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Computer and Society - 2 - Present and Future. Impact of Computer and AI Present and Future Ray Kurzweil, “The Impact On...”, from the book “The Intelligent.

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Presentation on theme: "Computer and Society - 2 - Present and Future. Impact of Computer and AI Present and Future Ray Kurzweil, “The Impact On...”, from the book “The Intelligent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Computer and Society Present and Future

2 Impact of Computer and AI Present and Future Ray Kurzweil, “The Impact On...”, from the book “The Intelligent Machines”, We look at what Kurzweil predicted in 1990, what have come to true, and what is coming to true, what is not yet, and what may not be forever. Our critiques and discussions.

3 Organization of Slides In the order of topics in the article: employment, education, communication, warfare, medicine, the handicapped, music, politics, ourselves. For each topic: –Authors ideas, marked with ‘ Kurzweil ’, –My critiques, marked with ‘ Critiques ’, –Our discussions, marked with ‘ Discussions ’.

4 Topic 1. Employment and Economy p

5 Employment - revisit Few areas generate as much controversy as computer’s influence on employment. This issue is rarely approached dispassionately. The reality of lost jobs is easier to see than the possibility of new jobs created. Kurzweil

6 IEA Study IEA study – A comprehensive study of the trends of US economy at Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA) Kurzweil

7 What IEA Study Said (1) Avg. earning power of workers was to increase; A rapidly diminishing demand for clerical workers and unskilled workers; A sharp increase in needs for professionals, computer specialists, and teachers. Kurzweil

8 What IEA Study Said (2) The primary variable for continued growth was education and training. Power and wealth will increasingly consist of knowledge and skill. Kurzweil

9 IEA Study was Done in 1990 IEA study was a comprehensive study using a detailed computer model of economy. Quality of such study depends on model, factors considered, and data. I doubt some factors such as outsourcing, rise of Chinese economy were taken into account. Critiques

10 Factory Dwindling Factories now employ substantially fewer workers than before, due to automation and computerization. Computerized manufacturing enables more customization of products. Before 1 st industrial revolution, products were ‘customized’. With 1 st industrial revolution, products became ‘standardized’. Now, products are coming back to ‘customized’. Kurzweil

11 Who is to do What In 21 st century, computers and humans are going to share the jobs in offices: For computers: –Type our letters and reports, maintain our files and records, help organize our work. For human: –Communication, teaching, learning, selling, strategic-decision making, and innovation. Kurzweil

12 Change of Concept of Documents Documents on paper are to diminish, which will be replaced by multimedia documents. Documents include linkages to underlying knowledge and related information. Documents are organized in a way that each part can be directly accessed. Kurzweil

13 Are Multimedia Books Better? It looks to be a dream of the author that the future documents are composed of text, pictures, voice, music,... (p.428) Is a multimedia book inherently better than a book of plain text? Is a movie version of a novel, by it nature, better than the novel itself? Critiques

14 Learning as Part of Work The primary skill required for future workers will be ability to adapt. A typical worker of this century will make a major or a career change once or twice each decade. Learning as part of work, as some enlightened companies have started doing. Kurzweil

15 Knowledge and Learning Capability To adapt to the dynamic technology: Higher institutions should provide not only knowledge but also tools of problem solving, and ways of thinking. Students in colleges should enrich their knowledge as well as their ability of learning. Meat or hunting rifle. Fish or fishnet. Discussion

16 Are we really afraid of ‘losing jobs’? We share a dread: - losing jobs, or unemployed. We love working, don’t we? No one has dreamed of working in the Heaven. We never worry about ‘unemployment’ in Heaven, since... we never expect to work in Heaven! Discussion

17 Becoming Philosophers or Indulging in Making Love The two quotes on page 425. If machines could be so improved and multiplied, then all of our corporeal necessities could be entirely gratified, without the intervention of human labor, there will be nothing to hinder all mankind from becoming philosophers and poets. - Timothy Walker, 1831 Machinery will perform all work – automata will direct all activities and the only tasks of the human race will be to make love, study and be happy. - The United State Review, 1853 Would we be more likely, by our nature, becoming philosophers or indulging in making love if we were truly worry-free? Discussion

