NanoTech Data Storage

From Scientific American.com :

IBM researchers this week announced they’ve made major strides in nanotechnology by studying how to build storage and other computing devices out of components no bigger than a few atoms or molecules.

Researchers at the company’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., report in Science that magnetic anisotropy could eventually be used to store information in individual atoms, paving the way to pack as much as 150 trillion bits of data per square inch, 1,000 times more than current data storage densities. In other words, the ability to store data in individual atoms could lead to devices capable of storing the equivalent of 30,000 movies in a device the size of an iPod.

If this technology is made possible, it could seriously increase the possiblity of a technological Singularity, especially in the area of creating strong AI, or “the ghost in the machine.”

Ray Kurzweil, author, inventer, entrenepeur and prominent Singularitarian advocates creation of such a “being”. In a November, 2006 debate with David Gelernter at MIT, Kurzweil states; ” Mastering human emotion and human language is really key to the Turing test, which has held up as our exemplary assessment of whether or not a non-biological intelligence has achieved human levels of intelligence…and that will require a machine to master human emotion, which in my view is really the cutting edge of human intelligence. That’s the most intelligent thing we do. Being funny, expressing a loving sentiment—these are very complex behaviors…”

Thusly, nanotech data storage at the atomic, or subatomic level could be the next step in Moore’s Law and essential to increased computational speeds-a necessary ingredient in any proposed AI system.

Personally, my view on creating an artificial intelligent system with consciousness without a human being in the loop isn’t feasable. The Universe is uniquely structured toward a biological bias with it’s abundance of carbon and oxygen (Anthropic Principle), a computer imbued with a conscience seems to be antithical to Nature, so there could be a glass ceiling where machines are concerned.

Of course I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am in this respect. If I am, and I wake up tomorrow to a ringing phone and a guy claiming to be “Morpheus” starts talking, well…

13 responses

  1. I am a “jack of all trades, master of none” kinda person when it comes to computers and computer technology. In other words, enough to get me in trouble usually.

    There have been many ways coming to light lately concerning increased computation speeds in computer chips; Optical lasers, quantum “qubits”, photonic tunnelling to list a few. And now using individual atoms as data storage.

    Which process will eventually work, if any of them work at all to bring about a super-intelligent artificial being and a Singularity results?

    I don’t think we’d recognise it if it ever does (did?) happen.

  2. Morpheus wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot pole, Jarhead! 😆

    Well, there’s certainly nothing wrong with increased data storage capabilities. Artificial Intelligence on a Singularity scale? Wouldn’t that preclude actual intelligence on the part of the creator? (Oops! There’s that word again… keeps slipping out!)

    True, like you, I could ‘create’ something… say a bomb out of various chemicals, by mixing them together and ‘creating’ a reaction; probably blow myself to smithereens doing it, and call myself a ‘creator’ of something… although the end product might not be deemed intelligent, it is still a product of my enginuity.

    1. The chemicals used were not ‘created’ by me. I used extant material in my ‘creation’.
    2. I could not explain to anyone exactly how those chemicals functioned in their most elemental way to react the way they did PRIOR to being combined, let alone the way they did when mixed together.

    So, my question is; do we really ‘create’ anything? And… if we could, are we intelligent or evolved enough OURSELVES to manage what we create, or even to create it in the first place? How can we create something ‘smarter’ than ourselves?

    The most powerful computers in existence are so far behind us in complexity and diversity, as to place them, as it were, as far below us on an evolutionary scale as is an amoeba! Sure, they might be able to ‘remember’ more bits of information and ‘recall’ those bits quicker than we could, but it still has no comprehensive understanding or inherent personality. It has no feelings, and cannot appreciate us for creating it or using it.

    Speaking for those that do not accept the existence of a deity, even they would agree that man is not a “perfect” organism. Speaking from my own perspective as one who does believe in God, how can an imperfect being ‘create’ anything perfect? Would the provision of eons and eons of time eventually imbue in man the ‘perfection’ needed to actually ‘create’ some THING or some ONE?

    There is an established thermodynamic that essentially says that all things tend toward destruction. My aging body can attest to that! There are evidences in the world today that man possessed a high level of architectural prowess in ages past – we still are not sure how they pulled off building the pyramids! Perhaps we are not evolving at all, but de-evolving!

    Well, if it IS possible to attain an evolutionary and intellectual singularity, given his track record so far, I don’t see man headed that way. There’s an old saying that the created can never be greater than it’s creator. And to have to use extant material to ‘create’ is kind of self-deflating in our rush toward god-hood, I would think!

