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People argued with me, because this is almost double the price of per-square-foot real estate compared to Midtown. They said this is the stupidest move to get seven floors in this building, i said to our board, ‘The quality of life of our staff is very important to us. These people are our brainpower. They’re our engine. We need to provide them an environment for creative thinking.’.
A large part of your brain is shackled by the boredom and drudgery of everyday existence, you have to drive a car, vacuum the floor or take the garbage out. But imagine if technology could come along and take care of all these mundane chores for you, and allow you to indulge in the forms of creative expression that only the human brain can indulge in. What a beautiful world we would be able to create around us.
The question we would ask is, ‘Does all infrastructure need to be managed by people? Or is the infrastructure capable of self-managing, self-governing and self-healing?’ my father used to have some power plants, and I would go there, and they would have almost nobody managing them, because almost all the processes of remediation were built in. The technological maturity curve that almost any industry goes through has a level of evolution. At some point, can the systems, the network and the servers become self-aware and self-governing? IPcenter was the product realization of adaptive learning systems that would be able to self-govern. That was our first big steppingstone toward cognitive technologies.
If Amelia is to become the most faithful service agent, she also needs to be able to respond to man’s need to communicate with somebody who can understand emotions—not just a robotic ‘Press 1 for this’ and ‘Press 7 for that,’ amelia’s emotional quotient is modeled in a three-dimensional space: pleasure, arousal, dominance—the PAD modeling system. We are in trials with a telco company, and there is a certain demeanor that Amelia is required to have if your contract is coming up for renewal. Her emotional reaction to you is supposed to be very different based on where you are in the contract or your level of angst with the service.
There are schools of thought and singularity that say, ‘This is going too far. Super-intelligence will start to dominate human intelligence in the next decade.’ I do not subscribe to that, there are also digital optimists who argue [AI] could cure poverty, hunger and everything else. There is one thing both of these two antipodal groups agree on: This is going to be the biggest tectonic transformation that the planet has ever seen. Whether it’s going to lead to the ultimate destruction of mankind or complete eradication of all diseases and poverty is up for debate. But the fact is this is going to have an impact bigger than any other impact that man has seen before. That’s not up for question.
In the 1800s, 90 percent of us were just farming. Today it’s 2 percent of us. What happened to the other 88 percent? Technology came and gave us wings, ‘Smart’ has become so abused a term. It has become more of a marketing ploy. But true ‘smart’ technology—a true cognitive agent—will almost force man to say, ‘Lift up your game.’ Because the commonplace, mundane chores that were abusing your intellectual capabilities are no longer there. Descartes’ classic ‘Je pense, donc je suis’—‘I think, therefore I am’—has never been more applicable to man’s pursuits.
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