18 Topic 2. Education p

19 Education in Computer Revolution Education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future economy, as in Topic 1. But we have seen fewer changes in schools than in factories, in terms of content and process, in this computing age. Kurzweil

20 Eight Predictions in 1990 (1) Computers are ubiquitous as pencils to students; Students’ computers are portable laptops; Very high resolution screen as readable as a book; Of a variety of input devices; Kurzweil

21 Eight Predictions in 1990 (2) Of high quality two-way voice communication and natural language understanding; Very easy to use; Interactive intelligent and entertaining courseware; Wireless connection to network. Kurzweil

22 Intelligent Courseware It identifies the model that a student is using or the student’s weakness; It develops strategy to upgrade the student’s model; It provides entertaining and engaging experiences to carry out the remedial strategy. Kurzweil

23 Using Computer Network Allow easy sharing of courseware, submissions by students of papers and exams, s,... Have access to libraries of the world, - books, magazines, databases; Using intelligent software assistants to help find information. (search engines as we call them now) Kurzweil

24 Envision Teaching after 2050 A homework might be to participate in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and debate the founding fathers. Another homework might be to negotiate the final language on behalf of the executive branch to get a better deal for the presidency on war powers. Your submission would be the actual debates that you participated in, and your teacher would grade them on watching them. Kurzweil

25 How Much Could Intelligent Machine Help Education? (1) Kurzweil’s vision of ‘on-line’, vivid, two- way multimedia teaching in future is interesting, and will help study. Could it help in all subjects? In the subjects it helps, how much it might help? Critiques

26 How Much Could Intelligent Machine Help Education? (2) Kursweil’s vision of future seems not quite helpful in learning algebra, calculus, quantitative decision making,... On subject of history, his vision seems helps most. But do you think students’ knowledge of history is now better with helps of TV, movie, and computer, than that 100 years ago when learnt purely from books? Critiques

27 On-Line Course In 1990, on-line course was not born yet. Advantages: Disadvantages: What courses might be most suitable to be taught on-line? Discussion

28 On-Line Course to Prevail? Not all courses could be effectively taught on-line. More on-line classes will be seen. Whether a college to put a class on-line is based on multiple considerations, other than most effective teaching. Whether a student to take a on-line class is based on multiple considerations, other than most effective learning. Discussion

29 What Is a College Like in Future? Who is teaching – human professors or intelligent machines? Do students have to go to ‘school’? –Are all courses on-line? –Is a physical college necessary? If all courses were on-line and taught by machines, then what would be difference between colleges? - No more colleges and universities? Discussion

30 Topic 3. Communication p

31 Functions of Communication A mental need of a human is communication, which grants its physiological and psychological function. The social function of communication is sharing knowledge and carrying knowledge on. Kurzweil

32 Computers and Network Kurzweil’s expectation for 2010: Computers and computer networks are gateways for communication. (Internet) Intelligent software to help access and search information. (search engines) Standardized software on each end of a communication channel. (MS Explorer, Netscape, HTML language) Kurzweil

33 ‘Where to find knowledge’ Kurzweil’s expectation for 2010 in 1990 has largely come true. For ‘where to find knowledge’, we have search engines like Yahoos!, Google, AltaVista. More intelligent guider has appeared, - “I know what knowledge you want. Come with me.” Critiques

34 Paper as a Medium Paper will still be a medium in communication of man-man or man- machine. Electronic documents has not caused reduction of paper use. US has used 2,500 billion pages in 1986, while only 850 billion pages in That is because increase of productivity of producing paper documents. Kurzweil

35 Videophone We have almost accomplished it. Need to improve: –Image quality; –Video, not only pictures; –Popularization. Kurzweil

36 Robotic Person Imitator (RPI) It is a robotic substitute of a human, with same look and feel. It acts and moves exactly the same way as the real person thousands miles away. So, meeting a person does not have to be a ‘personal’ meeting. It could be a ‘person- imitator’ or ‘imitator-imitator’ meeting. Kurzweil

37 RPI, Realistic? It is can described as a lifelike sensor and actuator being remotely controlled. It is not an independent robot that acts on its own ‘will’. One person can technically have many ‘imitators’. So,... Laws on murdering, raping, robbery, harassment, privacy,..., must be updated with RPI. Critiques

