Thursday, August 21st 2008

Intel CTO Says Gap Between Humans, Machines will Close by 2050

Intel Corporation's chief technology officer took a fascinating look at how technology will bring man and machine much closer together by 2050.

Justin Rattner, during his keynote today at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, predicted big changes are ahead in social interactions, robotics and improvements in computer's ability to sense the real world. He said Intel's research labs are already looking at human-machine interfaces and examining future implications to computing with some promising changes coming much sooner than expected.

"The industry has taken much greater strides than anyone ever imagined 40 years ago," Rattner said. "There is speculation that we may be approaching an inflection point where the rate of technology advancements is accelerating at an exponential rate, and machines could even overtake humans in their ability to reason, in the not so distant future."

Cutting the Last Cord, Wireless Power

Imagine being able to walk into an airport or room with your laptop and instead of consuming battery, it is recharged. Based on principles proposed by MIT physicists, Intel researchers have been working on a Wireless Resonant Energy Link (WREL). Rattner demonstrated powering a 60-watt light bulb without the use of a plug or wire of any kind, which is more than is needed for a typical laptop.

The magic of WREL is that it promises to deliver wireless power safely and efficiently. The technology relies on strongly coupled resonators, a principle similar to the way a trained singer can shatter a glass using her voice. At the receiving resonator's natural frequency, energy is absorbed efficiently, just as a glass absorbs acoustic energy at its natural frequency. With this technology enabled in a laptop, for example, batteries could be recharged when the laptop gets within several feet of the transmit resonator. Many engineering challenges remain, but the company's researchers hope to find a way to cut the last cord in mobile devices and someday enable wireless power in Intel-based platforms.

Programmable Matter: Computers that Change Shape

Intel researchers are also investigating how millions of tiny micro-robots, called catoms, could build shape-shifting materials. If used to replace the case, display and keyboard of a computing device, this technology could make it possible for a device to change physical form in order to suit the specific way you are using it. A mobile computer, for example, could be tiny when in a pocket, change to the shape of an earpiece when used as a mobile phone, and be large and flat with a keyboard for browsing the Internet or watching a movie.

Rattner described this as a difficult exploratory research agenda, but steady progress is being made. He demonstrated for the first time the results of a novel technique for fabricating tiny silicon hemispheres using photolithography, a process used today to make silicon chips. This capability is one of the basic structural building blocks needed to realize functional catoms, and will make it easier to bring the necessary computational and mechanical components together in one tiny package less than a millimeter across. The technique is compatible with existing high-volume manufacturing and enables the possibility to produce such catoms in quantity at some point in the future.

Dr. Michael Garner, program manager of Emerging Materials Roadmap, joined Rattner onstage to discuss the importance of research of novel silicon technology, keeping Moore's Law alive and well through the next decade and beyond. Among other things, Intel is researching how to go beyond planar transistors to 3D transistors and is looking at using compound semiconductors to replace silicon in the transistor channel. Looking further out, Intel is exploring into a variety of non-charge-based technologies that could one day replace CMOS altogether.

Robots: From the Factory Floor to Your Kitchen

Robots today are primarily used in the factory environment, designed to perform a single task repeatedly and bolted down. To make robotics personal, robots need to move and manipulate objects in cluttered and dynamic human environments, according to Rattner. They need to be cognizant of their surroundings by sensing and recognizing movement in a dynamic physical world, and learn to adapt to new scenarios. Rattner demonstrated two working personal robot prototypes developed at Intel's research labs. One of the demonstrations showed electric field pre-touch that has been built into a robot hand. The technique is a novel sensing modality used by fish but not humans, so they can "feel" objects before they even touch them. The other demonstration was a complete autonomous mobile manipulation robot that can recognize faces and interpret and execute commands as generic as "please clean this mess" using state-of-the-art motion planning, manipulation, perception and artificial intelligence.

