reply to post by andy06shake
If by singularity you're referring to a technological singularity involving something like artificial intelligence, then yes, 20 years is highly
In Computer Science, there is a class of problems that are stunningly difficult to solve, called
- they are so difficult that even Quantum Computers would provide no advantage.
Instances of NP-Complete problems of moderate size are solvable one of two ways:
- Alot of work.
- Dumb luck.
Instances of NP-Complete problems of large size are solvable one way:
- Extreme dumb luck, of probability so low it's not even worth trying.
Because intelligence comes up against NP-Complete problems all the time - and since these problems are not
likely to be solvable
deterministically and in realistic amount of time - artificial intelligence of a super-human kind has to either:
1. Avoid these problems, thereby being of little value.
2. Take a gambling approach, flipping coins millions of times per second in an attempt to brute force its way to the solution. Will have a very low
success rate when the probability is 1 in 2^100, 2^1000 or other unimaginably large numbers.
3. Perform lots of self-driven analysis in an attempt to reduce the number of plausible solutions. Just like humans, requires effort and a bit of
luck. Probably the more realistic option, however to get to a point where computers can carry on this type of creative analysis already implies
artificial intelligence, hence it will be a slow evolution of computer intelligence before we get here.
That's not to say that computers won't be able to drive science and replace humanity's thinkers, i find that to be plausible, but 20 years is
unrealistic. First because we need to match the performance of the brain, second because we need very descriptive and structured data for training,
and third because we need to figure out how to combine these into something more powerful than human intelligence rather than just try to match it -
not to mention logistics such as funding and deterrents such as human conflict and the like.
edit on 13-10-2012 by Legos because: (no reason