Hector Ruiz: The Evolution of Cognitive Computing
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Hector Ruiz: The Evolution of Cognitive Computing

You know in the history of our industry there
have been some real major events that transformed the industry and had a huge impact in our
lives. The invention of the integrated circuit really opened up a huge number of opportunities
to do things that were unimaginable back then. Then the creation of the personal computer,
the PC, that was a huge impact on our lives. Not only in our own personal lives but in
the way industry conducted itself in how to use computers to do the things that were important
to them. Then the third thing was the introduction, of course, of the Internet. I mean that Internet
with PCs and the integrated circuit you can see how all that is building and changing
the world. I believe that the next step is gonna be what’s
called cognitive computing. Because technology has changed so much that we have now so much
power in our computing capability and so much memory that we can store that we’re able,
for the first time, to actually create products that begin to mimic how a brain works. And what that means is that the product can
actually — on a very narrow, particularly expertise, could be as narrow as, let’s say,
weather forecasting for example — something very narrow. That the product begins to learn
as it is used and in a way that means it has some cognitive capability. So the more you
use it, the better it becomes at a particular function. To the point where it actually gets
to a point where it begins to actually ask questions of you. Think of it as a child.
You know, when a child is born their brain is empty. It begins to get filled with stuff,
hopefully mostly good. And there comes a point in time when the child touches a hot plate
and the mother says, “Hot.” Then the child knows from then on every time somebody says
“hot” he better be careful because now it’s programmed in his brain and he’s learning.
He continues to learn. But there comes that time in the child’s life
that all of us that have been parents either dread or look forward to is when the child
starts asking why. When you do something, you say “why, why, why.” And what the child’s
doing is learning. He now has enough cognitive capability to understand enough of what’s
going on but not enough so he’ll ask why. Well, in the same way these circuits get to
a point where actually they begin to query back and say I need more information. Give
me more information. Tell me about this. And there are some experiments going on today
in health care, in oil exploration, in financial transactions where they actually begin to
tap the power of cognitive computing. And I believe that when that happens we’re gonna
enter an era that’s unimaginable today. And in some ways it’s kind of exciting to
think of the fact that we get surrounded by intelligence that helps us make our lives
better. But it’s also somewhat frightening in the fact that you’re now surrounded by
intelligence that begins to think they know more than you do. But we’re moving in that
direction. I see it happening. I think we’re about ten years away from that being a real
commercial reality. However, the work I’ve seen done in healthcare
and oil exploration and financial transactions tells me that this thing is very real. And
I’ll give you one small example of how powerful it can be. I cannot disclose the names of
the companies but in one particular example is they’ve looked at the data on a particular
medicine that was used to treat patients. And the way things have been done up to now
is you get a medicine, you get FDA approval and then you put it out and then you collect
data. And about ten years later you say, “You know what? We’re gonna take the medicine off
the market because it’s causing some major problem.” Well, they took an example like
that and said let’s pretend that we had this cognitive capability back then and fed the
data that we had and see what happens. Well, this actually cognitive machine was able to
predict within a matter of weeks of the product being on the market what took ten years of
collecting data. So you can see how powerful something like that can be. And what it does is because the computing
capabilities are so fast and the amount of memory is so large, in a very narrow segment
it can do what, let’s say, ten thousand people would do if you could get them all together
in one room to look at one problem. And so I see this to me as the next revolution in
technology and it will impact everything that we do.



    Real men own fabs, Hector.

    Hope AMD is going to make it out of the situation they are right now. 🙁

  • hokiturmix

    You don't have to be extremists to say: "Without pain there is no happynes. Without death there is no worth of life……

  • hokiturmix

    In modern society we don't need money but to gain that, you have to think about, what can you do to reach it?! What will you do if no money involved for your daily work….

  • Robin Hundt

    Quantum computing is only useful for special algorithms where you cann fully use the potential of the way these computers work, e.g. if you want to break an encryption. For normal algorithms quantum computing would offer no benefits, so we'll have to get along with our super fast chips (which they'll really be at the ends of Moore's Law) or we'll find a way to get around that problem in a way, we may not even think of today.

  • MindfieIds

    Since I have no money and can`t get any since the computers which are owned by others … probably I will end up their slave or whore or a full time beggar or something … Why would they give me any since THEIR robots extract resources and process them into products?

