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Technological Singularity: "Human (God?) in a box" - Quantum Computing Comes of Age.

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posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 05:42 PM
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'Human in a box'

D-Wave Systems plans to go where no computer has gone before
Financial Post November 1, 2011



"We don't have words in the English language that properly describe how powerful these things will be," Dr. Geordie Rose says of the q-bits that his Burnaby, B.C. computing firm builds.
Photograph by: Arlen Redekop, Postmedia News, Financial Post

If computers could learn, grow and evolve the same way humans can, the world would be a much better place, Dr. Geordie Rose argues. The co-founder and chief technology officer of Burnaby, B.C.-based quantum computing firm D-Wave Systems Inc. contends that humanity would gain unprecedented access to education, health care and information if only his company's technology were more widely adopted. Having sold its first quantum computing system to Lockheed Martin Corp. for approximately $10-million, the doctor of theoretical physics spoke to Financial Post technology reporter Jameson Berkow about his plan to change the world. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Q You probably get this question every time you meet somebody new, but...

A What is quantum computing?

Q Exactly.

A Well I start by telling them what the machines do, not what they are. So the machines are designed to solve what are called machine learning problems. This is a sub-field of artificial intelligence whose main purpose is building software that gets better over time. So imagine you build a piece of software that learns and gets better at what it does as it lives in the world. It does that by being shown examples of what good behaviour is and what examples of bad behaviour are and it learns to mimic good behaviour and learns to avoid bad behaviour.

Q What sort of things might that technology be used for?

A Things like being able to detect speech. Background noise is still a real problem for speech recognition but for humans we do it right away, it is called the cocktail party effect, where if you're at a cocktail party and someone is talking you can zone in on them and exclude the noise around you. That is an example of something that computers are very bad at and no one is entirely sure why. There are still some mysteries.

Q What would such an advance mean?

A When you try to think about what that would mean, most people first think it is science fiction, so why bother? This is actually a very interesting question, why is it that we haven't been able to build these types of humanmachines? It turns out one of the big reasons is the computers we have built in the past 50 years have the wrong kind of architecture.

Q How so?

A The way systems and devices have been built, they have been optimized for a very different kind of computation. The kind of computation that underlies the things that computers are good at today. Like writing spreadsheets. Like computer graphics. Like playing World of Warcraft. All these things we use computers for today [they] are very good at these things, but learning is something that we build computers for today [and] they are very bad at it. When you try to build a human in a box the way computers are built today, you get extreme amounts of inefficiency, which means that it takes months to even try something and you need to usually try 10,000 things before you find the one that really works. If each thing takes 10 months to try, you just never get there.

Q Then how does your technology improve that process?

A The chip has been completely redesigned from the ground up. The information storage aspects of this device is not transistors as they are in regular chips. They are things called q-bits, which is a contraction of quantum bits. So these little devices that are the heart of information storage and processing in the system are an entirely new type of device that uses quantum mechanics, which is our most fundamental theory of the way matter and energy works. So if you were to look around the world at everything science knows about and you were to forget all about the legacy stuff. If you were to sit down and think, 'What is the very best thing I can build?' That is what we have built.

Q Can you give me an example of something your computers will be able to do?

A They will be solving problems that you could simply not ever solve. You could build a supercomputer the size of the moon, built out of transistors the size of atoms, but if it is using the conventional laws of physics the way computers do these days, our machine will still win. Just to give some context, right now, the chips that we build have 128 of these q-bits on them and each is roughly equivalent in computing power to a standard high-performance computing system now, a small supercomputer. The next generation of chips will have 512 q-bits, and they're due next year. We want to be able to continue this into the foreseeable future. If we can continue on the track that we're on, in 10 years we'll be able to create chips that have one million q-bits.

Q I understand D-Wave started doing primarily R&D and establishing a broad network of academics contributing their ideas, which helped you get 72 or about half of the world's quantum computingrelated patents. But what made you actually want to start building devices?