38 Nature of Cities What was initial purpose of a city? –Facilitating manufacturing and transportation. What is purpose of a city after highways and railways have made it unnecessary to live in the manufacturing / transportation center? –Communication. When we can communicate and ‘meet’ anyone without leaving home, the need for a city diminishes. Kurzweil

39 Humans Need City Functions of a city that failed to mention by Kurzweil: –Social, entertainment, businesses, politics / government. Do humans by their nature tend to live close by or alone? Does a human feel comfortable staying home year by year, talking to outside with phones and s, and sending his imitator to meet friends and attend socials who are likely also imitators? Critiques

40 Gratification of Information Will Level off The feel of gratification for the amount of available information will level off when the amount of information available reaches certain digestible point. Similar rules occur on air, water, food, clothes,... “The more information available, the better.” – Is it true? Critiques

41 Topic 4. Warfare p

42 Smart Weapon A primary thrust of computing on warfare is smart weapon. Auto-piloting and pattern-recognition have resulted in accurate destruction of targets without damage to neighboring civilian population and facilities. Kurzweil

43 Defense Strategy with Smart Weapon Smart weapon can be used tactically to won a war, and strategically to deter the enemy. First line of defense: –Conventional weapons with intelligence. Second line of defense: –Nuclear weapons. Kurzweil

44 Combat in Future Between smart flying weapons, missiles, robot planes, and flying munitions, that can be launched from virtually any place on earth or from space; as well as laser weapons and particle beam weapons. Cornerstones of combats: –Command, Control, Communication Kurzweil

45 Geography Factor Fades Out Geography is losing its strategic importance. Slow moving vehicles as tanks and ships, and battle stations, no matter land-, sea-, air-, or space- based, will be vulnerable. Kurzweil

46 War Is not a Video Game Kurzweil’s vision of future war is like a video game. A war will be bloody and dirty, and never be as clean as a video game. –death, misery, cruelty, brutality, barbarity will be the reality. In addition to smart weapons, there are WMDs: nuclear weapons, chemical and bio-chemical weapons,... Critiques

47 Rule of Minimum Morality In a game or conflict without rules and referees, the rule of minimum morality prevails: –The cleanness of the game is determined by the dirtier side. Prisoner’s dilemma - Critiques

48 War in Future If human reflexes and eventually human decision making, at least on a tactical level, are replaced with machine intelligence, then two societies could let their machine fight out the conflict in some remote place and let them know who wins. Kurzweil

49 Abolition of War, - By What? It is not computing technology that will change human’s brute war to a video or sport game. It is human’s civilization, fraternity, equality, and respect for value of life that will eventually bury the war forever. Critiques

50 Topic 5. Medicine p

51 Predictions for Early 21 st Century (1) Blood tests will be analyzed by cybernetic technicians; Electrocardiograms will be analyzed entirely by computer; Diagnosis will be reliant on all kinds of non-invasive imaging, such as sonic and particle-resonance; Kurzweil

52 Predictions for Early 21 st Century (2) National data bank of patients; Expert systems will influence all diagnostic and treatment decisions; Computers are widely used in new medicine design and development; Heart disease and cancer are likely to be conquered. Kurzweil

53 Smart Drug This drug will be actual living cells with a measure of intelligence, which will be smart enough –to identify an enemy pathogen and destroy or pacify it; –to self-destruct after completing the mission. Kurzweil

54 What Doctors Do Then? With machines playing crucial role in routine medical activities, doctors will do: Research and organizing of medical knowledge to enrich expert systems; Strategic medical decision making; Reviewing diagnostic recommendations in complicated cases. Kurzweil

55 Doctors without Experience? If doctors do not have practice and experience on diagnosis and treatment, how could they come up with new knowledge to enrich the expert systems? Medicine is a subject that needs practice and experience. Medicine is not pure math. Critiques

56 Topic 6. The Handicapped p

57 How Will Computing Help the Handicapped Reading machine for the blind, Navigational aids for the blind, Seeing machine for the blind, Speech-to-text aids for the deaf, Hearing machine for the deaf, Artificial limbs with intelligence for the paraplegics and quadriplegics. Kurzweil