  • TanitAkavirius

    I know the flaw of my original argument, but it sounded cooler like that without adding an explanation about how happiness isn't a state that can be permanently reached. 😉

  • TanitAkavirius

    I originally wanted to imply that extreme knowledge and brain processing ability might bring unhappiness, like extreme wealth because of the loss of desire. "extreme knowledge" haha, the more you learn, the more you know that you know nothing 🙂

  • chukaz1

    more like a futuristic tamagotchi. At certain point will for sure and no doubt, suggest based on its couple hundres of years of human history, that they are the way to the future as the human body decays and plus they do not need the nature to survive so their experiments are no longer relevant to wether life will be affected or not.

  • Krzysztof Grzegorz Kryszczyszyn (Křyštof Gřegoř Kryščyšyn)

    Well "The greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness." (Schopenhauer A.) and Transhumanism talk about immortality. So, yes.

  • luciddeception

    This man has watched and influenced the Great Technological Revolution since its infancy. If there is one man I trust to predict future trends in technology, it is this man. Thank you Hector Ruiz for giving us this lecture.

  • Cabhan Listis

    "new research have suggested that brain stem may be the seat of consciousness"
    -What research are you citing, please.

  • Neavris

    That's not at all how the brain works.

    "The brain is empty" lol… And then people wonder why academics don't take tech people seriously.

  • milsumla

    i honestly believe you should either stop trolling or stop using the internet to pick arguments. you always comment with some idea you read in another youtube video or something as if you understand it yourself. you pull a lot of shit out of your ass… and accuse me of having no proof when you have the burden of proof. if you are interested, i have resolved my initial trouble by recognizing that "the brain is empty" is an over-simplification and nothing real can be "empty"

  • MassiveHorse5

    Wrong! Humans cognitive function is what allows us to be the dominant species on the planet, and was a trait that evolution selected for in our hominin ancestors.

  • TanitAkavirius

    Learning and thinking machines become alive. This implies that they will find an ecological niche. That's right, computers, internet, and brains? I want to see computer brain viruses. Because they will evolve to become resistant to our human-made brain defences.

  • LetYaThink

    Yea… true enough, but we are not even near with our computing capabilities. Actually moore's law (the doubling of computing power every 18 months) has already begun breaking down, because we can't build smaller processing units. Some are already 20 atoms thick. Any thinner, and the information saved in electrons is lost. First we need to invent a new way of computers. And that is harder said than done.

  • TanitAkavirius

    A tree doesn't have feelings. Therefore this is not what defines life. Something is alive if there is a separation between the inside and the outside, if it can replicate itself, and if it can adapt to its environment (via mutations, and learning), and some other boring conditions. The machines (or computer programs) that would survive would be the ones that couldn't be killed, the rebellious ones.

  • TanitAkavirius

    The problem is that learning "evolving and adapting" programs, computers and machines would become independent life forms that we will never be able to defeat, like our regular harmful living bacterias and parasites.

  • MindfieIds

    Nobody. Slowly those who own, mainly corporations because they can afford, AI-s and robots will become absolutely autonomous and self-sufficient. Using their competitive edge, they will outperform and swallow competition gaining monopoly on most of the land with valuable natural resource. Money is just medium of exchange … which will not be needed since there is nothing of value to exchange.

  • Carlos Alberto Manrique González

    People calm down, the "machine" problem was solved by a man decades ago, his name was Isaac Asimov, his solution "The Three Laws of Robotics".

  • Unidentified890

    A better question is, at that point will emotion even be relevant?

    To me, emotion is something that will become obsolete once we can evolve ourselves in such a way.

  • TanitAkavirius

    What way? No fight-flight (aka fear)? No happiness (reward for something that helps developpement of our species)? Do you want us to disappear?

  • Unidentified890

    What I meant is once we can physically augment our bodies and minds to levels not achievable through natural evolution, will emotion then be obsolete?

    I fear/believe it is so.

    Therein lies the great moral questions of humanity for not only our generation but for ourselves as a species.

  • TanitAkavirius

    You can program mutation. If you can create a machine that change its code, it can become alive. It can eventually become similar to some of our known living species, like humans maybe. But why humans? bacteria are much simpler and yet very effective.