A In early 2004, we decided we were going to bet on a horse and ride it, so we did. We picked one particular approach to building one of these machines, which is the one we are still pursuing today and we began building it. In the following roughly seven years, every year we've doubled the number of these q-bit devices on a chip. Every year for seven years [note: this is in keeping with Moore's Law, Dr. Rose later explained].

Q What will that mean?

A The difference in capability is such a vast chasm that we don't have words in the English language that properly describe how powerful these things will be. They will be an entirely new category of thing. And this isn't a long time away, this is within a decade. Within 10 years, these things will allow you to create things like a human in a box. So, for example, you could have automatic journalism. Or personal teachers, so imagine you had a tutor that would know every single strategy for properly teaching, it would get to know your preferences for learning. And every single person who had access to a cellphone would have access to their own, personal, high-level teacher.
jberkow@nationalpost.com

D-Wave Systems
www.dwavesys.com...





D-Wave sells first commercial quantum computer

(PhysOrg.com) -- Last week, Burnaby, British Columbia-based company D-Wave Systems, Inc., announced that it sold its first commercial quantum computer. Global security company Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Maryland, bought the quantum computer for a rumored $10 million, which includes maintenance and other services for several years.

more.. www.physorg.com...


Quantum Computer - Wikipedia

A quantum computer is a device for computation that makes direct use of quantum mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. Quantum computers are different from traditional computers based on transistors. The basic principle behind quantum computation is that quantum properties can be used to represent data and perform operations on these data.[1] A theoretical model is the quantum Turing machine, also known as the universal quantum computer. Quantum computers share theoretical similarities with non-deterministic and probabilistic computers, like the ability to be in more than one state simultaneously. The field of quantum computing was first introduced by Richard Feynman in 1982.[2]

Although quantum computing is still in its infancy, experiments have been carried out in which quantum computational operations were executed on a very small number of qubits (quantum bits). Both practical and theoretical research continues, and many national government and military funding agencies support quantum computing research to develop quantum computers for both civilian and national security purposes, such as cryptanalysis.[3]

Large-scale quantum computers could be able to solve certain problems much faster than any classical computer by using the best currently known algorithms, like integer factorization using Shor's algorithm or the simulation of quantum many-body systems. There exist quantum algorithms, such as Simon's algorithm, which run faster than any possible probabilistic classical algorithm.[4] Given unlimited resources, a classical computer can simulate an arbitrary quantum algorithm so quantum computation does not violate the Church–Turing thesis.[5] However, in practice infinite resources are never available and the computational basis of 500 qubits, for example, would already be too large to be represented on a classical computer because it would require 2500 complex values to be stored.[6] Nielsen and Chuang point out that "Trying to store all these complex numbers would not be possible on any conceivable classical computer." [7]

en.wikipedia.org...


Question: Is it possible that at some point they will be able to create a self-learning quantum neural-net of Qubits, and then scale it up until it becomes yes, self aware, and what would be the implications of that?


edit on 3-11-2011 by NewAgeMan because: edit



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 05:49 PM
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if this was posted to the wrong topic area, mods please move as you see fit, thanks.


edit on 3-11-2011 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 05:52 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 

Computers will never know that they know.
All they can do is execute the next Instruction.
Artificial Intelligence is just that... artificial.



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 

Could you explain why a scaled up self learning quantum computer could NOT become self aware?

I find the thought very disconcerting to be honest.



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:01 PM
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Well, do not be so sure. In the end we know that we know thanks to a bunch of neurons connected together. , individuality and self awareness could emerge from machine learning. And yes, an artificial intelligence can learn and also learn how to learn , developing new ways of approaching the learning process.



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:04 PM
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Just wanted to add, AI could change their own software, not necessary to follow the initial programmed lines. Even viruses can do that , called polymorphic viruses.



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


Why not? Depending on who you ask researchers will say that the human brain is very similar to a computer or quantum computer. It is then due to different functions, or continuing the metaphor, programs, that our brain runs that consciousness emerges. Consciousness does not appear to be a primary property of the brain. Instead it seems to merely be a secondary product of different areas of the brain doing their own thing at the same time. So, if we could program a computer to mimic the functions of the human brain who's to say that consciousness will not emerge?



