Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk
AI still has a long way to go(in a linear apparent sense, not exponential sense), but there are already AI that learn, one of the links I posted names several of them. I certainly think that human intelligence, directed towards a specific task, then employing faster more capable machines on the issue can actually improve on our natural evolution (as it demonstrably has already) to create the human level AI that will have human level abilities...
I have listed 2 items that I believe can not be emulated simply because they are non-quantifiable. Even if you modeled every neuron in the human brain, I still don't think you could create human level of intelligence simply because the interactions are too complex and that's just neurons. We still don't know what astrocytes and oligodendrites contribute and they outnumber the neurons 10 to 1. I also agree with you that an AI is not required for the singularity. Cloud sourcing maybe the beginning of the singularity as we integrate human abilities with computer architecture.
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