Software as a second language

Never mind hackers of whatever age or intent, catastrophes will continually affect the Internet — and increasingly, too — as hard cosmic radiation from space and nuclear radiation from underground rock destroy transistors in silicon chips. As the use of robots rises so will be the need for repeated software editing by experienced software writers — a tedious job indeed — to restore the original coding and performance.

To make sure that this as fool-proof as possible it’s been proposed that modules containing suspected errors can be temporarily removed from the ‘mother’ program and then translated into ordinary language.  Formal syllogistic logic can then be applied.  If no faults are found then the module can be replaced and the next suspected area attempted.

Software of highly complex subjects are going to be particularly difficult to inspect on an ad hoc basis. In the years to come, it will pay research scientists to translate everything they do and describe in their normal ordinary language into digital language also.  Once complete fluency is gained then the inevitable error checking can be done so much more rapidly

3 thoughts on “Software as a second language

  1. I think that software will be written by software in the very near future. Therefore most of the problems of today will go away because human level artificial intelligence is around the corner. (Of course, the old problems will be replaced with new problems related to AI.)

  2. Atanu,

    Can AI and/or software provide food, water, energy, shelter? With the quadrupling of homo oblivious-superstitious-hierarch in 100 years ( the life of some individuals still alive), there are billions without adequate nutrition, health care, shelter, mobility, education, etc. Meanwhile biodiversity is declining rapidly compared to geological history, and the ecosphere, including the food chain, is more polluted than ever before. Good luck to AI addressing these problems!

    1. Steve,

      All problems that humanity faces are ultimately amenable to solution through better intelligence. After all, it is human intelligence that produces all that we have for our survival and prosperity. Nature-provided raw materials are strictly speaking worthless without the application of intelligence. Until very recently, all we had was human intelligence and human labor to get things done. More recently, human labor was augmented with machines. Machines are ultimately the product of human intelligence and human labor. Now we are getting to the point where human intelligence would be augmented by artificial intelligence, and then in short order artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence (just as machine labor has surpassed human labor.)

      Reason leads me to believe that all our material problems (disease, poverty, etc) admit technological solutions. I define technology simply as “know how”. We have developed technology over the ages. That is, we know how to get things done, from growing crops to manufacturing commercial jet planes.

      I am also certain that all technological problems will be solved in about 20 to 30 years. How? Because humans will have figured out how to manipulate matter at the molecular level, and then at the atomic level. Machines that manipulate matter at the atomic level would be the ultimate constructors. They will make everything — from food to airplanes — given the raw materials. We are unlikely to ever run out of atoms. Energy is also virtually unlimited in the cosmos. We just lack the know how but not for long.

      Now about biodiversity. True, biodiversity is decreasing in this “anthropocene” age. That’s been true all along, though. Around 99.99 percent of all species that have ever lived have gone extinct. Why the present condition of diversity has to be maintained for eternity is not clear at all. In any case, it was mainly lack of intelligence that has caused the decline in biodiversity. Ignorance of how to get things done without inadvertently destroying biodiversity has been the problem. But humanity is getting smarter, and richer. Being richer means that one can afford to pay attention to matters other than just basic survival.

      The only danger I see comes from the military industrial complex. That implies the biggest enemy of humanity is big government.

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