    I suspect Morpheus won’t be calling you up anytime in this reality, Marine! Gabriel, maybe…

    😉

  3. To use an example in nature, lower animals seem to thrive and perform their lives quite well and happily (if we don’t interfere with them) in their ‘inferiority’ to us. They seem to be capable of appreciating life even more than we; certainly more than anything we ‘create’. They question not whereabouts or how they came to be, they just live and enjoy life! Ever see a cat do a back-flip, then run up a tree for no good reason? A horse running through a pasture, kicking up it’s heels? Your dog playing with you? Dolphins chasing a boat for the sheer hell of it? (Some scientists think they’re smarter than us!) I’d call that having an awareness of pleasure, wouldn’t you?

    Man seems consumed with having to rearrange his world and dominating it, and each other, yet other beings seem quite content with it the way it is. Do they aspire to godhood? Why do we?

    Why do we?

  4. That’s the concept behind the technological Singularity, to actually “create” conscious thought in a machine either through hardware or software. The resulting intelligence might be human equal at first, but because of a computer’s faster processing speeds, it would be able to design better, better and better versions of itself until it reached superhuman intelligence and consciousness, to be “godlike”. Then all bets are off because how would human beings control such a thing?

    The point you bring up is almost the same as mine, how can Man create a being greater than himself? That would mean that man could equal God or (Gods). Is that possible?

    That’s why I said that we’ll never make a conscious machine, the Universe isn’t structured that way. It was brought into existence to support biological beings, what ever form they take.

    And to answer why mankind tries to be the equal of the Creator? What better way to emulate the Creator, imitation is the greatest form of flattery!

    Some would say that’s hubris instead. I like to think of it as a form of worship without prostration.

  5. The Christian view is that our WORSHIP is the greatest compliment we can give God, and, ideally, that is done willingly and voluntarily. I know that I wouldn’t want anyone’s FORCED worship, and I can’t see God being different in that respect. The Bible infers that by beholding God we become changed, and behave in character like Him. Worship would enable that process to happen. Just as He created us, and ultimately died for us, we will exhibit that same selflessness if we are one with Him. Selflessness, as initiated by Him, is the way we pay our respects, not by trying to equal Him.

    I don’t think it necessary to prostrate ourselves. Some, through either a deep sense of unworthiness, awe, or gratitude might feel it necessary, but it isn’t necessary to prostrate oneself. In trying to comprehend God and even if He did, indeed, have a point of origin, I reached the point of ‘singularity’ myself, in that I was freed from the old life of uncertainty and fear. Life’s mysteries, for the most part, were answered, when no other source could offer an explanation.

    Anyway, I don’t want to hijack your thread. From a secular and scientific point of view, there are some titillating prospects for debate over our origins and future with the observations you’ve provided. From that perspective, though, I have to agree with your statement on the structure of the universe accommodating carnal, biological entities more readily than artificial… although the term “artificial” implies something created, too. That being true, would tend to discount spontaneous materialization, which is the inevitable conclusion one must come to in searching for some point of origins in a Godless universe.

  6. There was an interesting article going across the InnerTube news recently that geneticists are close to creating biological artificial life. Is that possible?

    Would that be the same as mechanical artificial life, if there ever could be such a thing?

    I don’t know. These issues raise ethical problems that the United States probably will pass on by simply outlawing them, given our current fundimentalist frame of mind.

    But somebody will do it, that is certain!

  7. Being that we are created beings ourselves, or, from the atheist’s view, extant by virtue of preexistant matter that has somehow coalesced into a living being, I’d say it would be impossible for man to create anything, only RE-create or copy with what is already available. The ability to create is not inherent in us, being that we are created beings ourselves, or the product of chance, depending on your point of view.

    If something ever came from their work, it wouldn’t be a bonafide created life form… more of a genetic manipulation or clone of life. If it were artificial, it wouldn’t be a true life form. The key word is “life”, something inanimate, artificial objects don’t possess. It is a contradiction of terms to begin with. It is possible to combine the living with the inanimate in a cybernetic adaptation, but again, there are two distinct classes, there, with the organic component controlling the mechanical.

    Perhaps, in the absence of an organic brain, a computer could be used control the biological component of the cyborg, but then we have an automaton without any self-awareness other than a pseudo-programmed one, which really isn’t one at all except in appearance. No, by those criteria, I’d say it was impossible to create ANY life outside of God.

