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By a superintelligence we mean an intellect that is much smarter than the best human brains in practically every field including scientific creativity general wisdom and social skills This definition leaves open how the superintelligence is implemented it could be a digital computer an ensemble of networked computers cultured cortical tissue or what have you It also leaves open whether the superintelligence is conscious and has subjective experiencesEntities such as companies or the scientific community are not superintelligences according to this definition Although they can perform a number of tasks of which no individual human is capable they are not intellects and there are many fields in which they perform much worse than a human brain - for example you cant have real-time conversation with the scientific community Superintelligence requires software as well as hardware There are several approaches to the software problem varying in the amount of top-down direction they require At the one extreme we have systems like CYC which is a very large encyclopedia-like knowledge-base and inference-engine It has been spoon-fed facts rules of thumb and heuristics for over a decade by a team of human knowledge enterers While systems like CYC might be good for certain practical tasks this hardly seems like an approach that will convince AI-skeptics that superintelligence might well happen in the foreseeable future We have to look at paradigms that require less human input ones that make more use of bottom-up methods Given sufficient hardware and the right sort of programming we could make the machines learn in the same way a child does ie by interacting with human adults and other objects in the environment The learning mechanisms used by the brain are currently not completely understood Artificial neural networks in real-world applications today
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