In addition to robots becoming more human-like, Rattner said he believes more innovation will emerge to make human and machine interaction more robust. Randy Breen, chief product officer of Emotiv Systems, joined Rattner onstage to demonstrate the company's EPOC headset. The Emotiv EPOC identifies brainwave patterns, processes them in real time and tells a game what conscious or non-conscious thoughts the user has had, like facial expressions, conscious actions or emotions. A user with the headset could think about smiling or lifting an object, and an avatar in a game would execute it. EPOC can currently identify more than 30 different "detections" through the 16 sensors on the headset. Source: Intel
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15 Comments on Intel CTO Says Gap Between Humans, Machines will Close by 2050

I couldnt beleive it about wireless power! Thought it was too dangerous, but I'm pretty sure I get how this works.

Still would be pretty funny.

No dont walk in front of that, its the wireless pow...!
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Ok read all of that again, and can anyone say the 24th century just got closer?
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Lets fast forward 50 yrs to see how fecked up the world would be with all this super technology flying around. Its starting to get kinda scary to see just how technology is only limited by what ppl can conjure up.
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holy crap, terminator
worse, the matrix
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matrix wouldn't bother me at least im unaware the machines are using me for power, but at least i have a good life. In a terminator life we are aware our lives are over
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So moore's law says that our transistors will be as complex as our synapse networks by 2050?

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Dainty Moderator
this is well...idk at first i would love a world were we had ultra crazy tech i could hold a civilized convo with a robot next to me....but at the same time...with companys as money grubbing and slight handed as they are (nvidia ATI AMD INTEL) i mean Irobot (original or new) is a perfect dioscription of this...robots are governed by laws...but with AI better than that of humans and a primary law that raises the question were does one draw the line? you could speak to the robots just fine they wqould have intelligent conversations with you but in the end they totally fucked us over...i mean like the line said in the movie and like it will say 50years from now.
Why is it that robots, stored in a large space, will seek each other out rather than stand alone? How do we explain this behavior?
i mean their are going to be rules one cannot creat a better anything without them..humans always make some kind of flaw even in their best work as a way to control like to think of my computer as a peice of artwoirk...but if my fan gets to loud i have a knoib that overrides anykind of setting and manually lowers the RPM. but its these little things that i think they'd be able to exploit. and with something that intelligent how well can we make rules?..i mean their is doub in alot of things anyone rights you can almost perceive any sentance anyway you like. and then another spin even the most well written orders instructions or laws can be broken or manipulated due to our not to smoke in my buds appartment but we do because we dont care were if i felt more guilty we wouldnt....and are we ARE these companys sure they want to impliment this kind of power in something bigger stronger and faster than us just because we have the technology?...and dont get me wrong we wont make rules at first some millionair intel guy will remove any rules or protocals and lock them in a room and hit the on switch just to see what happenes like i just dont know if it should be done it would be AMAZING but with the general mentality and amount of safety and care these huge conglomerates have i just honestly dont think they have our best intrests at heart i mean they will die before they see what these "alpha" models will evolve to be right? and they made $400,000 this year who cares right?..........idk
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It is funny. Maybe in future Intel computers can preform party tricks as well. I am more interested in Intel research on photon or nano-computing. I've already know how to hammer a nail with my PDA.
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Lol, these kinda threads always turn to Sci-fi films and the like. But I personally cannot see how true AI can exist.
IMO the saying still goes, a program is only as good as its programmer.
AI in games is just a series of if/buts/maybe and respond, it not true AI. I can't see how anything with fixed matter like computers can ever be intelligent, cus there will be a limit as to how far it can learn. And emotion always seems to be a factor too.
Imagine you just get fragged in CoD4, so you shout at the computer screen, it thens promptly turns off cus you hurt its feelings. :roll:
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Heedless Psychic
2050? Try more along the lines of 2030. Perhaps 2050 before poorer countries use the tech. With this tech comes other factors not mentioned though, such as do these resonating signals have any detrimental effects if people are too close to the transmitter emitting the signals.
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What a completely NAFF and WORTHLESS statement from Intel CTO.

The difference between man and machine will close by 2010. The gap may not close as much as by 2050 or by 2100, but it will definitely close a bit.

Wow, I h8 useless copy. The HDD space and bandwidth costs of this CTO's comments are just not worth repeating or storing.
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cool i love to see this
2010 iss is ready
2020 perma lunar base
2050 startrek? XD
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