Saturday, 24 March 2018

Technological and Scientific Predictions

From here.

[E]ngineers working on quantum computing at both Google and IBM say that a quantum “dream machine” capable of solving computing’s most vexing problems might still be decades away. 

So much for all the hype about Quantum Computers. Press accounts always wildly overstate the progress of scientific discoveries, technology etc. Quantum Computers are just around the corner? No one will be driving cars soon? Earth-like planets are being discovered left, right and centre? Conscious robots indistinguishable from humans will soon be here? We'll soon be able to upload our consciousness to computers and achieve immortality? Man will soon land on Mars? The singularity is almost upon us? It's all nonsense. All of it. Be very cynical of reports of rapid technological progress.

Conscious robots? Well, for a kick off they're assuming that brains produce consciousness.  So if brains can do this, and we replicate their function, then we should, in principle, be able to eventually have conscious computers too. But how do we know that brains produce consciousness?

I stress to add that I do think certain technological breakthroughs will eventually happen. Autonomous cars for example. I predicted 4 years ago that all cars on the roads will be autonomous by 2060. But 2060! That's a long time away. Also I think Virtually Reality will eventually completely change everything.

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