The future of intelligence is in making our patterns better, our heuristics stronger. In his article for Medium, Kevin Ashton refers to this as “selective attention” – focusing on what really matters so that poor selections are removed before they ever hit the conscious brain. While some – like Gary Marcus of The New Yorker or Colin McGinn in the New York Review of Books, may be skeptical of Kurzweil’s Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind, they also have to grudgingly admit that Kurzweil is a genius. And, if all goes according to plan, Kurzweil really will be able to create a mind that goes beyond just recognizing a lot of words.
One thing is clear – being able to recognize patterns is what gave humans their evolutionary edge over animals. How we refine, shape and improve our pattern recognition is the key to how much longer we’ll have the evolutionary edge over machines.