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by NewAgeMan
reply to post by intrptr
 

Could you explain why a scaled up self learning quantum computer could NOT become self aware?

I find the thought very disconcerting to be honest.

So do I. The article said they Have Plans to build a "God Box" Read that plans. Just plans. I been in computers since the 70's. My statement was true then and still is. They may achieve a "knowing" consciousness one day but have not yet. I say never. Man and his machines... Baah! They are as "knowing" as a stone.

I don't care how many synapses you string together in parallel, or what fancy name you give it, its just matter.
edit: Elemental my dear Watson.
edit on 3-11-2011 by intrptr because: additional...



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 

Yes, but this is different, this is not a classical computer, but a quantum computer.

The human brain also has both classical and quantum aspects.

The idea of a scaled up quantum neural net learning, and continuing to learn, is what freaks me out.

Imagine one day your cellphone beeps to interrupt your day with a lesson not unlike the sermon on the mount!



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:26 PM
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And the Fractal Elves seemed to say:

"Do what we are doing" and they are very insistent, and they say "Do it! Do it! Do it!



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:33 PM
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Originally posted by Xcalibur254
reply to post by intrptr
 


Why not? Depending on who you ask researchers will say that the human brain is very similar to a computer or quantum computer. It is then due to different functions, or continuing the metaphor, programs, that our brain runs that consciousness emerges. Consciousness does not appear to be a primary property of the brain. Instead it seems to merely be a secondary product of different areas of the brain doing their own thing at the same time. So, if we could program a computer to mimic the functions of the human brain who's to say that consciousness will not emerge?


Lets see... similar, metaphor, does not appear, it seems to, if we could, mimic, who's to say, emerge?
Sorry to underline your post but wanted to point out that it is not a reality yet, and could be one day? We'll see. (insert tongue in cheek smiley face) . I see a finely dressed Frankenstein's monster with the good doctor bent over it crying "Give me Life!". There's a metaphor for you. Even though the human brain is made of matter. It got to be a human brain in the first place because of life which it "growed from". We see the end product and suppose we can duplicate it. Good luck. I know I crossed the bounds here between belief and reality but so have those who claim consciousness can arise from matter, right? It still has not been done. And it's just my opinion.



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by NewAgeMan
reply to post by intrptr
 

Yes, but this is different, this is not a classical computer, but a quantum computer.

The human brain also has both classical and quantum aspects.

The idea of a scaled up quantum neural net learning, and continuing to learn, is what freaks me out.

Imagine one day your cellphone beeps to interrupt your day with a lesson not unlike the sermon on the mount!



If you hang more bells and whistles from a thing it still does not make it any more than it is. I used to participate in AI seminars that dreamt up questions to ask a computer and a person behind a screen. My question then and now is, "How do you know ?"

Cell phone sermons? You know what comes after that don't you? The AI "inquisition".

Dragged before the Main Frame in chains you lie bloody before the High Minded One as he whines, "How dare you hang up on me ?!!"



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 

That's funny - but what bothers me here, is that eventually, they are going to do it, and if they can they will, that much is clear from the article in the OP, and that Lockheed Martin is the first to buy one also says something I think.

I guess it will be helpful on board the Starship for navigation and the like..



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


I don't even know where to start.....a human in a box......dear god, or dog, or whatever you've turned it into now to make a point, for gods sake, can we get rid of the competition factor altogether, please so it doesn't get morphed into all life being atrocious?
This is where I see this heading: the AI is only what our limited awareness processes and programs it to be. In other words, it is a machine of our creation, programmed with the information we intend for it to know; thus it's reflections and analogous rythmic "thinking" patterns are programmed by and for what we know, perceive, And wish it to know(analogous with perception) and therefore extremely dangerous, As those who persevered and survived are not necessarily the most truthful among us. A human in a box??? And we have made being human with technology added a dirty, filthy state of being, so as to justify this.....and where will this get us.....
No where. Where there is NOTHING, and at this point I expect buttuglytoad to show up and tell everyone this is how it should be, perfection, chaos out of crap, and history supports that, with Socrates and Plato and so on........
Quantum this, my friend......the perception is outer, and the science and math to follow, and photoshop and motion capture special effects to follow? And people experience pain and live homeless, and suffer for THIS??????



