I will admit quite readily that, while I do love my flying, I actually had butterflies about flying last Sunday. But this is because I was to drive to Clacton, then fly to Duxford and back, spending the day in between at the museum. Seeing as I was due to start simple circuits, this was quite a jump; straight into navigation 101 before I’d even gotten practice at takeoffs. I was a little unsure at first in case I did something wrong or goofy. In the end I realised that was stupid and I should totally go for it anyway, so I did! It was really interesting getting first hand experience of stuff that was still really hazy even after many hours in the air; like radio procedure when passing though areas and how to figure out where you are. Continue reading
One of the biggest problems in advancing our ideas about the universe is thinking ‘outside the box’, to use a hideous management term. Imagination is just as important to a great thinker as mathematical and scientific proficiency; as was the case with Einstein, it is often the crucial difference between brilliance and genius. I believe the reason is, that so often our greatest collective asset the “Human Experience” is also what sometimes holds us back: clouding our judgment and throwing us off with earthly, animal thinking.
Take, for example, the early explanations of the night sky. Invariably the world was the center of the universe, the stars were generally hung up around us and span around the earth, along with the sun, moon and other stellar bodies. We laugh now, but if you look at it from our point of view, it’s clear why this was believed for millenia. It took a lot of objective analysis for us to even begin figuring out what it really was. Likewise, I think there’s a lot of problems being mulled over today that would be of great amusement to even laymen of the distant future.
So where does Artificial Intelligence come into this? At very least, as a supplement. When AI becomes sufficiently sophisticated, I see no reason why it wouldn’t ponder on things or indeed be designed to. Would it be possible to apply a brute force algorithm to the great fundamental questions, like what causes consciousness or does free will actually exist?
If nothing else, AI would be free of one major constraint; when humans, deep down, know the path to the answer but are afraid of it.