»He calls it reason — thence his power’s increased,
To be far beastlier than any beast.«
»When I was a boy I wanted to maximize my impact on the world. And I was smart enough to realize that I am NOT very smart and that I have to build a machine that learns to become much smarter than myself, such that it can solve all the problems that I cannot solve myself, and I can retire«.
Jürgen Schmidhuber is considered the father of modern AI: his algorithms enable, among other groundbreaking AI-solutions, Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. They run on billions of smart computers and would have made him and his co-creators incredibly rich if they could have been patented.
But patenting pure algorithms or AI methods is very difficult to impossible. Software patents require the solution of a technical problem by technical means. Developing abstract ideas alone is not sufficient. But if pure AI itself cannot be protected, what is the next best solution? It’s a monopolization of technically enabling the next development stages, which is very difficult or even impossible to circumvent.
So what’s the next and ultimate development stage? Some really generalized, conscious AI.
The enabling of this step does not only unsettle religious people and philosophers. Anyway, on closer examination even the romance of knowledge is ultimately only a form of unfulfilled love, according to Ashby: »whether [… s.o./sth.] can be “really” intelligent is not a question for the philosophers: they know nothing about […] intelligence.« And unfortunately, only few people can really be called »crowns of creation«. Even human »geniuses« are never really universally ingenious, but similar to the currently superhumanly powerful AI systems usually more specialized, cf. Nietzsche: »I have never believed the people when they speak of great human beings — and I maintained my belief that it was an inverse cripple who had too little of everything and too much of one thing«.
Fear has always been a bad advisor. Technology races are not won by self-restraint — we are limited enough as it is. Those who slow down in the global technological race are bound to lose, with far-reaching consequences.
Enabling the next and final steps on the road to an ultimate powerful AI is a technical integration and coordination problem which also meets the technicity requirements for institutional protection rights. Finally, AI won’t become superhuman-like unless you enable superhuman plasticity of neural networks.
I’m looking for international development and patent utilization partnerships, please contact me via Threema, if your’re interested.
© 2021 Dr. Thomas R. Glueck, Munich, Germany. All rights reserved.