A recent article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Edward Moore Geist suggests that there is a universal, natural, physical law that limits the increase of intelligence in computers or life-forms. He writes:
"Through decades of bitter experience, however, (scientists) learned not only that creating intelligence is more difficult than they initially expected, but also that it grows increasingly harder the smarter one tries to become. Bostrom’s concept of “superintelligence,” which he defines as “any intellect that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest,” builds upon similar discredited assumptions about the nature of thought that the pioneers of (Artificial Intelligence) held decades ago................. In the 1950s, the founders of the field of artificial intelligence assumed that the discovery of a few fundamental insights would make machines smarter than people within a few decades. By the 1980s, however, they discovered fundamental limitations that show that there will always be diminishing returns to additional processing power and data.
The problem appears to be that in order to increase intelligence arithmetically, the amount of computing power has to increase logarithmically.
If this hypothesis turns out to be true, Super-intelligence is not possible and advanced alien civilisations cannot exist anywhere in the universe. Moreover the concept of an all-knowing "God" would be a logical impossibility.
Superstitious Christadelphians will claim that their God is not subject to the laws of our universe; but as there is no empirical evidence for such a hypothesis it may be dismissed by the rule of 'Hitchen's Razor.'
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."
The original article can be read here.
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