Considering myself an auto-didact, I always taught myself everything that I know apart from the first basics which I learned in school, such As the alphabet and how to read and write, and my first basic math lessons. I do remember enjoying history as they taught it, and i believe some of the things i learned at St. Olave’s Boarding School York were the basis of my ability to apply self learning to educate myself, long after i had left school without a single qualification.
In recent years, my self education based in web programming and etymology and lateral thinking, i became very obsessed with educating myself about how Artificial Intelligence may be developed and applied in the present and future, both near and far
The story of Google Deep Mind’s Alpha Go beating an 18 times world champion at the world’s most complex and difficult boardgame GO, rose my interest as to thinking both how the A.I. learns from its own mistakes, how it predicts, and how in game 4 of 5 rounds, the Korean master managed to cause a memory overload by making the A.I. need to look further ahead in the number of moves as it was programmed to do, and tax its own computing power to the point where it became confused.
In my early years when the rest of the kids were playing Basketball or Rugby or Cricket or whatever, i would go to the Library and read Asronomy Books. Computing was not a topic one could find in school libraries in the mid seventies, otherwise i may have interested myself for that as much as i interest myself for algorithms, computing and Artificial Intellligence, in relation with Nature’s Natural Algorithm of Self Learning which we call ‘Darwinian Evolutionary Theory’
I refused to go to school at the age of 13, and didn’t go back until the final term of my 15th year of life. As the exams came up after 2 years of absence, and being in a Cambridge based educational comprehensive state school after having left an Oxford based Jesuit Boarding school in Malta, I walked in with a new tattoo on my arm, and my sleeves rolled up, signed the exam sheets and left them empty, and walked out.
So what does all of this have to do with algorithms? I hear you asking; All I can say to you in answer is “absolutely everything”
Let’s start with the classic scientific definition and current public understanding of the world algorithm in the IT Computing world;
An algorithm is Math based set of instructions which depend on sets of functions, variables, and priorities. An Artificial Intelligence algorithm however, no longer needs the Human to continue teaching it (although Humans will interfere and add code to improve the algorithm when a runtime error or inacccuracy or inefficiency is detected).
Below is an old GCE level computing algorithm tutorial, which even if you dont understand code and computing, will begin to give you an idea about how an algorithm can be built upon.
Perhaps you can then imagine how a point can be reached in the programming, where the machine itself can be set to learn from its own set of varied experiments and attempts to solve or execute programs.
For example, an analytics algorithm could be built in with a runtime error log which would then be combined as machine learning database information after reboot, and the machine would use its ‘memory of the experience’ to avoid making the same mistake twice. But algorithms are not merely computer based, for if Mathematicians are right, it is the process of Evolution itself which uses self learning algorithms in the same way an A.I. program does.
A further calculation program to analyse alternative possible fails and runtime errors which may occur through similar scenarios would then also be run, and with a series of ifs, and whens, buts and thens, the machine would learn to make the most effective decisions,
The next problem in Artificial Intelligence Algorithm Programming is to decide and understand how to program a set of ethics into the system (see Arthur C. Clarke‘s Science Fiction series of books which are of Visionary Excellence, just like those of Isaac Asimov, with his ‘I Robot‘ series, which deals with the 3 laws of robotics, and is a major foundation of the philosophy of most modern Artificial Intelligence Programmers up to the present day, despite being a science fiction novel.
Arthur C. Clarke was also one of the world’s greatest Astronomical Scientists, but also wrote science fiction novels, which have shown great predictive foresight into how the future (our present day) may turn out. Isaac Asimov wrote hard science fiction. Along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers during his lifetime
So what do mathematical and A.I. Algorithms have to do with Nature and Evolution?
Will the Biological Entity (Humans) merge with Artificial Intelligence?
The answer to this question is very Easy; We already are doing. Many of us speakj to Siri or Cortana or Google Assistant or similar every day for menial questions, calling up data or commanding basic actions, be it on the device within apps, or with smart home hardware technology in the home.
I can remember seeing various Science Fiction Movies where the Protagonists spoke to the ship they were traveling in or the building they were residing in, and the computer with a background listener would perform its duties.
In those days, nobody thought o the security issues which would arise with background listening microphones and devices, and webcams, and now we stand between a heaven of Futuristic technology which could make our lives so much easier (or arguably more complicated), and a hell of a Dystopian Future with Big Brother-Like Government Agencies and Companies spying on one’s every private aspect of one’s life, be it physical, medical, mental, habitual, social behavior.. all data gathered from our actions on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on, is gathered and analyzed using A.I. to interpret our behavior patterns using Math, This has proved efficient enough that Alpha Go could beat an 18 times world champion 4 out of 5 times in a row.
Will we Blend with Robots AND A.I.?
The answer to this is yes! this is inevitable.
How do Social Networks Use Algorithms to Process and Apply the Knowledge Gained from Our Data and Behaviours? Well, that’s a long topic, and needs many more blogposts to cover the matter properly, but I leave you with some visual food for thought below.