– to give everyone the opportunity to gain multi-corporeality, a mind distributed on many carriers, the free life of one mind in several immortal bodies and control of them;
– to expand the living environment to multi-reality – the ability to live and move freely in several realities at the same time.
The goals and tasks of neo-humanity in the 23rd-30th centuries:
– to realize expansion into outer space – humanity settling in the near and distant cosmos, unlimited freedom of movement in the Universe, liberation from the need to live in just one specific place – on planet Earth (“Earth is the cradle of mankind, but one cannot live in a cradle all one’s life”. K.E. Tsiolkovsky);
– to realize full control of reality by the power of thought and will, the possibility to self-organize, order and complicate space, and by creating complex unequal systems, to make new worlds;
– to create a personal Universe controlled by the mind for every neo-human being;
– to realize control over the course of personal history by the power of thought, going as far as to complete all historical process in a point of singularity (end of history, contraction of time).
Dmitry Itskov

2045 Initiative founder
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Are Computers Already Smarter Than Humans?
29 September 2017
Who’s smarter — you, or the computer or mobile device on which you’re reading this article? The answer is increasingly complex, and depends on definitions in flux. Computers are certainly more adept at solving quandaries that benefit from their unique skillset, but humans hold the edge on tasks that machines simply can’t perform. Not yet, anyway.
Computers can take in and process certain kinds of information much faster than we can. They can swirl that data around in their "brains," made of processors, and perform calculations to conjure multiple scenarios at superhuman speeds. For example, the best chess-trained computers can at this point strategize many moves ahead, problem-solving far more deftly than can the best chess-playing humans. Computers learn much more quickly, too, narrowing complex choices to the most optimal ones. Yes, humans also learn from mistakes, but when it comes to tackling the kinds of puzzles computers excel at, we're far more fallible.
Computers enjoy other advantages over people. They have better memories, so they can be fed a large amount of information, and can tap into all of it almost instantaneously. Computers don’t require sleep the way humans do, so they can calculate, analyze and perform tasks tirelessly and round the clock. Notwithstanding bugs or susceptibility to power blackouts, computers are simply more accurate at pulling off a broadening range of high-value functions than we are. They’re not affected or influenced by emotions, feelings, wants, needs and other factors that often cloud the judgement and intelligence of us mere mortals.
On the other hand, humans are still superior to computers in many ways. We perform tasks, make decisions, and solve problems based not just on our intelligence but on our massively parallel processing wetware — in abstract, what we like to call our instincts, our common sense, and perhaps most importantly, our life experiences. Computers can be programmed with vast libraries of information, but they can’t experience life the way we do. Humans possess traits we sometimes refer to (again, in the abstract) as creativity, imagination and inspiration. A person can write a poem, compose and play music, sing a song, create a painting or dream up a new invention. Computers can be programmed to replicate some of those tasks, but they don’t possess the innate ability to create the way humans do.
What do experts in artificial intelligence make of all this? Let's start by defining what we mean by "smarter" or "more intelligent." Intelligence has two components, says Professor Shlomo Maital, Senior Research Fellow for the S. Neaman Institute at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. One is the ability to learn, the other is the ability to solve problems. And in those areas, computers can be smarter than humans.
“Today, computers can learn faster than humans, e.g., (IBM’s) Watson can read and remember all the research on cancer, no human could,” says Maital. “With deep learning, Watson can also solve a problem, for example, how to treat a rare form of cancer — and it has done so. So in that sense, computers can be smarter than humans.”
Maital points to another example of computer intelligence in his article “Will robots soon be smarter than humans?” On February 10, 1996, IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeated world champion Garry Kasparov in the first of a six-game series, going on to eventually win the series a year later — the first computer ever to do so. Was Deep Blue intelligent? Yes and no, says Maital.
“No, because it was simply able to calculate an enormous number of possible chess moves in a fraction of a second,” writes Maital. “Speed is not intelligence. But, yes, because it was able to analyze these chess moves and pick the best one sufficiently well to beat Kasparov.”
Computers don’t suffer from important limitations that plague human beings. They’re not restricted by biology, they don’t get tired, they can crunch numbers for long hours, and they’re exceptionally smart while doing repetitive mathematical tasks, according to Satya Mallick from LearnOpenCV.com and the founder of Big Vision LLC.
“From an A.I. perspective, we can now train computers to perform better than humans in many tasks, for instance some visual recognition tasks,” says Mallick. “These tasks have one thing in common: there is a vast amount of data we can gather to solve these tasks and/or they are repetitive tasks. Any repetitive task that creates a lot of data will eventually be learned by computers.”