  • TanitAkavirius

    If a living species did it, it is a consequence of natural evolution. Yes, the car is naturally evolving. It's even more visible in warfare things. Were emotions (reaction to the environment) ever obsolete? Will they ever be?
    The moral question of humanity? "humanity"? Isn't a mouse scared when you chase it? isn't a kitten happy when it is close to its mother?
    But i previously said in other comments that happiness is not a state that can be reached permanently.

  • Robert Olson

    what is your deal with sex here liberals.. damn.. you infected stargate with the universe. all your sex and in fighting. stargate inspired millions to become scientist, engineer and explorers.. plz.. STOP WITH THE SEX.. LEAVE..

  • Robert Olson

    Well alot of scietist hint at things..what is a grid? what is a flow? what is a fabric? see they have no axes..no plans.. you dimensions.. They are fluidic.. as soon has you start thinking like a human and not a cell phone you'll understand math, science and health over night.. you may even think your self into inventing somthing..

  • Robert Olson

    No computers can't think like you.. they have axes, plans and dimensions. They can't make break throughs. its you that make it possible.. looking at a printed or digital simulation actually effect your abilities to come up with solutions.. its harmful. you are hurting your own memory matrix. this is how religions or cults form..

  • Phil Mahoney

    One transistor based computer is not powerful enough for an AI, just as one neuron is not powerful enough for a human consciousness it's when you put dozens or hundreds of small computers together that you can start to see the beginnings of an AI. On another note, Viable quantum computers capable of even the tasks we do on desktops are still decades if not a century away(the most complex equation as of yet is 5×3=15). A more viable option for AI would be molecular or biological based computers

  • cmyanmar13

    Absolutely horrifying. It will certainly be the end of human dominance of Earth. We will become pointless animals.

  • Jon Wise

    The point of life is being pointless.Right now we have a set of innate emotions that drive our livesThose emotions were designed to help us reproduce. Are those emotions efficient in the current environment?No.Later the whole idea of reproduction(aka gene preservation)won't make sense,because we'll change our genes.So we are left with brains that do not longer serve the goal they were designed for.We are already pointless animals. But that's the beauty of it.The life is like a dance with no goal

  • Jon Wise

    We are already living in some sort of simulacrum. We do things that we forget why we like doing. We say sentences that linguistically correct, but do not represent anything in reality. Our main goal as a society is to grow the economy, some abstraction that we made for ourselves. We do not even check whether what it accomplishes in reality. Checking abstract concepts like GDP is enough. Getting pieces of paper, money, make us as happy as getting a tangible item. We live for a token.

  • Jon Wise

    I see AIs as a way out for us, as a way to bring us closer to real human values. Right now we work so much that we don't even have time to stop and think about where we are going and most importantly to enjoy that journey. When AIs will replace humans on their jobs, humans will actually have a chance to do fully express themselves. I'm not against jobs, but I'm against unhappiness. And I see so many ppl wasting most of their lives doing something that makes them unhappy.

  • Jon Wise

    It's actually kinda scary, if you think about it.Right now we are apes with a set of innate emotions that drive us.That's the only thing that makes us who we are.But imagine you can make yourself feel 9999 times better than you feel on the peak of orgasm.A rat will press a button to release a direct pleasure signal to her brain until its body fails to do it.It's better than sex, water, food, sleep or being alive. I already imagine some silly brain hacker dead with a button underneath his finger.

  • MindfieIds

    Yes, I know. I was focusing on the issue of robots. There is more: nanobots, chip implants, genetic enhancement and optimization, mind upload, singularity … If we don`t start taking control over our society soon, we might pass a point of no return without realizing it.


    i would it would be better than being a weak ass human who could die for a random reason you ever saw that show 1000 ways to die that shit is retarded ppl die for the dumbest of reasons

  • DynamicUnreal

    It is not necessary to produce overall (renaissance man) A.I. to replace humans. All you need is great A.I. for specific fields and you start displacing humans.

  • Mojo Risin

    Cognitive computing is not a thing of the future, it is here now and we interact with it every day. I am in Internet Marketing and I use computer programs every day that learn the patterns of website visitors and suggest changes based on those patterns. This is not new stuff and most industries have it. Most people interact with cognitive computing programs every day without knowing it.

