Kevin Kelly on “What Technology Wants”

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11.21.2010

Kevin Kelly is one of the founders of Wired magazine.  He’s also the author of a provocative book called “What Technology Wants.”  Kelly tells Jim Fleming that the sum total of our technology - what he calls “the technicum” - is taking on the properties of life itself.

 

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The interview with Kevin Kelly was one of the most rediculous segments I've ever heard on this show. Mr. Kelly made lots of statements about how amazing technology is and how much it allows us to do, and proceeded to make many claims about evolving, but provided absolutely no backing for the idea that technology wants anything at all, or "has an agenda" as he said at the end of the segment. I spent many years working with neural networks and other trainable systems and one of the biggest things I took away from this facinating experience was that a huge difference between machine learning and human learning is that any machine learning that took place was only due to human programming which spelled out exactly how the computer's knowledge should change as it encountered data. The computer didn't care whether it did well or not. Human learning, on the other hand, is intrinsically wound up with a emotional system that has evolved over millions of years and, at this point, has produced children which get bored if they aren't experience new things in the world, they seek out practical knowledge about how society works in order to make sure they can survive. Anyway, long story short - show me a computer that gives a damn whether it is even plugged in, and then I'll read Mr. Kelly's book.

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