Machines will attain human levels of intelligence by the year 2040, predicts robotics expert Hans Moravec. And by 2050, they will have far surpassed us.
In this mind-bending new book, Hans Moravec takes the reader on a roller coaster ride packed with such startling predictions. He tells us, for instance, that in the not-too-distant future, an army of robots will displace workers, causing massive, unprecedented unemployment. But then, says Moravec, a period of very comfortable existence will follow, as humans benefit from a fully automated economy. And eventually, as machines evolve far beyond humanity, robots will supplant us. But if Moravec predicts the end of the domination by human beings, his is not a bleak vision. Far from railing against a future in which machines rule the world, Moravec embraces it, taking the startling view that intelligent robots will actually be our evolutionary heirs. "Intelligent machines, which will grow from us, learn our skills, and share our goals and values, can be viewed as children of our minds." And since they are our children, we will want them to outdistance us. In fact, in a bid for immortality, many of our descendants will choose to transform into "ex humans," as they upload themselves into advanced computers. We will become our children and live forever.
In his provocative new book, the highly anticipated follow-up to his bestselling volume Mind Children, Moravec charts the trajectory of robotics in breathtaking detail. A must read for artificial intelligence, technology, and computer enthusiasts, Moravec's freewheeling but informed speculations present a future far different than we ever dared imagine.