Russian scientist Alexander Bolonkin develops artificial intelligence in the USA
It was shown in my previous articles about the artificial intelligence and human immortality that the issue of immortality can be solved fundamentally only with the help of changing a biological bubble of a human being to an artificial one. Such an immortal person made of chips and supersolid materials (the e-man, as it was called in my articles) will have incredible advantages in comparison with common people. An e-man will need no food, no dwelling, no air, no sleep, no rest, no ecologically pure environment. Such a being will be able to travel into space, or walk on the sea floor with no aqualungs. His mental abilities and capacities will increase millions times. It will be possible to move such a person at a huge distance at a light speed. The information of one person like that could be transported to another planet with a laser and then placed in another body.
Such people will not be awkward robots made of steel. An artificial person will have an opportunity to choose his or her face, body, good skin. It will also be possible for them to reproduce themselves avoiding the periods of childhood, adolescence, as well as education. It will not be possible to destroy an artificial person with any kind of weapons, since it will be possible to copy the information of his mind and then keep it separately.
I have received tons of responses and comments since my first articles about this subject were published in 1994. Below I will try to answer the most important ones of them.
A lot of people, especially those, who believe in God, are certain that a biological human being has a soul. This is something that an artificial man will never have. No person can explain the meaning of the word “soul.” They just keep saying that a human soul is not material, and that it leaves a person’s body after death and flies either to paradise or to hell. Let’s try to analyze the notion of a soul from the scientific point of view.
First of all, a soul is supposed to remember its past life, its relatives and friends. It is also supposed to preserve its emotions to them, to care about them and recognize them, when they come to heaven. No one would need a soul that does not remember anything. This means that a soul is a human being without a body. In other words, a soul is the information that is kept in a human mind - his memories, knowledge, skills, habits, conduct programs, emotions and feelings, ides and thoughts, and so on. If we learn how to move this information onto other carriers, we will be able to move a person’s soul to other bubbles and to keep it there for an unrestricted period of time. As it is well known, information is virtual, i.e. it satisfies another human soul feature – a non-material quality.
Man’s new bubbles can be both artificial and biological. A soul (a complex of knowledge and information) can be rewritten into a clone of that same person. To put it otherwise, a person will live forever biologically as well, moving from old bubbles to new ones. It would be also possible to move a soul to artificial bodies, which possess all those qualities that we mentioned above. Furthermore, information (a soul) could be radiated in the form of electromagnetic waves. These waves can be spread in the universe at the light speed. They can travel around the universe for thousands of years, reaching its most distant parts. People see the star light that was radiated millions of years ago. This means that our immaterial soul can live in the universe in the form of electromagnetic radiation and then revive in millions of years.
Some of my readers wrote that an old brain can go corrupt and die, when moving a human soul from one body to another one. If it does not go corrupt, this inner self will die anyway, when an old biological bubble is not able to function normally anymore. Let us try to find out, what that inner self is. The majority of people identify their inner selves with their own bodies. I believe that the inner self is the information, which is kept in our mind. It is our soul. Every day we go to sleep. However, our brain does not stop working at night. Every time we wake up, we have our inner self changed. We “die” when we fall asleep and then “resurrect” when we wake up. This means that recording the information from a human brain will mean nothing but moving it to another bubble.
Heaven on Earth
A reporter from the newspaper Argumenty I Fakty (Arguments and Facts) sent me the following letter:
“Dear Mr. Bolonkin. Needless to mention that it is great to live forever. However, I have a question, which you can guess from a well-known Soviet joke. “A guy is going to join the communist party. A committee asks him:
- Will you stop drinking?
- Yes, I will.
- Will you quit smoking?
- Yes I will.
- Will you stop loving other women?
- Yes, I will.
- Will you die for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, if there is such a need?
- Yes, I will. To hell with this life.”
Here is my answer:
“You do not need to worry that living in an electronic form will be dull and boring. It is vice versa, actually. When the information will be recorded onto other carriers, all human emotions, feelings and so on will also be carried over and preserved. In addition to that, the copies of certain emotions, pleasures, fears and so forth will be possible to record separately. After that, those separately recorded emotions and feelings can be given or sold to other people. Other e-men will have an opportunity to enjoy sex with a beauty queen, to experience the enjoyment of a sports victory, to take pleasure of power and the like. All modern art is based on artists’ aspiration to transcend their emotions, to make other people feel, what characters feel. Those works of art, which make that happen best, are considered to be outstanding and great. Electronic people will get those emotions directly. To crown it all, it will be possible to intensify those emotions, as we intensify a singer’s voice now. Electronic people will have a huge world of all kinds of pleasures; it will be possible to know, what a dictator or an animal feels. I think that an e-man’s pleasure time will be limited legally, for the civilization’s progress will stop otherwise. For the time being, the authorities prohibit drug addiction in order not to let the society degrade.”
