Google A.I. a Twinkle in Larry Page's Eye
"People always make the assumption that we're done with search. That's very far from the case. We're probably only 5 percent of the way there. We want to create the ultimate search engine that can understand anything ... some people could call that artificial intelligence."
Larry's remarks didn't end there. He hinted that such things were already afoot at Google. He refused to predict when Google would achieve their goal of an AI, but he did say that "a lot of our systems already use learning techniques".
Larry noted how powerful an AI powered search engine would be. "The ultimate search engine would understand everything in the world. It would understand everything that you asked it and give you back the exact right thing instantly," saying, "You could ask 'what should I ask Larry?' and it would tell you."
He finished his AI thoughts on a promising note. Explaining that he has learned that technology has a tendency to change faster than expected, and that an AI could be a reality in just a few years. Those are very strong words coming from the mouth of one of the founders of a company with the wealth and vision of Google. Words to mark in the years ahead.
Before I continue I must admit to being entirely too fond of Google. I use their services constantly throughout the day. For search, email, chat, translation, news and maps. Case in point, this blog is hosted on Google's Blogger, and all of our posts are first prepared in writely. For me, a day without Google is like a day without sunshine.
That being said, I think Google is a different kind of company. They are a collection of thousands of great minds. Google's goal is the collection, organization and dissemination of all of the information possessed by mankind. You don't get much more ambitious than that. And with few debatable exceptions, they have stood by their motto of "Don't be Evil." One of their latest projects is a digital library of Alexandria. They plan to scan and index every book. Google has consistently been at the forefront of Web 2.0. Their offerings have a tendency to work both smarter and harder than that of the competition.
If any currently existing company has the were-with-all to bring us a functional AI, it is the brain trust at Google. In fact, futurist George Dyson has theorized that Google may already be home to a budding AI. "For 30 years I have been wondering, what indication of its existence might we expect from a true AI? ... Anomalous accumulation or creation of wealth might be a sign, or an unquenchable thirst for raw information, storage space, and processing cycles". Sound familiar?
Regardless of whether or not Google is currently housing an Artificial Intelligence, I don't doubt that sometime soon they will be. Let us put aside our foolish knee jerk skynet fears and think for a moment of what the future will be like in the presence of that much knowledge and information. The development of an AI will parallel the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, or the creation of the scientific method. Something that will change the very nature of the world. That's a lot of responsibility for any one to bear. But I cant think of a group more up to the task than Google. We at Memepunks would like to officially reserve our spots on the waiting list for Gmind beta, but they already know that. [inspired by the Guardian and Kazinform]
"In attempting to construct such machines we should not be irreverently usurping His power of creating souls, any more than we are in the procreation of children. Rather we are, in either case, instruments of His will providing mansions for the souls that He creates." - Alan Turing