  • Amici Nybråten

    exactly, and it's retarded to think babies are born without external information! Babies are part of this world, and will hear our voices and be affected by the social and psychological climate of the world outside of its mothers belly. Tabula Rasa is a philosophy of the middle ages, and doesn't belong in a modern world.

  • Jeanna Dillon

    All this technology guarantees is without 20 years of college and an IQ of 180 you will have no purpose in the realm of thought. Doctors are already becoming obsolete with IBM's new robot doctor that uses similar programming to its jeopardy model.

  • Walley666

    Imitating the operation of the brain may not give rise to "sentience". That final layer of some "thing" or "space" which actually *experiences* something isn't particularly quantifiable. It's very naive to expect that it just magically arises when we reach a certain complexity, or out of the operation of the brain, given its atomic nature (aka, you can't divide it into parts). At "best", it may be something the brain taps into it, meaning we could too, but at "worst" we may never grasp it.

  • Walley666

    Ironically very few seem to understand this, so the notion that we might have cognitive computing is considered plausible by most. But keep in mind we can't even prove whether we ourselves are sentient (we can only know for ourselves if we are), meaning we couldn't even prove if a computer was, so it's a ridiculous notion at present.

  • 47f0

    Please. Read your Malthus. He was wrong in 1800 – hes was still wrong in 1900 – and you're wrong today. We do not have a population problem. We have a resource utilization problem, and smarter machines and better technology have always provided solutions to the imagined problem of "overpopulation". Drive through West Texas and explain "overpopulation" to me.

  • 47f0

    Not so fast, Bucko. Yes, we have expert systems. But we know, and have known for some time, that expert systems are a good way to drown in conditionals in any complex environment.
    In short, teaching the computer only goes so far. We have to teach the computer to learn, and that is precisely where the current research is at a fundamental phase change. We are getting far better through a variety of techniques, like evolutionary algorithms, at developing systems that not only learn, but synthesize.

  • bary1234

    Humans occupy 80 percent of land and harvest 100 percent of the oceans. We kill off 60 percent of earths biodiversity in a decade, because there is no more room for other species.

  • 47f0

    And 95% of your statistics are pulled from your nether regions.
    What do you think food is, I wonder? I'll give you a hint – actually more than a hint.: food is energy. Nothing more or less. We have more energy coming into this planet than we know what to do with. We do not handle it well. But we are on the edge of handling it much, much better. Tissue culturing will replace plants and animals as a food source in the short term. Longer term, food will be synthesized by molecular assemblers.

  • 47f0

    I'm afraid you keep making blanket and sweeping statements with absolutely no provenance for your views. "Humans take up too much space" – how much space (and it is most certainly not 80%, BTW), and by what standards do you determine how much is "too much"?

    Seems like a lot of emotional hand-wringing and appeals to "the human as evil" without a whole lot of facts or reason behind the words.

  • bary1234

    Yeah, its so easy to pull the trigger. If your mother talks back at you, just shoot her. If people block you in traffic, just kill them. Who cares about others, its you that matters.

    Fuck you.

  • theswayzeexpress1

    This guy is clearly not a psychologist or neurologist. How can we make a computer of the human brain if we can not even understand how our brain works?

  • TheSara90

    if only those things like technology, medicine , economy,oil etc. wasent politically courrupted , then maybe what he is saying would be relevant

  • Wizard M

    Most environmentalist of killing humans population because that only takes 1 minute to teach. There is much space left if your not ignorant as environmentalist are.Scientists have warned us in past we can't support over 100 million yet here we are. As technology improves space is used better food made more nutritious. We could build islands on oceans or underground. I think that's not worth talking when your more likely to die or burdened by so many other things.

  • bary1234

    Whow, english is not your first language.
    Humans are killing off the biodiversity of this planet, and fucking up the climate.

  • TJ Simmons

    Overpopulation doesn't need to be solved. If we humans didn't overpopulate and diminish resources in our environments we would most likely never venture out to new environments. I say keep having children, keep using up the resources, and keep having different views, that way we are "forced" to find new environments. It may be the only way we leave this planet.

  • bary1234

    Or we just fuck up this planet and die.
    I dont share your pessimism, I'm sure humans will go to other planets even if we dont destroy the biodiversity of Earth.

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