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AI And What To Do About It: Invest in human obsolescence
Ben Goertzel   Jun 24, 2009   Forbes  

Of all the amazing technologies on the brink of creation, one has implications far beyond any others: the establishment of superhuman artificial intelligence, or AI.

The AI systems in commercial use today are what futurist Ray Kurzweil calls “narrow AI” systems, which are intelligent in particular domains but lack human-level breadth of intelligence. These impressively useful systems can schedule operations and allocate resources for the military and large corporations, spot credit card fraud, make financial predictions, play chess, land aircraft and so forth. As they develop further, they will play a large role in liberating humans from toil and creating new avenues for enjoyment to pursue science, art and other rewarding activities.

But, as valuable as it is, Narrow AI pales in comparison to the creation of “Artificial General Intelligence,” or AGI systems—software programs or hardware devices, which have an ability equal to or greater than that of humans: to transfer knowledge from one domain to another; create new ideas; orient oneself in a new situation; and identify problems to solve.

Read the rest here.

Ben Goertzel Ph.D. is a fellow of the IEET, and founder and CEO of two computer science firms Novamente and Biomind, and of the non-profit Artificial General Intelligence Research Institute (


An interesting piece of reading, however, perhaps the most important questions to ask ourselves as an intelligent sentient race would be .

1 ~ Are we really mature and learned enough to direct our intentions towards such pursuits as creating a new breed of intelligence ~ or, should we not concentrate on understanding ourselves before attempting to spawn the new son of man?

Surely we should aim to understand ourselves and intelligence as humans before embarking on such a journey, and there is a wealth of wisdom to draw from… Satre, Freud, Jung, Buddha, Jesus Christ, in fact many prophets, seers, rishis and wise men from generations past to present.

2 ~ “Regarding investment, the obvious advice is to invest in the obsolescence of humans.” ~ Whilst and accountant or an investment banker may wholly agree with you here, how could you possibly hope to support a modern day capitalist society, and even third world populace that is slowly and gracefully made redundant ??

In the end and fundamentally, this question all boils down to overpopulation and the need to feed the world. In which case, making human minds and bodies obsolete is definately not the answer!
Ethically, we need to explore how to use human intelligence and wisdom to greater effect and not dispense with it. Even today, we find computers have taken all the best, most intelligent tasks, and man is left with the tasks that the computer, (and robotics), cannot yet do successfully, such as sweeping the streets and emptying trash cans ~ is this to be man’s legacy?

3 ~ Are we really free to create our own ideas? Let alone at a stage of evolution to discover a way to create a new breed of intelligence that can do this for us?

There are many well founded belief systems that in fact support the concept that we as humans do not create ideas, but only receive them from a greater or higher source or collective consciousness?
That as humans, we are in fact only receptive to ideas and notions, (these beliefs question the credibility of freewill). Even Descartes finally submitted himself to this singular conclusion.

Where does this leave us?

.... Only in the hands of fate! And what we think may be, may well indeed come to pass?

“All this one day will come to pass….. in God’s good time” ~ Captain Nemo

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