A soul’s living in such a virtual world will have all pleasures imaginable. It will be like living in paradise, as all religions see it. Computer chips of our time possess the frequency of more than two billion hertz. However, a human brain reacts to a change of environment only in one-twentieth of a second. This means that one year of life on Earth is equal to 100 million years of a soul’s living in the virtual world (paradise). Living in the virtual world will not be distinguishable from the real life. It will have a lot more advantages: you will have an opportunity to choose a palace to live in, you will have everything that you might wish for. Yet, living in hell also becomes real. There is a hope that the ability to keep souls alive will be achieved by highly-civilized countries first. In this case they will prohibit torturing sinners, as they prohibit torturing criminals nowadays. Furthermore, criminal investigations will be simplified a lot, judicial mistakes will be excluded. It will be possible to access a soul’s consciousness and see every little detail of this or that action. Sooner or later religious teachings about soul, heaven and hell will become real. However, all that will be created by man.
The so-called end of the world will also have a chance to become real, though. The religious interpretation of this notion implies the end of existence for all biological people (moving all souls onto artificial carriers, either to heaven or to hell). However, in difference to religious predictions, this process is going to be gradual.
The Supreme Mind and Mankind’s Existence
I set forth an idea in my first publications that the goal of the mankind’s existence is to create the Supreme Mind and to keep this Mind forever, no matter what might happen in the universe. The biological mankind is only a small step on the way to the creation of the Supreme Mind. The nature found a very good way to create the Supreme Mind: it decided to create a week and imperfect biological mind at first. It took the nature millions of years to do that. The twentieth century was a very remarkable period in the history of the humanity. There has been incredible progress achieved, like never before. The scientific and the technological level of the humanity became sufficient for the creation of the artificial intelligence. This will be the first level of the Supreme Mind, when the human mind will make a step towards immortality. At present moment we stand on the edge of this process. It is obvious that biological people will not be able to compete with e-men by the end of this period. Common people will not be able to learn the knowledge that electronic people will get. The new cyberworld will be the only way for a human mind to survive. Feeble and unstable biological elements in a mind carrier or in its bubble will reduce its abilities and capacities a lot. If a common person will be willing to become a cyberman, then this cyberman will be more willing to get rid of all biological elements in his system and become like everyone. For example, there are no people in our present society, who would agree to become a monkey again.
The Supreme Mind will eventually reach immense power. It will be able to move all over the universe, to control and use its laws. It will become God, if the notion of God implies something that knows and does everything. In other words, Man will become God. Yet, it does not mean that this will be the time, when the Supreme Mind will start dealing with human problems. For instance, ants and people have a common ancestor. A human being is God against ants. A man can destroy a huge city of ants (an anthill, in which hundreds of thousands of ants live) just with one kick. Ants will perceive this as an immense natural disaster, since they can see at the distance of only one centimeter. I do not know anyone, who would deal with charitable activities for ants. Everything that a man can do is to bring ants to a deserted island and give them an opportunity to reproduce themselves.
Essential State of Things and Perspectives
A lot of people will say that it is just a fantasy. This is a very convenient way to cast all that aside, until it starts happening. This is exactly what happened before the invention of a plane or a computer. It took 50 years to increase computer’s memory 100 million times. It would be possible to start working on the creation of the Supreme Mind, if there were a computer that would be capable of running a thousand billion of operations during only one second. In 1994 I said that such a super computer will be invented in the year 2000. I was wrong, for it appeared at the end of 1998. There is also a need of a self-developing program that would be capable of adjusting itself to constantly-changing circumstances. A human child does not develop and grow at once. A child has to study for about 20 years, to learn from his parents and friends, to have relations with nature and other people in order to gain more and more experience, to come to realization of his or her inner self. Unfortunately, the science of the artificial intelligence has chosen a wrong way of its development from the very start. Scientists tried to develop programs, which would react to certain external signals. In other words, people started working on robots that would cope with certain problems. A lot of efforts have been spent to discover the peculiarities of human speech, for instance. Some of those scientific works are absolutely no use for the electronic mind. It is easier for e-men to communicate with the help of their own electronic language, to recognize objects not by their images, but by way of measuring their speed, weight, composition and so on. All of that can be done at a distance. Biologists and physicists have spent decades for those useless works. They believe that one should study brain activities, find out the way it works and thinks. Then it would be time for modeling it with the help of a computer. This is a wrong way to go as well. A human brain is very complicated, it is very hard to study its activities. More importantly, even if we learn how it works, it would not mean that the method would be good for a computer. Here are some examples to prove it. Hundreds of years ago people were longing to learn how to fly. They saw that bird waved its wings for flying, so they tried to model such wings, to wave them, and to take off. However, people could fly up into the sky only when they developed still wings and propellers. A waving wing was absolutely not good for technology, the same way as a propeller is not good for the wild nature. In addition to that, planes with still wings fly a lot faster than birds. Another example: ancient people always wanted to run as fast as four-legged animals. Now everyone knows that no one uses machines that would move with the help of legs. Legs were changed with wheels – something that has never been used by the natural world.
