Ray Kurzweil now has access to 15 million dollar computer and freedom to direct Google's $6.7 billion research and development budget on simulating the human brain toward his god building plan. They're even calling it a new Manhattan Project of all things. Below is the relevant passages from Google and NASA Make Quantum Leap With New Computer, at http://www.minyanville.com/sectors/technology/articles/Google-and-NASA2527s-New-Quantum-Computer/5/23/2013/id/49953?camp=syndication&medium=portals&from=yahoo&refresh=1.
But one man at Google definitely has a specific vision. As Greg Satell at Forbes
wrote, "In many ways, the Google-NASA partnership represents a new
Manhattan Project, but instead of the aim being a nuclear explosion, the
goal is to simulate the human brain, a feat that Google's Director of
Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, believes will be completed before the end of
the next decade."
Kurzweil is one of the world's leading
experts on artificial intelligence, and with his position at Google, he
has a great deal of freedom to direct the company's $6.7 billion
research and development budget towards A.I., and towards calculations
and problem-solving that only a machine as sophisticated as a quantum
computer could handle. Kurzweil is the author of seven books, including
The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity Is Near, in which he addresses, among other elements of artificial intelligence, an event called "the singularity."
"The singularity" is the term for the theoretical
emergence of technological superintelligence, when computer
intelligence and human intelligence reach equilibrium and become
inseparable. Moreover, many believe computer superintelligence would
quickly and handily surpass human intelligence. The scientists and
theorists who believe the singularity is coming, Kurzweil being
prominent among them, project the event happening within a general range
of 2030 to 2070.
There is a lot to be read about the singularity, about quantum computing, and about quantum mechanics
for that matter, but for the purposes of this story, the takeaway is
this: Google has given an important job with a great deal of
responsibility to a man who believes 100% that, within less than a
century, machines will have intelligence equal to or greater than that
of the most intelligent human being. Kurzweil will have direct access to
the Ames Research Center quantum computer, as well as Google's deep
pockets, in order to explore and develop artificial intelligence.
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