So there I am, going about any other normal day, doing my daily routine of skimming throughout the web for interesting news on either science and/or technology. What I didn’t expect was an article titled, “Human Intelligence has been replicated. The singularity is here.” The article was published by an obscure blog known as Lime Tree, by an author claiming to be the blog’s CEO.
In the article, the author talks about a software company named Sciam Solutions, located in Johannesburg, South Africa. What this company has done, again according to the article, is beyond belief: they’ve created “software that can learn like a human” and “figure out what it doesn’t know and research things because it understands the subject. And, being computer based, the software cannot unlearn, so-to-speak, and therefore rapidly builds on the intelligence it has gathered.”
These are some very bold claims! And as others I’ve talked to regarding the company’s claims have said, if you have to ask yourself if the Singularity has arrived yet, the answer is likely a resounding no!
But I was curious – too curious to let my decision regarding the company’s claims be decided on by peoples’ opinions outside that of the company. So I went on Sciam Solution’s website and located their email address. I sent them an email, presenting both my skepticism and curiosity. Sure enough, they responded 24 hours later.
Here I will present both my email to Sciam Solutions, and their response to my questions:
Hello Sciam Company,
My name is B.J. Murphy and I’m a writer for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. I’ve come across a rather obscure blog which is claiming that your company has finally developed post-AI – or as you’re calling it, supposedly, ‘Human Intelligence Emulation’ (HIE). And subsequently, as a result, paving the way for the technological singularity.
Obviously these are some very strong claims to be making, if you actually made them that is. Is any of this true or has this blog used your company’s name in making bunk claims?
1. Without analysing every word of the blog, the HIE claims are true. We have developed and tested the architecture and the functionality and can apply HIE in any situation where a human is normally found.
As you can see, I’m quite skeptical. Not only because these are some very strong claims being made, or the fact that you’re 2-3 decades away within the range people like Ray Kurzweil’s estimated when the actual Singularity would erupt, but also because your own website for the company isn’t even finished. Developed HIE but not a fully functional website?
2. We have worked on this for nearly four decades. Why would we be lagging? Whilst I respect Mr Kurzweil – despite attempts to engage him on this subject – he is not working on a similar architecture. HIE is based on the unique science of ScIAM. I think (and this is my opinion) that he is attempting to simulate a human brain at the neurone level whereas we are emulating the human mind at a functional level. His appears to be a bottom-up approach, so to speak, whereas our is a top-down approach.
3. Our website has existed in an earlier state for at least 5 years. We decided to give it a complete overhaul and re-write, hence it will only be available around the end of June. Do not read anything negative into this. We have plenty of time because we are very busy with existing clients and do not need immediate additional exposure.
If any info can be provided, much would be obliged!
4. I attach an overview document. If that is not enough and you seek more credibility, I can send the foundation thinking (around 200 pages), but the intellectual property is proprietary and extremely valuable, as you would agree I am sure. We can demonstrate all of the HIE functionality.
It’s a pleasure.
I’ve provided the attached overview document Sciam had sent me via email below in the provided link.
So…what are peoples’ thoughts? Has Sciam Solutions really developed ‘HIE’ or are they way out of their league? Really, I don’t see how we can honestly answer either or without first getting a working demonstration of this supposed ‘HIE’ first hand!