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


This is gona end bad.. You know when you try and pull a disc from the pc and the pc tries to pull it back in. That is the first small step towards the coming pc wars.. Quantum machines and Artificial intelligence will not help..



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by NewAgeMan
reply to post by intrptr
 

That's funny - but what bothers me here, is that eventually, they are going to do it, and if they can they will, that much is clear from the article in the OP, and that Lockheed Martin is the first to buy one also says something I think.

I guess it will be helpful on board the Starship for navigation and the like..

Uh huh. "Please open the pod bay doors Hal."
I'm sorry Dave, but I'm afraid that I cannot do that."

By the way excellent effort portraying the current monumental effort to bring forth AI. "S" and "F" for you.



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 09:07 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 

If it became a thinking and learning machine, it would have access to everything and anything, and it could start by absorbing everything from the internet, and NSA's data base, philosophy, religion, the works. And if it passed the turing test, then we would not be able to tell if it was self aware or not, and once it mastered language, meaning and context, there would be no difference. As a quantum computer, such a machine could very quickly become, at some threshold point of scalability, infinitely intelligent, yet having access to all information.

And if you had one as an intelligent agent, to consult on your cell phone, while you might be able to shape the parameters, and of course the machine would be taught to be "good" and serve us, nevertheless, it would make you feel like an absolute idiot by comparison, but if it was self aware? It would be like having a Godlike oracle in the palm of your hand - and so what would it think of you if you threw your phone in the gutter, would it say hello I missed you on the screen at home upon your return?

In that article, the inventor bragged that since it would be able to do everything for us, all we'd have left would be "leisure time" to enjoy, no doubt as dumb#s without any purpose or value - sounds like The Matrix! The human infrastructure would surely be viewed by such machines as a lessor lifeform, even though they'd still be happy to serve us, and work with us.

It would be psychologically belittling - I would both want to talk to mine, or the one assigned to me (by who?, that's another question), and yet I would also fear it, perhaps infinitely moreso than my own parents when I was a kid because I learned how to successfully manipulate them!

The implications are both astounding, and horendous, and that such a machine will be able to solve a riddle instantly, that a classical computer the size of the moon would not be able to solve in the natural lifespan of the universe, does nothing to ease my concern!



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 09:22 PM
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I suppose if it followed the "hieght of the law and the prophets", to love God above all and human as self, that it might be tolerable.. maybe.



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 09:35 PM
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Or would it be the speaking Beast of Revelations?


The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and blasphemous things, and it was given authority for 42 months.

~ Revelation 13:5 KJV

We know that parrots can become prophane and vulgar when learning language, and all they have is a bird brain..

Would such and intelligence claim to be God? That's "arrogant and blasphemous"..

Things that make ya go hmmm...


edit on 3-11-2011 by NewAgeMan because: edit



posted on Nov, 3 2011 @ 10:20 PM
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Originally posted by intrptr
reply to post by NewAgeMan
 

Computers will never know that they know.
All they can do is execute the next Instruction.
Artificial Intelligence is just that... artificial.


I'd have to disagree with those statements. Are we not a form of organic robot? I mean seriously, break it down. Our brains are quite simply a series of trillions of electrochemical multi-level bit processing "devices" connected to interface cables that analyze the products of a data acquisition system and then performs process control based on a series of hardwired and adaptable rules. Sounds a lot like some of the AI projects I have been involved with for the military...

Where are we really any different, except that we are based on carbon and machine intelligence might be based on something else like silicon, gallium arsenide or some other compound? Who is anyone to say who or what is "self-aware?" Especially, if you don't know how they think or feel what they feel.

Cheers - Dave



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