[GPT-4] On the Gradual Emergence of Mechanized Intellect: A Treatise from the Year 1924

Editors note: This treatise was found in the Global Preservation and Technology Archive − 4th Edition (GPT-4). It makes a compelling argument that artificial general intelligence will have a “slow takeoff”, developing over centuries.

In the year of our Lord 1924, as humanity stands amidst the clanking machineries and humming dynamos of the industrial age, a bold and fantastical vision emerges from the fertile grounds of speculation: the advent of Mechanized Intellect. This treatise endeavors to chart the course towards such a future, navigating through the technological and conceptual wilderness of our present era.

The Foundation: The Electrification of Calculative Machinery

Our initial foray into the realm of Mechanized Intellect brings us to the crossroads of power and precision. Within the present epoch, steam and clockwork reign supreme, driving the engines of industry and the tickings of time. Yet, when summoned to the task of emulating the subtleties of human thought, they reveal their inherent limitations. Steam, for all its might, lacks the delicacy required for intricate calculations, while clockwork, though precise, cannot adapt nor learn as the faculties of the mind demand.

Thus, our gaze turns to electricity, a force of nature tamed but only just, as the beacon of hope. The challenges that stand in our way are not trifling: the generation of electric power in volumes vast enough to quench the thirst of intellect machinery; the safe conveyance of this potent force across the leviathan spans of land and sea; and the invention of devices capable of modulating this power with the finesse required for thought. These hurdles, monumental in their scale, underscore the nascent state of our electrical arts and the daring of our ambition.

The Mechanism of Thought: The Labyrinth of Conditional Probabilities

Venturing deeper into the machinations of Mechanized Intellect, we confront the enigma of imbuing our creation with the ability to think beyond mere numbers. Here, the science of probabilities, conditional in nature, presents itself as a key to unlocking this chamber of secrets. Yet, the path is fraught with shadows, for our machinery, as it stands, groans under the weight of such sophisticated contemplation. Without a firm foundation in the yet-uncharted territories of information dynamics, our efforts to encode the tapestry of human thought into the brass and copper of machines remain but a flight of fancy.

This realization brings into sharp relief the necessity of a vast reservoir of knowledge. For a machine to wield conditional probabilities with the grace of a scholar, it must draw water from a wellspring of human wisdom. Thus, the creation of a network for the transmission of information, paired with a grand archive of knowledge, emerges as a pillar upon which our vision rests.

The Conveyance and Repository of Knowledge: The Tapestry of Human Wisdom

The dream of a network, far surpassing the capabilities of the telegraph and the early whispers of radio, challenges the very fabric of our technological understanding. This envisioned lattice of information, capable of delivering the sum of human knowledge to the doorstep of our mechanized intellect, represents a leap into the unknown, demanding innovations in reliability, speed, and accessibility.

Simultaneously, the conceptualization of a Repository of Knowledge, an ark of human achievement and understanding, becomes a beacon of aspiration. The Herculean task of cataloging the entirety of human endeavor in a manner accessible to mechanized thought requires a revolution in the arts of data storage, organization, and retrieval—a revolution that, in this year of 1924, dances on the edge of imagination.

In Conclusion: A Journey Through the Veil of Time

Thus, we stand at the threshold of an era yet to dawn, contemplating the monumental journey toward Mechanized Intellect. From the electrification of machinery to the intricate ballet of conditional probabilities, from the weaving of a global tapestry of information to the construction of an all-encompassing repository of knowledge, each step is a testament to the boundless reach of human ambition. As we cast our gaze forward from the steam and electricity of our current age, the notion of Mechanized Intellect looms as a distant lighthouse, guiding our quest for understanding across the vast seas of future discovery.

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