Singularity Summit 2007: Google co-evolving with the Web

Singularity Summit 2007: Google co-evolving with the Web

Summary: Google Director of Research Peter Norvig opened the second day of the Singularity Summit 2007 with his take on the state artificial general intelligence (AGI).Norvig was asked during a Q&A after his talk if Google has seen any "emergent" property or behavior (the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions) as it amasses data and manages massive infrastructure that has been a surprise.

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TOPICS: Browser, Google
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Google Director of Research Peter Norvig opened the second day of the Singularity Summit 2007 with his take on the state artificial general intelligence (AGI).

Norvig was asked during a Q&A after his talk if Google has seen any "emergent" property or behavior (the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions) as it amasses data and manages massive infrastructure that has been a surprise.

"We were all surprised at how game theoretic it is," Norvig. "We made a copy of the Web and indexed it and we thought it reflected of Web. Now we understand that we are in co-evolution. When we make a move, the Web changes and when Web changes we do. Optimizers look at what we do and we look at what they do and Web moves in different directions because of the interaction between them. We hadn't expected that."

norvig.jpg File photo

He also cited communications between computers at low level, such unexpected behavior in balancing bandwidth between switches.

Norvig doesn't expect AGIs to suddenly appear overnight. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product index, for example, shows constant exponential progress but it doesn't seem like any great acceleration can be seen or predicted due to technology, Norvig said. The same could be said for percentage annual growth worldwide.

For AGIs to appear, and we only recognize them with some hindsight, several components need to in place, he said:

  • Probablistics first-order logic
  • Hierarchical representation and problem solving--to go from pixels to lines to faces to people in a crowd in a hierarchical fashion
  • Learning over the above
  • With lots of data
  • Online and continuously updated
  • Efficiency

Topics: Browser, Google

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  • Economic growth in the 21st century

    ?Norvig doesn?t expect AGIs to suddenly appear overnight. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product index, for example, shows constant exponential progress but it doesn?t seem like any great acceleration can be seen <b>OR PREDICTED</b> due to technology, Norvig said. The same could be said for percentage annual growth worldwide.? (Emphasis added.)

    I beg to differ with the ?or predicted? part of Peter Norvig's presentation! I understand that Dr. Norvig presented U.S. GDP data for the 20th century, and world GDP data from 1970 to 2000. I agree that one could not see a clear trend from those data. But I disagree that those data are predictive of 21st century U.S. or world GDP.

    I?ve done considerable thinking about expected world per-capita GDP growth in the 21st century:

    http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2004/10/3rd_thoughts_on.html

    And I?ve also made a prediction on the ?Long Bets? website:

    http://www.longbets.org/194

    My prediction on the Long Bets website was that world per-capita GDP growth will increase from 3 percent per year at the beginning of the century to more than 10 percent per year before the century has finished. This will produce an astounding per-capita GDP growth of more than a factor of 1000. That is, world per-capita GDP will increase from approximately $10,000 (purchasing power parity, or PPP) at present, to more than $10 million (PPP, year 2007 dollars) by the end of the century. (Note that I now think that this prediction was likely very conservative. If I were predicting today, I would predict hitting 10 percent per year growth rates before 2050.)

    Why will economic growth be so spectacular, and so dramatically different than in the 20th century? In two words: artificial intelligence. The late (great) Julian Simon accurately identified the source of all human wealth as being the (free) human mind. And I think Ray Kurzweil has accurately predicted that computers will equal and then vastly exceed human intelligence in the coming decades. I?ve done a simple calculation of the number of ?human brain equivalents? (HBEs) that will be added to the human population every year. The HBE calculation is the simple product of the number of computers sold, times Ray Kurzweil?s estimates of the hardware power of computers, relative to human minds. (This calculation ignores software, which might make the values somewhat lower, if software development doesn?t proceed as quickly.)

    By my calculations, personal computers only added one(!) HBE to the human population in 1993. But I expect that to increase to 1 billion HBEs in 2025, and one trillion HBEs in 2033 (see postscript). This is what will produce the spectacular growth. I expect to see clear signs of this growth even by 2025.

    P.S. Ray Kurzweil's calculations that include software development estimate that a $1000 computer won't be the equivalent of a human mind until 2029. So he would calculate a increase of a couple hundred million HBEs in 2029. But he calculates approximately 1 quadrillion HBEs added in 2045, so our calculations only differ by a few years.
    Mark Bahner
  • Economic growth in the 21st century

    Oops. I hope this will have the proper paragraph spacing:

    ?Norvig doesn?t expect AGIs to suddenly appear overnight. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product index, for example, shows constant exponential progress but it doesn?t seem like any great acceleration can be seen <b>OR PREDICTED</b> due to technology, Norvig said. The same could be said for percentage annual growth worldwide.? (Emphasis added.)

    I beg to differ with the ?or predicted? part of Peter Norvig's presentation! I understand that Dr. Norvig presented U.S. GDP data for the 20th century, and world GDP data from 1970 to 2000. I agree that one could not see a clear trend from those data. But I disagree that those data are predictive of 21st century U.S. or world GDP.

    I?ve done considerable thinking about expected world per-capita GDP growth in the 21st century:

    http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2004/10/3rd_thoughts_on.html

    And I?ve also made a prediction on the ?Long Bets? website:

    http://www.longbets.org/194

    My prediction on the Long Bets website was that world per-capita GDP growth will increase from 3 percent per year at the beginning of the century to more than 10 percent per year before the century has finished. This will produce an astounding per-capita GDP growth of more than a factor of 1000. That is, world per-capita GDP will increase from approximately $10,000 (purchasing power parity, or PPP) at present, to more than $10 million (PPP, year 2007 dollars) by the end of the century. (Note that I now think that this prediction was likely very conservative. If I were predicting today, I would predict hitting 10 percent per year growth rates before 2050.)

    Why will economic growth be so spectacular, and so dramatically different than in the 20th century? In two words: artificial intelligence. The late (great) Julian Simon accurately identified the source of all human wealth as being the (free) human mind. And I think Ray Kurzweil has accurately predicted that computers will equal and then vastly exceed human intelligence in the coming decades. I?ve done a simple calculation of the number of ?human brain equivalents? (HBEs) that will be added to the human population every year. The HBE calculation is the simple product of the number of computers sold, times Ray Kurzweil?s estimates of the hardware power of computers, relative to human minds. (This calculation ignores software, which might make the values somewhat lower, if software development doesn?t proceed as quickly.)

    By my calculations, personal computers only added one(!) HBE to the human population in 1993. But I expect that to increase to 1 billion HBEs in 2025, and one trillion HBEs in 2033 (see postscript). This is what will produce the spectacular growth. I expect to see clear signs of this growth even by 2025.

    P.S. Ray Kurzweil's calculations that include software development estimate that a $1000 computer won't be the equivalent of a human mind until 2029. So he would calculate a increase of a couple hundred million HBEs in 2029. But he calculates approximately 1 quadrillion HBEs added in 2045, so our calculations only differ by a few years.
    Mark Bahner
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