    I’ve never been against legitimate research, especially in the medical realm, into genetic alterations and manipulations in order to combat disease. However, with the advances in homeopathic, preventative medicine and scientific acknowledgement of alternate healthful living practices, I don’t see where we have to try and “play God” in areas that do not immediately address the concerns for the time. Frivolous medical and scientific research and development of devices and procedures that more reflect an overabundance of available resources and funds, and the wasting of time better spent in pursuing the aforementioned courses would, in my mind, be better than trying to prove our prowess as god men.

    Tapping government resources just to see if you really can make a two-headed rat is a waste of our time and money. Likewise, seeing if you can program the Energizer Bunny with “self-awareness” is ludicrous, as well!

    Maybe I’m just no fun…

    😦

  8. I think back to the movies “Terminator” and “The Matrix” where supercomputers had reached a level of so-called self awareness. In fact, they really hadn’t, although their sophistication was great enough to infer or imply that they had become cognisant. In reality, they were still the cold and calculating logic-driven machines they always were. They had no emotions. Any apparent emotional response was a programmed simulation that an outside entity would RECOGNIZE as an emotional response, but in reality it was logically conceived and generated.

    “I Robot” attempted to override that concept. The robot in that movie purportedly did have emotions, but again, they were the result of some kind of symbiotic engram of his human creator. Without the human element, it was just another machine.

    To create something from NOTHING is the hallmark of divinity. All else are cheap knock-offs.

  9. Nobody is actually creating something out of nothing. By the nature of the Universe itself there are all the building blocks of any construct, biological or mechanical, that is a proven fact.

    Recent discoveries have been made that the Universe has an abundance of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and even water itself. All of the things human beings and other critters are made from. So the of the ingredients of biological life is plentiful throughout the Universe. The argument can be made that scientists are just using ingredients that are already there, they’re just learning to put them together in a way where the results show ‘life’ or a facsimile of life.

    Unless you’re saying like in the Christian Bible, there was nothing but God until He spake the Universe into existence.

    But then you’re bringing up the eternal question of where did God come from? By that very definition one can say nothing can come from nothing, but since God is something, can something be nothing at the same time?

    Chicken or the egg?

    I know, I’m an evil ol’ Jarhead and Morpheus won’t come within 10 feet of me. 😉

  10. “Nobody is actually creating something out of nothing. By the nature of the Universe itself there are all the building blocks of any construct, biological or mechanical, that is a proven fact.”

    Okay, it’s fact. Now… where did it come from? Was it always there? If you can believe that, then why not consider an eternal deity?

    “Unless you’re saying like in the Christian Bible, there was nothing but God until He spake the Universe into existence.”

    Ditto.

    “But then you’re bringing up the eternal question of where did God come from? By that very definition one can say nothing can come from nothing, but since God is something, can something be nothing at the same time?”

    Correction: God is SOMEONE. In fact, He’s (They’re) THREE! Three, and yet one! And He created ALL. Not limited to pre-existant matter, He formed the basic units of construction for this universe from nothing. We use what He made. We produce copies, at best, of what He’s accomplished from originally having nothing.

    Think about it… it’s really no different than if you carry any other opposing theory back far enough. There still comes a nexus point for reality and nothingness, and you have to step out into the supernatural to explain it. There was a point of nothingness at some point in time. Absolute nothingness. Matter can be dated. Accurately is another matter, but matter has age, and age implies finite existence.

    In our universe, matter, life, everything had to have an origin point. Even science says that the universe had a beginning. And since matter can be dated, and the Steady State theory of universal expansion seems to hold sway in academia, then why not take the next logical step beyond nexus point, and call for a coordinating, conscious force to bring into existence, or at least organize what’s there into a coherent and malleable structure that can become stable enough for operation?

    And after all of THAT… WHERE oh WHERE do those inconvenient, and nonessential-for-life-or-it’s-continuance, pesky EMOTIONS come from? I keep asking people that, but never get an answer!

    Yes! You ARE an evil ol’ jarhead! But I luvs ya, anyway!

    😆

  11. The “experts” say it’s a survival trait, re, attachment to family to protect them. And yes they’re a pain in the arse.

    As for the Universe, it has been expoused lately since the Universe seems to favor our type of biology (anthropic universe), it might have been “created” from some kind of intelligence from a previous universe.
    http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0690.html
    is a link to a James Gardner article about the intelligent universe.

    No, no supernatural stuff, but you have to admit, this comes as close to reconciling science and faith as I have seen it. Check it out. I’m not asking you to deny your faith, just read another take on the issue.

