Machines and Motivations

“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. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.”

I. J. Good

One of my favorite quotes, both in tone and in subject matter. I hope to replicate them as I write here over time. Which brings me to this blog’s focus — I plan to write frequently about the challenges encountered during my work in Machine Learning, Distributed Systems, and High-Performance Computing (HPC) at scale. In particular, much of the content will include elements of my workings on a distributed hypergraph database called PatternSpace. This database is the manifestation of many of my beliefs regarding specific methods by which to pursue increasingly effective Machine Learning in its myriad forms. Furthermore, I have reason to believe that hypergraphs, as an abstract data structure, will play a large role in the development of new and improved algorithms we may someday use to design machine (ultra)intelligence.

Irby J. Good in the YMCA at Indiana Central College, seated first from the left.

And so I’ll end with this: I.J. Good just might have it right when he said, “Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.” For how many crises might one prevent, and how many enhancements to the human condition might one create? It’s an interesting thought exercise and has become one of the not-so-insignificant motivations behind my work in the Machine Learning field and it’s pragmatically related fields of Distributed Systems, and HPC (with a scattering of Information Theory and Philosophy).


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