A team of researchers at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology recently announced that they have developed a hardware system that is able to increase the speed at which artificial intelligence (A.I.) systems learn by a rate of 1,000 times as fast! Speaking on behalf of his team, Prof. Shahar Kvatinsky said they were inspired by human learning methods. This led to an investigation of deep neural networks (DNNs) which are a series of algorithms inspired by the way human brains recognize patterns. Using DNNs, A.I. systems can already perform highly complex tasks such as real-time language translation, autonomous driving, and facial recognition. However, for current A.I. systems to use this technology to learn they must rely on powerful computer systems using graphic processing hardware that consume huge amounts of energy, and their speed is slower than the required learning rate of the neural networks, which hinders the learning ability of A.I. systems.
A.I. Will Mirror Human Learning Processes
According to their research which appeared in the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems journal, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Kvatinsky and his research team developed a hardware system specifically designed to work with these neural networks, enabling the neural network to perform the learning phase with greater speed and less energy consumption. Kvatinsky noted, that in comparison to current graphic processing units, “the new hardware’s calculation speed is 1,000 times faster and reduces power consumption by 80%.” However, the greatest advance is that rather than attempting to merely improve existing processors, Kvatinsky’s team developed the structure of a three-dimensional computing machine that integrates memory. This technology would allow machines to store information and autonomously develop its own algorithms for learning in the future.
Relevant Scripture Passages
While the potential for great advances is certainly present with such technology, we should be very concerned about the degree to which we embrace artificial intelligence. For instance, many Bible teachers point to the Book of Daniel for insight into the development of such technology. In one verse, the Lord told Daniel to seal up the words of his prophecy “even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4 KJV). Thus, as we increase the ability of computer systems to learn, we are witnessing what could have been described in the Bible over 2,000 years ago! Even more concerning is that Revelation 13:14-15 may have a potential prophetic connection to artificial intelligence as it tells us of a time when a future leader will “deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (KJV). We believe this future leader will be none other than the Antichrist and – as artificial intelligence technology continues to increase – it is not too hard to imagine he might use such technology to his advantage in deceiving the world when he rises to power. In the meantime, let us be in prayer over this situation.