So, from the middle of December of the last year, the famous inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil started working for Google. As we wrote in our blog before, (and this is the main text, that I like to refer to), the events are out of the line, and I won’t be afraid to say the word “revolutionary”.
Let’s first analyze why Google needs Artificial Intelligence. On the background of news about Android, hydroelectric power stations and other stuff, it is easy to forget that Google, is first of all a search engine. In fact, it is it who brings the lion’s share of income. But what is a search engine of tomorrow?
Quote 2 (from a Google document for internal use in 2006):
“To be the best in the search, we have to create a world-class research center dealing with artificial intelligence.”
Why Artificial Intelligence? The fact is that the existing search does not understand the sense of the request. It is searching just by the keywords, creating a search result based on the page reputation. For the search revolution Google must understand exactly what you are looking for. And at the same time to search through a mass of data that consists not only from the page index (it’s worth remembering about the Deep Web).
According to the information in our blog, if you look at the activities of Google, from this point of view, we can understand the causes of some unprofitable Google projects. There are several typical examples:
1. Almost 10 years ago, Google launched a major project on scanning library books. It quarreled with the right owners but did not stop its activity. According to the historian of science George Dyson, in 2005, he was invited to give a lecture to the staff of the Google company, and one of the employees mentioned that, a quote again, “We started the digitization of books, not in order for them to be read by people,” We scan books in order for them to be read by artificial intelligence. “
2. The Street View project. Most of the data, collected by branded cars, is not available to users. But the self-governing car of the Google company looks at the world with almost the same sensor.
3. Project GOOG-411, a voice directory that receives queries and gives answers in a voice form. The service is unprofitable, but it has a different task – to save the base of voice calls for further schooling of a more advanced system.
But even with this in mind, hiring Kurt Kurzweil is a remarkable event. The thing is that, again a quote: “Some consider him a genius prophet, but others – nearly the founder of the sect.”
The first person in the world, who has created a system of text recognition, and the creator of one of the first synthesizers that can accurately simulate the sounds of traditional musical instruments, is strongly associated with the term “singularity”. What is it? It is assumed that “when the limitations of the human brain will be broken, technical progress will go into a tailspin. A chain reaction will start: a powerful artificial intelligence will quicker than people figure out how to build a more powerful system that will continue to improve – and so on to the infinity (or rather as long as the physical limit is not reached). After this change will be so rapid that even the approximate predictions about what will happen next, are meaningless. This point in history is offered to be called the “technological singularity.”
According to Kurzweil, in 2030 (according to the most well-known Moore’s Law), computers will be so complex that they will be able to simulate the work of a human brain. It will mean that the singularity has come. But certainly Google is not interested in it. A searcher is interested in developments in the field of artificial intelligence. For us it is important to understand where we are going. And since Kurzweil thinks the appearance of the singularity is possible, then we will move in that direction.