Jeff Hawkins Makes A Bold AI Claim - Thinking and Reasoning Computers in Five Years

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jeff Hawkins Makes A Bold AI Claim - Thinking and Reasoning Computers in Five Years

 Artificial Intelligence
Numenta founder Jeff Hawkins recently  told a Silicon Valley conference that he believes his company will successfully produce the first computers which can think and reason on their own,"in less than five years." 




Jeff Hawkins, the man behind the first Palm Pilot and the brain-inspired artificial intelligence company Numenta told a Silicon Valley conference recently that he believes his company will successfully produce the first computers which can think and reason on their own. "We're going to finish this off in less than five years." he stated.

"Once we understand those principles of the neocortex, we can modify them -- we don’t need to be true to evolutionary biology. We still have so much to learn about the basics of how biology works. Progress is incremental but also exponential. We’re going to finish this off in less than five years, I believe."


Hawkins delivered his prediction at the SVForum iHuman Conference in San Mateo, California.  He has been building up Numenta for the past nine years, following in-depth neuroscience research which he detailed in his book, On Intelligence,

Widely regarded as one of the country's foremost experts in the biological structure of the human brain, Hawkins has been working on machine learning technology that would give computers the ability to gather large amounts of data and use it to become even smarter as time goes on.

"I'm trying to reverse engineer the neocortex," explained Hawkins, referring to the area of the brain where spatial reasoning and conscious thought reside.

"Intelligence shouldn’t be measured by any particular task. What characterizes intelligence is extreme flexibility… building a flexible learning system. [Some AI is] focused on being human-like; our work here is not being human-like at all. It’s about understanding the general principles of intelligence that we can apply to all kinds of problems," said Hawkins.

Related articles
Hawkins believes reverse engineering the neocortex is the fastest way to intelligent machines. Neuroscience has shown that language and touch work on the same principles, and Hawkins predicts that a machine’s abilities will unfold in a similar way once scientists are able to tap inherent potential.

“Once we understand those principles of the neocortex, we can modify them -- we don’t need to be true to evolutionary biology,” Hawkins said. “We still have so much to learn about the basics of how biology works. Progress is incremental but also exponential. We’re going to finish this off in less than five years, I believe.”

The implications of Hawkins' work and the potential new technology offered by Numenta are significant. Today's computers are largely programmed by humans in much the same way that they were 30 years ago. If machines could learn on their own without the vast amounts of time and effort to program them, then it would dramatically revolutionize how technology is created today.

Earlier this year, Numenta announced the first commercial application of its research when it revealed that their Grok IT for Analytics platform was now running on Amazon Web Services. Grok, which is named after the term for "understanding" in Robert Heinlein's 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land, is being used by Amazon to detect pattern changes in the operation of their servers.

"We can go beyond what biology has done," said Hawkins. "I believe the quickest way to get to intelligent machines is the path we're taking."

There is also growing concern that legitimate machine self-learning could unleash a dangerous world where computers without human control would replicate the good and the bad. Hawkins addressed this directly last week at the iHuman Conference when he said "a lot of smart people think this is really dangerous, but I think they are wrong."

Hawkins also said that people should be more worried about the ability for humans to self-replicate viruses on computer systems today. "I'm far more worried about people in some lab making a new virus than machine intelligence," said Numenta's co-founder.

The talk below is not the exact talk Hawkins gave at iHuman, but was produced very near the same time.



SOURCE  EE Times

By 33rd SquareEmbed