Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international intellectual movement that is said to aim to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.
The transhumanist vision of a transformed future humanity has attracted many supporters and detractors from a wide range of perspectives or disciplines, including philosophy and religion. Transhumanist thinking is influenced by science fiction, and some say developments transforming progress toward transhumanism are merging science fiction to science reality.
Transhumanism includes the following concepts:
Intelligence demonstrated by or manufactured by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence (NI) displayed by humans and other animals.
The AI field draws upon computer engineering, computer science, ergonomics, mathematics, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and more.
Some people also consider AI to be a direct danger to humanity if it progresses unabatedly. AI is also frequently considered capable of creating a risk of mass unemployment.
The traditional problems (or goals) of AI research include reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, natural language processing, perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects.
The most difficult problems are informally known as AI-complete or AI-hard, implying that the difficulty of these computational problems is equivalent to that of solving the central artificial intelligence problem—making computers as intelligent as people, or strong AI. To call a problem AI-complete reflects an attitude that it would not be solved by a simple specific algorithm.
AI-complete problems are hypothesised to include computer vision, natural language understanding, and dealing with unexpected circumstances while solving any real world problem.
Currently, AI-complete problems cannot be solved with modern computer technology alone, but would also require human computation. This property can be useful, for instance to test for the presence of humans as with CAPTCHAs, and for computer security to circumvent brute-force attacks.
An AI takeover is a hypothetical scenario in which artificial intelligence (AI) becomes the dominant form of intelligence on Earth, with computers or robots effectively taking control of the planet away from the human beings. Possible scenarios include replacement of the entire human workforce, takeover by a superintelligent AI.
Physicist Stephen Hawking, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk have expressed concerns about the possibility that AI could develop to the point that humans could not control it, with Hawking theorizing that this could “spell the end of the human race”
In artificial intelligence research, a commonsense knowledge base is a semantic network that focuses on capturing commonsense knowledge. Commonsense knowledge consists of facts about the everyday world, such as “Lemons are sour”, that all humans are expected to know. Commonsense knowledge can underpin a commonsense reasoning process, to attempt inferences such as “You might bake a cake because you want to people to eat the cake”. A natural language processing process can be attached to the commonsense knowledge base to allow the knowledge base to attempt to answer commonsense questions about the world.
Commonsense reasoning simulates the human ability to make presumptions about the type and essence of ordinary situations they encounter every day. Compared with humans, all existing computer programs perform extremely poorly on modern “commonsense reasoning” benchmark tests such as the Winograd Schema Challenge. The problem of attaining human-level competency at “commonsense knowledge” tasks is considered to probably be “AI complete” (that is, solving it would require the ability to synthesize a fully human-level intelligence).
Intelligent agent (IA) is an autonomous entity which observes through sensors and acts upon an environment using actuators (i.e. it is an agent) and directs its activity towards achieving goals (i.e. it is “rational”, as defined in economics). Intelligent agents may also learn or use knowledge to achieve their goals. They may be very simple or very complex. A reflex machine, such as a thermostat, is considered an example of an intelligent agent.
An automated online assistant providing automated customer service on a webpage is also an example of an Intelligent Agent.
Natural Language Understanding
Natural language understanding (NLU) is a subtopic of natural language processing in artificial intelligence that deals with machine reading comprehension. NLU is considered an AI-hard problem.
There is considerable commercial interest in NLU because of its application to news-gathering, text categorization, voice-activation, archiving, and large-scale content-analysis.
Natural-language processing (NLP) is an area of computer science and artificial intelligence concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages, in particular how to program computers to fruitfully process large amounts of natural language data.
Challenges in natural-language processing frequently involve speech recognition, natural-language understanding, and natural-language generation.
Singularity or Technological Singularity
The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity) is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.
Artificial intelligence and the technological singularity
The concept of the technological singularity, or the ultra-rapid advent of superhuman intelligence, was first proposed by the British cryptologist I. J. Good in 1965:
Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.
Computer scientist Marvin Minsky wrote on relationships between human and artificial intelligence beginning in the 1960s. Over the succeeding decades, this field continued to generate influential thinkers such as Hans Moravec and Raymond Kurzweil, who oscillated between the technical arena and futuristic speculations in the transhumanist vein. The coalescence of an identifiable transhumanist movement began in the last decades of the 20th century.
In 1966, FM-2030 (formerly F. M. Esfandiary), a futurist who taught “new concepts of the human” at The New School, in New York City, began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and world views transitional to posthumanity as “transhuman”.
In 1972, Robert Ettinger contributed to the conceptualization of “transhumanity” in his book Man into Superman.
In 1973 FM-2030 published the Upwingers Manifesto.
Concepts, Organizations, Items to Watch
Facebook’s Building 8
Facebook Oculus VR
Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects)