Bennie Mols is a Dutch science journalist and author of the book Turings Tango, a book about the search for A.I. and the relationship between humans and computers. He graduated in physics (M.Sc.) and philosophy (M.A.) and holds a PhD in physics. He writes and thinks about the intersection of physical sciences and mathematics, computer science, neuroscience, and technology. In his talk Mols takes the audience on a journey to separate facts from fiction in the field of A.I. First up is fiction and therefore singularity. The Singularity movement is based on Moore’s law and in the eyes of Mols a myth. Singularity is a myth because the amount of transistors on a chip might grow exponentially, but this is not the case for software, the clock speed of processors and the import and export of data. The second argument is that Moore’s law does not solve the lack of intelligence. A cockroach is smarter than the best robot in the US army. We people are way better in learning and image recognition. The amount of calculations per second is not the same as intelligence, according to Mols. That’s also the reason that we not become obsolete because of robots. That’s also a myth according to Mols. For two reasons. One reason is the paradox of automatization. The more machines take over intelligent tasks, the role of humans becomes more crucial in fixing their mistakes, adjusting performance, maintenance and improvement. The second reason: robots will never be related to apes, like humans. Of course Mols talks about biology here. We humans have emotions, intuition creativity, values and rationality. Things that machines don’t have and the things that give us an biological advantage over machines. Also, there’s this minor detail: a human brain can be compared to a energy level of 20 watt, IBM’s Watson (the smartest machines today) needs 6 MegaWatt, the equivalent of 300.000 human brains or 16.000 average households. So in fact computers and humans have very different qualities:
- Computer: fast calculations with no error, perfect memory, super fast search, tireless and really good at exact science.
- Humans: learning, pattern recognition, social-emotion intelligence, good at handeling anomalies, multi-functional and creative.
- Mobile devices will use the big data and computing power of the web
- Computer will get better at perceiving reality
- Better knowledges of the human brain will give A.I. a boost
- There will be symbiotic networks based on people, computers, robots and things.