But experts agree that humans still tower over computers in general intelligence, creativity, and a common-sense knowledge or understanding of the world.
“Computers can outperform humans on certain specialized tasks, such as playing [the game] go or chess, but no computer program today can match human general intelligence,” says Murray Shanahan, Professor of Cognitive Robotics for the Department of Computing at Imperial College in London. “Humans learn to achieve many different types of goals in a huge variety of environments. We don't yet know how to endow computers with the kind of common sense understanding of the everyday world that underpins human general intelligence, although I'm sure we will succeed in doing this one day.”
People possess creativity and intuition, both qualities that computer code doesn’t have, but more importantly may never have, according to John Grohol, founder & CEO of PsychCentral.com.
“We can, for instance, have computers mimic creativity through subsuming works of art into a database, and then creating a new work of ‘art’ from some amalgamation,” says Grohol. “But is that the same as human creativity, or is the computer's code simply following an instruction set? I'd argue it's very much just the latter, which makes the computer far inferior when it comes to that component of intelligence.”
Computers have no concept of meaning the way a human does, says Jana Eggers, CEO of artificial intelligence company Nara Logics. “Even if the computer can determine an emotion, it does not understand what experiencing an emotion means,” according to Eggers. “Will they? It is possible, but not clear how that will work with the current forms of computing.”
But what if we roll the clock far enough ahead? Experts generally agree that the computers of tomorrow will possess some of the traits that today are seen as uniquely human.
“The human brain has 86 billion neurons (nerve cells), all interconnected,” says Maital. “Computer neural networks have far, far fewer ‘cells.’ But one day such neural networks will reach the complexity and sophistication of the brain.”
All of this is likely coming sooner than later, believes Grohol. “Once we've cracked the neurocode that runs our brains, I believe we could replicate that structure and function artificially, so we could truly create artificial life with artificial intelligence,” he says. “I could definitely see that happening within the next century.
Some people, such as computer scientist Ray Kurzweil and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, have warned against the potential dangers of A.I., envisioning a Terminator-type future in which machines have run amok. We certainly need to keep a handle on artificial intelligence so that we control the machines rather than the other way around. But the question seems less one of Hollywood-style "evil" machines rising up to exterminate puny humans, than of alignment: how do we ensure that machine intelligence that may eventually be utterly beyond our comprehension remains fully aligned with our own?
Some of that's rethinking how we approach these questions. Rather than obsessing over who’s smarter or irrationally fearing the technology, we need to remember that computers and machines are designed to improve our lives, just as IBM’s Watson computer is helping us in the fight against deadly diseases. The trick, as computers become better and better at these and any number of other tasks, is ensuring that "helping us" remains their prime directive.
“The important thing to keep in mind is that it is not man versus machine,” says Mallick. “It is not a competition. It is a collaboration.”
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Will computers overtake humans in intellectual ability?
By Jonathan Strickland
In 1997, world chess champion Garry Kasparov played a series of six games in a rematch against the supercomputer Deep Blue. The year before, Kasparov defeated Deep Blue, winning three games to one (with two draws) against the supercomputer. During the rematch, Kasparov won the first game but then began to struggle. When it was all over, Deep Blue claimed the victory with two wins against one with three draws.
In 2011, IBM's computer Watson competed against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on the "Jeopardy!" game show. Backed by more than 2,800 processor cores and a library's worth of information, the computer defeated the two human opponents. Watson showed that with the right processing power and programming, a computer could learn to interpret natural language and respond appropriately. It marked a leap in the field of artificial intelligence. Today, IBM is turning Watson's power to solving problems in the medical field and beyond.
Were these losses signs that computers had become smarter than people? It's true that computers can perform calculations at a blistering pace. The Sequoia supercomputer can perform 16.32 quadrillion floating operations (or petaflops) every second [source: Top 500]. How does that compare to the gray matter that's in our heads?
Measuring how fast humans can think isn't easy. Creative estimations are the best we can manage. Using visual processing as a starting point, robotics expert Hans Moravec of Carnegie Mellon institute estimated that humans can process about 100 trillion instructions per second (or teraflops) [source: Moravec]. But Chris Westbury, associate professor at the University of Alberta, estimates the brain may be capable of 20 million billion calculations per second, or around 20 petaflops [source: Westbury]. Westbury bases this estimation on the number of neurons in an average brain and how quickly they can send signals to one another. What's clear is that computer processing speed is at least approaching, if not outpacing, human thought. But are computers smarter?

Currently, computers fall short of possessing intelligence. But will that always be the case?
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