58 Topic 7. Music p

59 How Will Computing Change Music New instruments; New sounds without direct acoustic and instrumental counterpart. Composing: - sequencer to get the performance effect and music notations at same time. Live music performance; Composition assistant software: - Kurzweil

60 Computing Makes Music Popular Computer has made art and music appeal for both the more and the less cultured. Ordinary people can be artists and musicians. Art and music no longer belong to those people with leisure. Discussion

61 Computing Changes Entertainment Music used to be played in churches, royal palaces, and theatres of upper class. Composers and music players were few elites in society. There were no concert with thousands of audience. Discussion

62 Topic 8. Politics p

63 Cornerstones of Power Used to be: –Land, Geography, Natural resources, Labor. They are shifting to: –Technology, Human intellectual resources. Kurzweil

64 Tech Replaces Natural Resource for Cornerstone of Power “The cornerstones of power during the 1 st industrial revolution – Geography, natural resources, and manual labor – are rapidly diminishing in importance and relevance.” – p.445 “We can only conclude that the strategic variables controlling our future are becoming technology and, in particular, the human intellectual resources to advance technology.” – p.446 Kurzweil

65 Scarce Natural Resources Will Remain Scarce Although computer does not need scarce natural resources, people in the computer age need them. –Oil, natural gas, iron/steel, food,... The resources are more scarce since people are getting richer due to computing technology, and the richers need more. Critiques

66 Land and Labor Still Matter Labors will be needed as before, albeit the type of labors is changing from blue collar workers to white collar professionals. Land, which carries scarce resources, needed professionals, and infrastructures, will remain a cornerstone of power. Critiques

67 Technology Adds to Cornerstones Technology just adds to the traditional cornerstones of power, rather than replace them. Critiques

68 Computing Would Imperil Controlled Society Creativity and innovation cannot be forced. Unstoppable computer networks provide a platform for free speech, promote free communication, and encourage the open society. Controlled societies are at stake. Kurzweil

69 Computing May Help Totalitarian Government Computers play today an indispensable role in legitimate law enforcement. A dictator can use it equally. Computer technology can help build an efficient and effective totalitarian control. Kurzweil

70 Creativity Is Not Forced  No Creativity in a Forced Society “It is a fortunate truth of human nature that creativity and innovation cannot be forced.” Be alert not to be misled by the above statement that there is not creativity in a highly controlled society. –Germany in WWII, Soviet Union, China Critiques

71 How It Influences Society Depends on Who Controls It The last paragraph of this topic on p.447: Computer technology may lead to a flowering of individual expression, creativity, and communication or to an era of efficient and effective totalitarian control. It will all depend on who controls the technology. A hopeful note is that the nature of wealth and power in the age of intelligent machines will encourage the open society. Oppressive societies will find it hard to provide the economic incentives needed to pay for computers and their development. It is true that it depends on who controls the technology. Oppressive government will have political incentive for computer development at any cost! Critiques

72 Computing Is Not Omnipotent Although computing by its nature encourages an open society, its effects on ending totalitarianism should not be exaggerated. Computing is just a tool. Computing is not an omnipotent drug to get freedom and democracy prevailing. The first quote on p.445 is arrogantly optimistic about computing. Critiques

73 Topic 9. Our Concept of Ourselves p

74 Intelligent Computers Are Beginning to Accomplish Musical performances; Teaching some skills and knowledge; Diagnosing and remedial treatment; Designing drugs; Performing medical operations; Locating underground resources; Flying planes. Kurzweil

75 More Difficult Tasks Reading books; Understanding the contents of a book; Passing the Turing test. Kurzweil

76 Most Difficult Tasks Watch a moving scene and understand what is going on; Imitating humans’ subtlety; Pass the Turing test with face-to- face communication. Kurzweil

77 Human vs. Machine Intelligence HumanMachine Computing speed SlowFast Size of memory LargeLarger Reliability of memory DubiousAccurate and Reliable Capability of thinking GoodPoor Improved in past 50 years? NoYes, dramatically Will improve in next 50 years? Not likely. Very likely and dramatically Kurzweil

78 Are We Unique? We may not be the smartest species in the universe forever, simply because we can create a ‘species’ that is smarter than us. Maybe we will fail and go back to appreciate the inherent value of being unique human. Kurzweil


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