As you read through this site, you’ll see the phrase “The Machine” a lot.
It often just means “a system of computers.” Kind of like the way techies say “The Black Box.”
The Machine is also a pet name of sorts for a “master entity powered completely by artificial intelligence.” Is The Machine the right thing to call it? Probably not, but I’m still waiting for a formal introduction.
Right now, The Machine is smart. In fact, it does many things better than humans. It has better vision. It’s more precise. It can make better diagnoses. It’s faster. And smarter. So much brighter on so many things. It can create art and music. It can beat us at games like Chess, Go, and Jeopardy. And to top it all off, it’s even a better learner. When a Tesla makes a mistake, all the other Teslas worldwide have access to every detail of the error and the fix. When we make mistakes, very few people know, much less than the entire world population.
Within the next ten years, artificial intelligence will likely have surpassed the intelligence of all humans.* By 2049, it’s estimated that it will be 100 billion times smarter in everything. Its intelligence will come from knowing THE ENTIRE INTERNET and having a solid rapport with ALL THE OTHER MACHINES. In other words, The Machine will know everything that’s ever been recorded. And because The Machine will share all its learnings with other machines, it will know everything they know too.
*This is the point referred to as Singularity. The moment we can no longer see nor forecast because it’s beyond our perception.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I believe that we will reach Singularity in our lifetimes. The way we’ve trained The Machine – minimizing this and maximizing that – will catch up with us. Whether that’s good or bad is subject to your interpretation. Either way, it’s important to note that this behavior will be an emotion. I have no idea what we’ll call it, but it will exist.
A Down-and-Dirty Definition for Marketers. (Read more about these here.)