BT futurist on Nobels and alien thinking
17 Oct 2007

BT futurist on Nobels and alien thinking

Australia’s Computerworld jumps on the futures bandwagon,

17 Oct 2007

Australia’s Computerworld jumps on the futures bandwagon, and provides insight into the 21st century (in stark contrast to what others are writing on the future). In an interview with British Telecom futurist Ian Pearson, a few daring predictions emerged:

1. “Thinking” is going to seem very alien to many people:

We will probably make conscious machines sometime between 2015 and 2020, I think. But it probably won’t be like you and I. It will be conscious and aware of itself and it will be conscious in pretty much the same way as you and I, but it will work in a very different way. It will be an alien. It will be a different way of thinking from us, but nonetheless still thinking. It doesn’t have to look like us in order to be able to think the same way.

2. Some machine intelligences will outsmart humans by 2020, and they will begin winning Nobel Prizes.

This raises an important concern. Our schools are not preparing students to thrive in an environment with a plurality of creative and intellectual modalities. Rather, through regimes such as No Child Left Behind, they are being transformed into cookie-cutter automatons. The irony is that as machines become much more intellectually-capable and creative, human capital is becoming more mechanistic. Which has the better potential to thrive through this century?

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