Monthly Archives: March 2011

Transcending the Human Form: Robot Bodies VS Virtual Proxies

My last post about AI was perhaps overly simplistic, especially in regards to the complexity of the brain, but I had other points to make. I hope to see the emergence of strong AI in my lifetime, but it’s difficult to guess what that will require, much less its consequences. One thing I am much more certain about is the expansion of humanity’s capabilities through computers and cybernetics.

Our brains interface with the world through our bodies. It’s an ancient interface that has served us well, but it is increasingly restrictive in our evolving high-tech world. Our bodies confine and even imprison us, especially when something goes wrong with them. By improving the body, we enhance the way we communicate, our ability to access and manipulate information, and our ability to deal with the physical world.

Cybernetics and bio-engineering will augment our natural bodies, but what about adopting new bodies entirely?  Continue reading

Some Thoughts On Artificial Intelligence

I am only writing very limited artificial intelligence into my hard sci-fi story Living Outside, since I have chosen to focus on how other technologies could transform our lives. I am wary about making predictions regarding strong AI and its implications, but I had some thoughts recently about its development and I thought I would post about it so my brain would shut up.

The development of strong AI will require considerable processing power and data storage, as well as economic pressures to spur its funding.

I’m not going into data storage, since that’s going to be less of a problem. So let’s start with the needed processing power. The computational speed of the human brain is often given an upper limit of 10 petaflops (10 quadrillion operations a second), so that’s what I’ll use. Why is the computational power of the brain important? Continue reading