The Future of Speech Recognition
Here's an essay with my thoughts on Speech Recognition Technology
My thoughts on the coming Singularity:
I wouldn't worry too much about super-AGIs or killer robots triggering a Singularity. Long before that happens, a much more insidious revolution will have caused tremendous social upheaval, and that revolution is already well underway.
Automated systems are replacing more and more menial jobs, as well as many not-so-menial jobs. Manual laborers, factory workers, bank tellers, airline ticket clerks, grocery clerks, gas station attendants, cleaning maids, etc, will soon be automated out of existence. In the not-too-distant future, only the posh businesses will have lots of live help, and then mostly as a status symbol.
Most of the jobs mentioned above don't require super-AIs. They just require domain-specific AIs with a narrow, but thorough, skill-set of specific tasks. Much like an idiot-savant, these narrow-AI's will be able to do one or two things very well, and nothing else well at all.
Narrow-AIs are much easier to build than an AGI (Artificial General Intellgence), as testified by the many automated voice response systems, web portals, teller machines, and ticket machines in existence today. These narrow-AI machines will continue to replace more and more clerk, customer service, and sales jobs in today's businesses. Competitive and cost pressures will encourage businesses to automate more and more, and the technologies are available today, to accommodate them.
You can blame the current poor economy and high unemployment rate on the banks, the politicians, or whatever. However, I believe that a significant cause underlying today's problems is simply the disappearance of low-and-medium-skill jobs.
Extensive research in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence is rapidly raising the skill level of automated systems, This process will take more and more jobs out of the job market. Social upheaval will occur when the portion of the population that is unable to find work reaches a tipping point. I don't know where that tipping point is, but THAT will be the real trigger of the Singularity.June 22, 2012