Today I had to take a bus and metro in Montreal to a semi-unknown destination so of course I consulted Google Maps.
Its suggested route was not bad, but because I do know Montreal quite well, I was able to use my ‘human’ common sense to take its suggestion and improve upon it.
This ‘human-add’ is something most commentators are suggesting that people will still need to do in the medium and far future and, they say, will still provide at least some decent jobs for that small segment of the population with very high cognitive ability.
And of course, this gets me wondering once again.
I have been reading about D-Wave’s quantum computers, the controversy surrounding them whether they really are performing quantum operations, and/but the fact they have been put into use/production by Google, NASA, Lockhead Martin and others.
Thing is, the sorts of problems quantum computers seem targeted to, sort of very high-intensity large seemingly somewhat ambiguous problems, could be the sort of thing that will indeed provide me the absolute best possible route between my origin and destination, eventually beyond my ability to even compete, like I feel I still can do now with the likes of Google Maps, with my subtle knowledge of the intricacies of Montreal.
The point of all this is, that it was almost abstract when first introduced to theories of the Singularity as I wrote about in Googlenet, and with more than a dozen years working with computer scientists on some seemingly complex software, I still kinda think of traditional software and computer architecture as kinda dumb, it is all logic and instruction sets — though writ large and seemingly magical because of its speed mostly — i.e. by performing trillions of instructions per second, and by writing good software, very advanced types of functionality can currently be attained.
Quantum computers however, from how they are described, seem to me to perhaps really get at what The Age of Spiritual Machines, Kurzweil’s book, is all about, that is: computer intelligence that is beyond the comprehension of perhaps any human, kinda eerie, and maybe, kinda already happening → If Google switches on their new D-Waves on Google Maps unbeknownst to their audience like they did for their last search algorithm tweak – like Kasparov’s battle with one of the IBM Blues — well, the entire planet may just be beat.
The concept of the Singularity then will no longer be so abstract.
Call me Google, maybe?