Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 23rd Jun 2012 20:18 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Artificial intelligence is still a long way from delivering the human intelligence in robot form that has long been common in science fiction.
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What happened to most of our fantasies?
by zima on Sat 23rd Jun 2012 20:58 UTC
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

Apart from "super AI", scifi also envisioned colonies on the moon in XX century; or such flying cars / aircraft from "our" times: http://goo.gl/9TLhg (Wiki Unicode URL, tends to work weird; and we can even build them - basically just take a Harrier, remove wings and canopy - still a horrible idea vs. "boring" reality: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ryanair_Boeing_737-800_appro... ); or that videocalls will be the mode of distant communication (while, in fact, we largely went "back" to text)

OTOH it didn't really envision the ubiquity of computers, mobile phones, or digital capture and storage of images and audio.

Or Rosey the Robot versus Roomba difference.

Maybe works of popular fiction tend to be no better than background noise at predicting future, at least as far as what's commonly depicted in them goes.


Besides, that "human intelligence in robot form" is far older than it seems, for example with golem - one of old tricks in myths or fairy tales. They are tools of storytelling; and sort of cargo cults overall, modern mythologies really - in those we always wished for something silly to be true, often also naively extrapolating "known" things or observed rates of progress (like with those aircraft above, envisioned during the times of rapid advanced in marine tech; or "spaceplanes" in the scifi of ~40s, during rapid advanced in airplane tech - worse, possibly inspiring some later dead end projects, large and expensive enough to suck out funding from more sensible paths)

A closer term for scifi would be probably tech fantasy ...after all, there's usually not much place for science in it (as in depicting an actual scientific process, or having a minimum of respect to the conclusions it already gives about our world)


Overall, we sort of had this topic not a long time ago... http://www.osnews.com/comments/26004


PS. And perhaps our universe already shows us that "thinking machines" are at least unlikely, maybe even impractical. After all, something like this should have insane evolutionary advantage, hence it would possibly show up & take over already - if not within our biosphere (obviously not, for now), then at least within likely billions other biospheres in the universe, spreading and likely massively transforming it, enough for it to be visible (possibly even reaching and ~consuming us by now? ;p )
The world already has thinking machines or even replicators: they're called "civilisation" or "life" ...it's an open question if very much more efficient ones are feasible.

Edited 2012-06-23 21:18 UTC

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