During my visit to SXSWi I found myself attending the following panels which all touched on the notion of singularity in different ways:
- Robot Panelists, AI and the Future of Identity
- Wall-E or Terminator: Predicting the Rise of AI
- 3D Printing: Not Everyone Will Be Excited
- PolySocial Reality and the Enspirited World
I wont profess to being an expert on the subject after only attending four panel discussions (so I might not get everything right in this blog post), but it is an area which interests me greatly and it was wonderful to attend panels at SXSWi that discussed it.
For those who don’t know (in layman’s terms), the notion of singularity is best described as a moment where AI becomes more intelligent than us, and in some versions of this the machine will be able to replicate itself with modifications to make it better in some way.
So within the realms of the 3D printer, a printer is currently being programmed to replicate itself totally. Once it’s done that, the replica may be able to reproduce itself but ‘better’.
Moving from singularity to the event horizon, the event horizon is a point in the development of machines when their is a point of no return.
The panel Robot Panelists, AI and the Future of Identity in my opinion showed the first signs of ‘humanity’ in AI through Bina48.
Bina48 is a animatronic torso that has been created to simulate a human. Bina48 can ‘talk’ and answer questions quite beautifully, is quite charismatic when doing so and can be a little scary. Bina48 has been created using a ‘mind file’ taken from a human Bina and can recognise speech though a speech recognition system, she then constructs full sentences and answers.
Bina48 was one of the highlights of SXSWi for me and if you get a chance I would recommend looking her up online. Seeing her might make you wonder if the event horizon is near.