The First Ultraintelligent Machine Is the Last Invention That Humanity Need Ever Make

Irving John Good? Arthur C. Clarke? Philip J. Davis? Reuben Hersh? Vernor Vinge? Raymond Kurzweil? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: A prominent computer researcher in the 1950s or 1960s predicted that humanity would create a superintelligent machine sometime during the twentieth century. The researcher believed that this machine would be humanity’s last invention. Would you please tell me the name of this person and help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1965 mathematician, cryptographer, and computer researcher Irving John Good published a speculative article titled “Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine” in the journal “Advances in Computers”. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1]1965, Advances in Computers, Volume 6, Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine by Irving John Good (Trinity College Oxford), Start Page 31, Quote Page 33, Academic Press Inc., New … Continue reading

Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an “intelligence explosion,” and the intelligence of man would be left far behind.

Based on this extrapolation of ascending computer capabilities Good presented the following conclusion with an ominous proviso:

Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading The First Ultraintelligent Machine Is the Last Invention That Humanity Need Ever Make

References

References
1 1965, Advances in Computers, Volume 6, Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine by Irving John Good (Trinity College Oxford), Start Page 31, Quote Page 33, Academic Press Inc., New York. (Verified with scans)

Machines Will Be Capable, Within Twenty Years, of Doing Any Work That a Man Can Do

Herbert A. Simon? Hubert L. Dreyfus? Raymond Kurzweil? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: The field of artificial intelligence (AI) has achieved several remarkable triumphs in recent years. For example, in 2017 the number one ranked Go player in the world was beaten by a computer program called AlphaGo.

Yet, the progress of AI has been much slower than its top researchers predicted. The Nobel-prize winning economist Herbert A. Simon was an influential pioneer in the exploration of AI. Apparently, in the 1960s Simon stated that computers would be capable of doing any tasks that humans could perform within twenty years. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1960 Herbert A. Simon published “The New Science of Management Decision”, and he did assert that computer systems would achieve extraordinarily broad capabilities within two decades, i.e., by 1980. Interestingly, he did not believe that these systems would displace all human labor because computers at that time were very expensive:[1]1960, The New Science of Management Decision by Herbert A. Simon (Professor of Administration, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Institute of Technology), Chapter: Organizational … Continue reading

Technologically, as I have argued earlier, machines will be capable, within twenty years, of doing any work that a man can do. Economically, men will retain their greatest comparative advantage in jobs that require flexible manipulation of those parts of the environment that are relatively rough—some forms of manual work, control of some kinds of machinery (e.g., operating earth-moving equipment), some kinds of nonprogrammed problem solving, and some kinds of service activities where face-to-face human interaction is of the essence.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Machines Will Be Capable, Within Twenty Years, of Doing Any Work That a Man Can Do

References

References
1 1960, The New Science of Management Decision by Herbert A. Simon (Professor of Administration, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Institute of Technology), Chapter: Organizational Design: Man-Machine Systems for Decision Making, Lecture III, Date: April 7, 1960, Quote Page 38, Harper & Row, New York. (Verified with scans)