Monday, August 9, 2010

Digital Love is Forever

What happens when Artificial Intelligence (AI) meets Social Networking (SN)?

By 2035, the supercomputer power will be such that AI might be becoming a tangible reality.  The IBM Blue Gene project certainly represents a contemporary step along the path towards that intriguing horizon.

Over the past few weeks, as an exponentially growing number of Internet users around the world are increasingly digitalizing the stories of their physical lives, I have come to ponder what will happen once we are able to upload our minds into the SN clouds.

AI is an old concept, it actually dates back to the ancient times of Greek mythology.  As I was trying to find more recent representations of AI, my friend Jorge made me aware of a movie released in 1986 called Short Circuit starring Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenburg and directed by John Badham.

$9.99 later I had bought it on iTunes for my viewing pleasure.  The movie is definitely cheesy, yet insightful for its time.

The concept of AI is a leading anchor of the movie's plot.  The hero is "Number 5", a military robot that is hit by lightning which causes him to escape the lab where it was created, and, to keep it short, engage in a light adventure with an animal-lover (Ally Sheedy) and the PhD who created him (Steve Guttenburg).

"Number 5" develops impressive Emotional Intelligence (EI) capabilities.  Dancing being the ultimate form of human communication and a highly emotional pillar of most cultures around the world, I thought I would share how our hero stimulates its electronic neurons dancing to the tune of a well-know Saturday nigh hit from the 80s' (Go directly to 1 min and 35 sec in the video --> I can't get to have the time tag work to do it automatically for you...):

How is that for AI?

The movie was produced at a time well remote from the Internet era, Number 5's EI looks more like an app downloaded from the human world surrounding him.  The other way around, an upload, wouldn't have made much sense at that time.

Now, what happens if around 2035 we are able to upload our mind to our Facebook (or the prevailing mobile optical SN at that time) page and give it free reigns to manage our social interaction with our family and friends?

In 10 generations from us, how will our grand, grand ... grand (9x) children feel about having the opportunity to interact, even dance in real-time with the AI entity that backed up the mind, culture, personality, and life history of their grand, grand ... grand (9x) parents?

Would Digital Love be Forever?

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