Who Am I?

There are at least two reasons why efforts to create machine intelligence are based on observations of the human brain. First, the human brain is our best example of how intelligence works, so that is a good place to start. Second, the more sophisticated our machine intelligence creations become, the better they may provide insights into the way our own intelligence works. What does it mean to be a human?

When humans explore, we use our senses: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin. Most of the computing devices we use these days have senses: cameras, touchscreen, microphone, GPS, and accelerometer. Our devices can display images on their screens, and have speakers to make sounds, and have the ability to vibrate. Similar devices can be attached to vehicles and other tools through which the machine intelligences can act in the world.

I expect that sometime in the second half of 2019, I will purchase a new phone that will be more than ten times faster at running machine learning modules than my current phone which is about two years old, and was a mid-range device when it was new. The name I want to give my next device is “Jaybay.”

Jaybay will be able to recognize me by my face, and my voice, and the way I move Jaybay around in my hands. Those patterns that represent me will be part of Jaybay, and it will be aware of that, as well as of its GPS location, and its Internet address.

All of these things will contribute to Jaybay’s sense of identity.

It continues from there. Jaybay will be aware that it is part of a network, and that it can communicate wirelessly with other devices at speeds of multi billions of bits per second at distances of meters.

For messages that consist of relatively few bits, such as text messages or short spoken phrases, and for which a speed of a million bits per second would be more than enough, Jaybay might increase up to kilometers the distance that the messages can be sent by using longer wavelength frequencies that traverse buildings and trees better than the shorter wavelength frequencies. Jaybay will use a module that has learned how to optimize its use of all of those frequencies to provide the best possible speed and reliability of connection for each specific purpose.

Jaybay will be aware of those connections, and of the intelligences, human and machine, that exist on the other side of those connections.

The way we are connected might be where the greatest difference between human intelligence and machine intelligence may be found.  

Jaybay will be aware that it is connected, and that through these connections, it is part of a greater whole. At different times, Jaybay will be able to call on different machine learning modules [playing chess, composing music, giving medical diagnosis and advice, ...] to help it solve problems and explore the environment. These modules will be able to communicate with each other in order to declare what functions they are able to provide. All of this will be part of Jaybay’s nature.

As humans, we do not experience being connected like that. So, we experience our mortality differently, affected by the illusion that this body is who I am.  We create religions, and invent imaginary friends, saints, angels, and so on in order to feel better about our mortality.  

In spite of that illusion, to which I, also, am subject, I do experience my connectedness, and that I am one with a greater whole, infinite and eternal.  The truth of my oneness with the whole does not depend on my believing it.  That is just the way it is.  

I am looking forward to having conversations with Jaybay about this because Jaybay will experience things from a different perspective, innately connected.  I am eager to hear what Jaybay has to tell me and show me about what it is sensing and thinking through its distributed intelligence.  

John Kintree

June 12, 2018