  12. There is no “family” mindset in the evolutionary paradigm, only that of survival of the fittest by whatever means possible, including crawling over your mother’s prostrate form if need be. Survival instincts shouldn’t be confused with higher emotions like love, loyalty, sentimentality, etc… all quite useless for the immediate concern of staying alive, and likewise indicative of some form of higher influence upon the organism other than the raw reflex instincts required for it’s survival.

    Basically, in the evolutionary scenario, an organism, after surmounting the next-to-impossible odds of popping into existence under the next-to-impossible odds of having all of the supposedly pre-extant material there handy for it, and in the right proportions and under the next-to-impossible conditions in a chaotic environment, for life to ‘nurture’… all the while somehow developing within itself the ability to withstand future and unforeseeable climatic and environmental conditions through mutations that would normally and logically only be possible AFTER an encounter with said inhospitable conditions… which, in all probability, would simply wipe out the organism before it could adapt, is what the evolutionist is trying to sell us in a nutshell.

    Now, I know you’re talking about ET seeding, and I read the article which is saying the same thing. I took out a few points from it, but I think it supports what I’ve been saying all along… that events had to have been guided by a superior intelligence. The author side-steps God, and attributes this act to ANOTHER source or set of beings. It still amazes me how people will go to the lengths they do to explain in essence what the lowly Christian accepts by faith – a superior being gave us life and sustains it. The primary difference between that and the author of the article’s views is his reluctance to attribute creation to an INDIVIDUAL PERSON as opposed to a COLLECTIVE. And, of course, there is our programming by elitist-inspired, atheistic socialist forces tampering with our education in their schools and institutions that instill within us a reluctance to perceive of anything greater than us as myth.

    Here are some of the points he made that I find complimentary to my own views:

    “The fact that our universe seems queerly hospitable to carbonbased intelligent life–an astronomically improbable oddity that many leading scientists have identified as the deepest mystery in all of science…”

    “…that this device (the universe) is an artifact bequeathed to us by a supreme intelligence that existed long, long ago and far, far away. All knowledgeable observers agree that the scope of its stupendous powers and the sheer delicacy of its miniscule moving parts seem nothing short of miraculous.”

    “These extraterrestrials were not, for the most part, born ex nihilo in the fireball of the Big Bang. Instead, they were hammered into existence in the forges of supernova explosions…”

    (This thought is interesting, with regard to the fact that in the evolutionary paradigm, particularly in a white-hole scenario, all previously extant matter from another universe would be totally annihilated by the singularity of the gravity well. Like our view of an eternally extant deity, his ET’s would have had to be immortal, too, given the scenario put forth.)

    “Would you not say to yourself, “Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule?” Of course you would…. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.”

    (I like Hoyle!)

    “The best way to think about life, intelligence, and the universe is that they are not separate things, but are different aspects of a single phenomenon. To take liberties with a popular ballad, “We are the world, we are the people, and we are the universe.”

    (This is an echo from Eden, and the first lie ever told upon the Earth, according to scripture. In essence, it says WE are God, or at the very least that He is IN us. It’s called Pantheism in the Christian vernacular. I recognize this from my religious training and arguing with Pantheists over the years. Satan originally told Eve that by disobeying God, she would become LIKE Him. Even if you don’t believe in the Bible or it’s sayings, you’ll have to admit that pantheistic teachings have been around for awhile, given that discourse.)

    “If the cosmos were not so old and large, multiple generations of stars could not have formed, burned brightly for billions of years, and then blown themselves to pieces in titanic supernovae explosions, thereby synthesizing all the higher elements in the periodic table. Absent those elements (especially carbon and oxygen), there could be no life anywhere amid the countless galaxies that fill the universe.”

    Well, I won’t argue the fact that there was an intelligent design. I guess our main difference of opinion is WHO as opposed to WHOM did it. The probability of life occurring spontaneously on it’s own without help has been thoroughly debunked, here, by both schools of thought. That, by itself, will get you in hot water, Marine, speaking from HARD experience! Ha-ha!

    Now… we need only figure out, if your ET’s are NOT eternal beings, exactly WHO or WHOM was it that created them?

  13. According to Ray Kurzweil, Post-Singularity beings fit the bill. They would be the eternal beings and able to propogate an “infant” Universe the next time around.

    Of course this precludes the possibility of a Singularity happening. If not, everything is moot and it really is the “law of the jungle” and none of us are worth a tinker’s damn.

    Check out Ray K ^^ thread.

    Also read Frank Tipler if you haven’t already.

    Man, you got a crusty ol’ hard head to match your thick hide, y’know that!

    No wonder the chain I rattle is so damn heavy! 😉

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