Wednesday, May 13, 2015

IBM Think on the Future of Computing (2)

Robert B. Darnell, MD, PhD, President, CEO and Scientific Director, New York Genome Center; Danny Hillis, Co-founder, Applied Minds; and Dr. John Kelly, Senior Vice President and Director, Research, IBM; with Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune discuss the future of computing--augmenting intelligence, at the 2014 IBM THINK Forum.
There are some weighty issues in this discussion clip:

I imagine that some, maybe many, people will continue to see technology advancement as Man versus Machine, but indeed how we grasp issues, solve problems, and perform tasks is best served with a Man and Machine perspective.  Technology is more than poised to augment our human capacity, without necessarily losing what makes us human.

It may be easy to think that we mainly need logic and analysis to do business and improve our lot in the world.  Indeed, however, there are intuition and instinct, which perhaps take up the bulk of the iceberg that lies hidden below the waterline.  But again there is a range of views on this very matter: Can technology truly enhance the latter, or will it eventually supplant the former?

Darnell points out that the value of science is its ability to predict the future.  So, if I were to knock a glass of water off the table, gravity will pull it down to the floor.  My caveat is this: Science offers us great insight into how the physical universe works and extracts the cause-and-effect laws that govern such operation.  It is in this respect that science can predict the future.  But when we consider human phenomena, human endeavor, and human capacity, that predictive ability becomes a bit dicey.

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