Technology is changing our world at an accelerating pace, and the change is going faster than most people would think.
This is the theme that interests me the most and that I’m passionate about, and it’s also the theme that I regularly give talks and seminars on, at conferences and to various institutions, government agencies and corporations.
And to share my views and ideas in one more way, I have launched a YouTube channel. At start I have a few videos on topics such as accelerating technology, digitalization, industries being exposed to fundamental change, artificial intelligence and super human intelligence.
Building up the content takes time, which is my most scarce resource, but I’ll do my best to upload some of those fascinating nuggets of scientific and technological news I regularly get across, adding my views and thoughts.
Please don’t hesitate to get back with comments and suggestions!
Technology changes the world fast, I know. But not as fast as some would like to believe.
Fairytales won’t help.
Mats, thanks for a nice and pedagogic video and your interesting blog posts about Artificial Intelligence. I hope you excuse me for writing a rather long comment here on a related subject that I hope you and your blog readers may find as exciting as I do. At least it is shorter than the eternal discussion about Rossi’s E-cat. 🙂
You are probably correct that artificial Intelligence may have a large impact on our future life. However, I doubt that machines will ever be intelligent in the sense that they can fully replace humans. Will they really be able to do creative thinking, new scientifical discoveries and novel inventions by themselves? Will they be able to create masterpieces in litterature, music and art? It all boils down if we humans are just biological machines or not and thus touches the big existential questions: the soul-body dualism, the question of free will and the feeling that there is a spiritual dimension (which religious persons call God) beyond our material reality.
All people, even atheists, have a perception that they have a free will. Thus, there is also a social consensus that a healthy person is responsible for his actions. But to believe in free will is from a scientific standpoint almost as religious as to believe in God. Benjamin Libets famous experiments during the 1980’s indicated that free will was a mere illusion; the electric potentials in the brain needed to trigger a push on a button seemed to start before the person became aware of his/her decision to do it. Libet’s experiments show that at least some of the big existential questions may not be purely religious and metaphysical but within the realm of explorative science. Maybe science is now ready to attack these spiritual questions, the last stronghold of religion.
It is indeed possible that the human spiritual perceptions are mere illusions and that consciousness is just an emergent property that occurs spontaneously in a sufficiently complex nonlinear system. In that case consciousness can be created if we just put in enough transistors and correct algorithms in a computer. If that would turn out to be true, it would be a final blow to the human self esteem. We used to believe that we were partly divine and that the universe was constructed for us. It is then tough to be reduced to biological automata without free will. However, I am optimistic and believe that there is much more to reality than the science today has explored. Maybe our souls indeed are a part of a larger universal consciousness.
Quantum mechanics open up a possibility for free will to exist and that consciousness may be an integral part of nature. Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner argued already in 1970 in “Physics and the explanation of Life” that physics is not complete until it includes consciousness.
Click to access 31735033440268.pdf
The famous mathematicians John H. Conway and Simon B. Kochen proved in their “Free Will Theorem” 2006 by analyzing entangled quantum mechanical states that if humans indeed have free will then every elementary particle has a microscopic portion of it: a protoconsciousness. Curiously, the Roman philosopher Lucretius, an epicurean living in first century B.C. believed in both free will and Demicritus atomic model and came to a similar conclusion. Assuming free will, he predicted correctly that the atoms must exhibit small unpredictable quantum fluctuations to break the chains of determinism. In a deterministic universe, the information content is constant and free will can hence not exist. It is when the wave function of a quantum mechanical superposition collapses and an elementary particle makes its “choice” that new information is created. The information philosopher Bob Doyle discusses these issues from a scientific perspective using a combination of thermodynamic theory, quantum theory and information theory:
Maybe our consciousness works by coherent amplification of the elementary protoconsciousness in a similar way as stimulated emission can coordinate the spontaneous emission from excited atoms (see e.g. Salari et al. Plausibility of quantum coherent states in Biological Systems). Neuro-biologist Stuart Hameroff and the prestigious physicist Roger Penrose have during the last decades developed a speculative theory of how consciousness and free will may be explained by such coherent quantum effects in the microtubili in the cytoskeleton of the brain cells (see Physics of Life Reviews, Dec 2013 ‘Consciousness in the Universe; A review of the “Orch OR “theory”)
This theory would then be able to save the human free will from not being an illusion (Stuart Hameroff “How the quantum brain biology can rescue conscious free will” in “Integrative Neuroscience”, Oct 2012.).