In 1998 I suggested people should lay new principles as the foundation of artificial intelligence program. Those principles would be: to realize the goal of existence, to study the environment (everything that goes separately from the “inner self”), to model environment, to predict actions’ results, to counteract with the environment in order to achieve temporal and global goals, to correct modeled environment, actions and their results according to the results of such counteraction. Unfortunately, I had to deal with the fact that everyone refused to realize and understand those principles. First of all, everyone believed that since the “virtual ego” does not have a human body, it would never have any rights. They said that it would be possible to control such an e-man completely and then to kill him (erase his soul from the computer memory). I wonder, what they would do, if they were offered to kill their relatives’ souls that way? People link their body and soul together, and there is no way around that. They are ready to struggle for the rights of every living being, but they never want to accept the rights of a program or of a computer memory. Second of all, people want an artificial intelligence to give smart answers to their questions that can be rather stupid at times. They do not need smart answers from babies. They are always ready to stand all stupid things that children do for years. Instead, they try to teach them everything. Yet, they want a new artificial mind to give bright answers without any education. To crown it all, people want a computer to speak their human language, which is absolutely alien for a machine. Can you imagine that a person will have to answer the questions of an alien in Maya’s language? Let’s assume that a representative of an electronic civilization came to planet Earth in order to find out, if there are reasonable creatures living on it. This e-man suggested a common biological man to multiply 53758210967 by 146, then divide it by 50, deduct 968321 from it and calculate the hyperbolic sine. A computer would give the correct result of this sum in less than a second. A man would spend really a long time on that, making numerous mistakes. However, it would not be correct to say that a computer is smart and a man isn’t.
Religious figures show a strong resistance to these ideas. It stands the reason that they all think that the creation of the Supreme Mind, immortality ideas are blasphemous. Unfortunately, the church has already blocked such decisions as human cloning, increasing the productivity of plants by means of changing their genes. It should be mentioned here that human cloning does not solve the questions of immortality. A clone is a copy of its biological bubble. A clone inherits the biological advantages of a bubble, for example, a singer’s fine voice, an athlete’s strength and the like. A clone will never inherit its’ copy’s soul. Therefore, human cloning is only an illusion of immortality. It can be a wonderful way to improve the biological bubble of a human being. Moving a human soul onto other carriers is a very complicated issue. People learned to see, which brain areas get activated, when a person remembers something, or tries to solve this or that question. We also learned to penetrate into certain neurons and record their impulses. To my mind, physiologists chose a wrong way here as well, when they tried to model brain activities. A human brain is an analogue of a huge state with a ten billion strong population. There is no use to ask each citizen of that country, what he or she is doing at the moment. One has to copy the database of this state, in order to copy its work. The easiest way to do so is to penetrate into informational channels of its supreme body (the “government”), on the inquiry of which the brain presents any information and allows to record its data on a disk, for instance. It is possible to do that, for the supreme brain area constantly extracts the necessary knowledge and programs according to our activities. So, we would need to send “intelligent officers” to the brain so that they could get a copy of this state or get connected to its major information channels.
Another way to do that is to record all incoming and outgoing information, which comes to/from a person, to record his or her emotions and reactions. An English-speaking reader, who reviewed one of my English articles once told me: “Your English is not perfect. You should find an English-speaking co-author. It is better to have a half of a pie than nothing at all.”
