#replug #persistenceofmemory what makes us human #ai #bladerunner http://www.rediff.com/news/column/the-persistence-of-memory-what-it-means-to-be-human/20160407.htm

April 10, 2016

this piece was published on apr 7th, 2016 at http://www.rediff.com/news/column/the-persistence-of-memory-what-it-means-to-be-human/20160407.htm

i liked uttam ghosh’s illustration. apt, and homage to dali

The persistence of memory: What it means to be human

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April 07, 2016 20:45 IST

Deep-learning machines are conquering realm after realm of human expertise, but is there a difference between Them and Us?
I think the only thing that distinguishes us from the machines is memory. It is what makes us human, says Rajeev Srinivasan.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

In the wake of the astonishing feat by Google’s AlphaGo machine in defeating, nay thrashing 4-1 the world’s best player of Go, it is time for us to wonder what it is that is truly human, that which distinguishes us from the machines.

Deep-learning machines are conquering realm after realm of human expertise, from chess to natural language to Go to other domains, and there is no reason to imagine their progress will come to a halt any time soon.

Some of us may worry that the machines will replace us in more and more jobs; not only the menial, ‘dirty, dangerous, difficult’ jobs that we don’t want to do, but also the ones, including the creative ones, that we like to do.

But is there a difference between Them and Us? I used to think that it was obvious, that they could never be like us, that they were just machines. Now I am not so sure.

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