Modern science thus opens up the possibility that there may indeed be a kind of “consciousness dimension” of our universe. If one wants to call this dimension God is a matter of taste. It is unclear how much of these speculations is pure metaphysics and how much is within the realm of empirical science. However, I think it is important to explore where the border is and I believe and hope that this will become an important cross-disciplinary topic of future science.
The lenr/cold fusion research has since the beginning in 1989 been done outside the Scientific Community, branded as “pathological science” and with minimal or none public funding, A month after Pons & Fleischmann did their first presentation of their findings, Nature and Science ‘declared’ it “dead”, saying that none of the major research institutes at MIT, CalTech, China Lake, etc, was able to replicate it.
One month? Without a detailed paper, relying on mass media clips? Branding P&F as deluded fraudsters?
In spite of this, a few scientist continued research and published papers in main stream journals (not Donald Duck), confirming that some type of lenr had to be present in order to explain the high levels of energy (power) produced. http://lenr-canr.org
Why no cold fusion device on the market? There are lenr devices “on the market” but I’m sceptic though, waiting for independent verifications of their secret IP.
In short. LENR is a complex phenomena involving interdisciplinary efforts and therefore needing facilities, public funding and an open exchange of ideas without unfounded labels from less clever people like you, trying to suppress an evolving field with the potential to save the planet for humanity.
You are the one coming across as Donald Duck, CimPy, not the hard working scientists doing research in spite of people like you.
I share your disbelief in Rossi and in everyone with extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence. But, what about the hundreds of credible teams of scientists reporting LENR in peer reviewed journals from 1989 to the present time? Are they also fraudsters/delusional?
if you really believe codl fusion has been stated since 1989, how can you explain no fusion device is already “on the market”?
By the way, you’re dreaming about “peer reviewed journals” – it is exactly like calling “thirdy part” the team around Rossi – you should also know “Donald Duck” Paper does not count as valid publication.
“Do you have a relevant example for this claim, thy?”
Cold Fusion fits well, there.
Do you have a relevant example for this claim, thy?
Sure. And internet can make you believe technology is advanding in directions it isn’t.
Congratulation I really find your YouTube channel very good. The way you talk and explain about future it is very nice, fact fased, well documented and comprehensible. You will become in the next “top” scientists communicator.
Keep sending this great videos.
Yes, I suppose it’s inevitable, and hopefully manageable without any major unpleasant surprise. It’s an interesting time ahead, indeed.
I agree. Exponential growth of AI is humanity’s only hope of rescuing our planet without adventuring the welfare of its growing human population. Downside? Technological singularity?
The singularity and intelligence explosion is the obvious risk, but I can see no alternative. I don’t even think we can avoid going that way. It’s part of ourselves an inevitable. What we can do is trying to shape the way it develops.
To illustrate that it’s part of ourselves I often think of the simple fact that if we get an idea of how to do something in a better way, we’re absolutely unable not to do it that way. It’s simply against our nature. Which means that this urge to strive ahead at an increasing pace is built into every small part of us, down to the cells and proteins. It’s us.
Dear Mats, I agree with a lot of the things you say. Speaking of AI and big data, what really fascinates me is that your post showed up on the front page of my WordPress, hours after I submitted my first blog post where I talk about similar issues, called The Pursuit of Relevance. I submitted that post hoping to hear people’s thoughts on the matter, and before anyone replied to me, WordPress led me to your video. We truly live in an amazing age!