Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Rebel Speech Project

I Am Scared Now More than Ever

I am struggling with a problem. The Rebel Speech project has grown into something much bigger and more worrisome than I anticipated. In the last few years, and especially in the last several months, my understanding of cortical memory has grown by leaps and bounds. The project is no longer only about making a better speech recognizer. The core learning technology that I am using is universal, that is to say, it can learn anything, not just speech. Just add your own set of custom sensors and voila. This universality is why I'm afraid. It's a quantum leap in progress over the state of the art. The history of humanity teaches us that every major advance in science or technology is invariably transformed into weapons of war. Truly intelligent machines would be the ultimate weapons of war. The consequences are too painful to imagine.

Rebel Speech is really an extension of Rebel Cortex, a software model of the human cortex. Rebel Cortex is a hierarchical, spiking neural network that uses unsupervised, continuous sensory learning. ‘Unsupervised’ means that, unlike most deep neural networks, Rebel Cortex does not require labeled samples. ‘Continuous sensory learning’ refers to the fact that Rebel Cortex can learn only from a changing signal stream such as a video or audio data stream from a camera or a microphone.

Rebel Cortex is a perceptual learning system that is based on a novel knowledge representation scheme. It uses a memory architecture that can instantly modify its internal representations to reflect changes in the world. In my opinion, if one truly understands perception and perceptual learning, the rest is child's play in comparison. Rebel Cortex is such an essential part of Rebel Speech that I find it impossible to release a Rebel Speech demo without also letting the whole cat out of the bag, so to speak. The reason is that, as soon as one starts playing with its learning abilities, it becomes obvious that this is a whole new ball game. Rebel Speech learns to recognize more than just your words. It also learns to recognize you. It is kind of spooky. It's the kind of thing that changes all your plans for the future. I know it scares me.

I Am Not that Smart

I also feel that this is not something that is mine to give. As surprising as this may sound, I did not figure it out on my own. I had major help. But then again, how could I have figured it out on my own? If government and industry cannot do it, even with their unlimited resources and brainpower, someone like me stands no chance whatsoever. Besides, I am just a blogger, an internet crank, a nut, a nobody. I am certainly not that smart. But, amazingly enough, someone else did figure it out and hid the secret in the unlikeliest of places, a place that no one else thought of searching. But being crazy is not always a handicap. I have a life long habit of thinking about possibilities that others have rejected. I am a rebel that way and I like taking the unbeaten path, the road less travelled. I was lucky enough to find the secret and figure out how to decode it. This, too, is another major paradigm shift, one that promises to strike at the core of our belief systems. Yes, get ready to live in interesting times.

True Artificial Intelligence is Coming Soon But Not From the AI Community

Knowing what I know, there is no doubt in my mind that neither the scientific community nor industry can solve the AI problem, not in several hundred years. The organization of memory and its principles of operation are way too counterintuitive while the number of possible configurations are practically unlimited. I calculate that, on average, it takes the mainstream AI community at least half a century to fully transition from chasing one AI red herring to another. At this rate, they'll be at it for a long, long time. But no secret can stay hidden forever. Sooner or later, I'll make a decision and release something. I just got some more thinking to do. Bear with me.