I do not doubt that the electronic civilization era, the era of the Supreme Mind and immortality will be achieved sooner or later. Those people, who have little in common with science, are drawn to believe that everything depends on scientists. They think that scientists can solve any problem, if they deal with it profoundly. As a matter of fact, everything depends on state and military officials. Sometimes, they know nothing of scientific perspectives and innovations. Scientists are like qualified workers. They need to get paid, they need to work with fine equipment. They will work only if they are get paid for it. Even if a scientist will have a wish to do something perspective during his free time, he will have no necessary equipment for that. Even such powerful companies as IBM, Boeing, Ford and others are interested only in the applied research, which does not require large investments. The major goal of such research is to give a maximum profit to this or that company. A fundamental research, the discoveries that are important for the whole humanity, not just for a company, might be of interest to a bright government. It goes without saying that a bright government is so hard to find. Every government is interested in the military power of its country. It is ready to fund defense technology works and military innovations. Von Braun convinced Hitler of real perspectives for missiles, WWII was followed with an arm race. This eventually led to space achievements and other kinds of technical progress of the humanity. The USA won the Moon race and stopped flying there 30 years ago. America keeps cutting its space research assignments every year. There are no serious assignments in the world for the invention of either the Supreme Mind or the artificial intelligence. Yet, they are most important and perspective problems of the humanity. The computers that we have at present are used for modeling nuclear weapons and sometimes, weather. Furthermore, the mankind does not spend much time thinking over the reason and goal of its existence. People spend a lot of their efforts and funds for solving local, temporal problems. Huge money and efforts are spent on conflicts and wars.
A certain hope has appeared recently. As experience shows, unmanned planes are a lot cheaper than piloted warplanes. More importantly, unmanned plane crashes do not cause harsh public reactions in civilized countries as pilots’ or soldiers’ deaths. The Americans design such planes successfully, but the planes are controlled by an operator within the USA. It has been proved that this remote control is not good for unmanned planes. The USA has missed Bin Laden and Omar in Afghanistan several times, two Iraqi pursuit planes downed an unmanned Predator in the Iraqi airspace. An unmanned plane can become something valuable indeed, if it has an artificial intelligence, if it is capable of recognizing and destroying targets itself. The Pentagon has assigned certain money for the research of this issue. It is a very hard goal to pursue (to create the mind of a pilot), but it is a very perspective one. In this case there would be no need to eliminate the young part of a country’s population, if robots could conduct the warfare.
I suggested the hierarchical structure of an artificial intelligence, on the ground of which the real brain probably works. Let us imagine a state with a dictator at the head. A dictator would never be able to find efficient solutions for external and internal state problems. A dictator has ministries, which are then divided into divisions and departments. This forms a pyramid, in which all departments have their own databases, as well as the access to the common base. All divisions are busy with their particular problems, in accordance with the dictator’s ideology. A dictator only sets problems up, while adequate divisions suggest solutions. For example, a man decides to cross a road with a heavy traffic. He looks at the road, while adequate parts of his brain automatically receive the information about the width of the road, the distance to nearest cars, their speed, and so on. The brain automatically makes adequate calculations, which eventually lead to the final decision: when it is safe to cross the road. All kinds of enlightenment in the solution of a problem are simply considered to be the “help from above.” However, this is nothing, but the joint work of that pyramid. Human beings do not even know that such a pyramid exists. Pyramid’s decisions are based on the knowledge of a certain individual. If an individual knows absolutely nothing about the quantum theory, he will never solve any of its problems. Therefore, an artificial intelligence of a high level cannot be realized with a personal computer that has only one chip and a successive work order.
My scheme stipulates the distribution of functions between parallel chips. The top one of them is offered to deal only with solution variants, their estimation and choice.
Every human being wants to extend his or her life. This can be seen from everyone’s wish to have children, or to do something outstanding. It is simply enough to avoid danger sometimes. Even suicidal terrorists believe that they will go to heaven, when they kill themselves. The most important problem that the humanity has is the problem of immortality. Let us hope that it will be solved in the future.
Doctor of Technical Science
Especially for PRAVDA.Ru
Alexander Bolonkin worked at aircraft construction companies in Kiev and Moscow. He also worked as a tutor of Russia’s major aviation institutes. In 1972 Bolonkin was arrested by KGB for reading the so-called anti-Soviet literature. He spent 15 years in concentration camps and exiles. KGB eventually ousted him of the Soviet Union.
In the United states Alexander Bolonkin worked as a tutor in several American universities, he worked at US Air Force research centers, at NASA. At present moment he works on the development of smart unmanned planes, with unrocketed space travelling. Nine of his reports have been approved by the World Space Congress of 2002.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov