Mark Zuckerberg Hastens the Arrival of Our Robot Overlords

    March 21, 2014
    Josh Wolford
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If you’re impatiently waiting for computers to actually start thinking, reasoning, and feeling like humans, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a couple of other high-profile investors have decided to help speed up the process. Zuckerberg, alongside Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ashton Kutcher have joined for a $40 million investment in Vicarious, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Vicarious is a company that is “building software that thinks and learns like a human.”

More specifically, Vicarious is looking to code the human brain. Using a new computational paradigm that they call the Recursive Cortical Network, Vicarious is “developing machine learning software based on the computational principles of the human brain.”

“Our first technology is a visual perception system that interprets the contents of photographs and videos in a manner similar to humans,” says the company.

Vicarious was founded in 2010.

Late last year, Vicarious touted that their AI had passed the first Turing Test by reliably solving CAPTCHAs.

“Understanding how brain creates intelligence is the ultimate scientific challenge. Vicarious has a long term strategy for developing human level artificial intelligence, and it starts with building a brain-like vision system. Modern CAPTCHAs provide a snapshot of the challenges of visual perception, and solving those in a general way required us to understand how the brain does it,” said Vicarious co-founder Dr. Dileep George.

Why Mark Zuckerberg? What could Facebook possibly want with software that can mimic human reasoning? Check this little bit from the WSJ’s report:

A Facebook spokesman said Zuckerberg’s investment in Vicarious, which hasn’t been previously reported, is a personal one and does not reflect Facebook’s interest in using Vicarious software.


PayPal founder Peter Thiel and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz are already investors in the company. They put their money in back in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

If you want to reach me, I’ll be in my basement trying desperately to construct the eye scanner from Blade Runner.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • Ulises

    Then, step by step, if intelligent machines take over all human activity, including art and science, what will happen to the organic body and its conditioned-to-work-and-think brain? Surely, will it decay? Is mankind-machines coexistence possible while people are fighting for jobs and resources: competition, enterprises, nations, and so on? Anyway, what is the endeavour in which a robot cannot take part or channel at all suscesfully? Why won’t the future automatons be alive? What is the fundamental difference between a mechanical structure, organic or inorganic, that imitates life and life itself? Is there any, virtual or real? If it said that there is a difference, is it just some kind of authority who is defining and differentiating between things? Perhaps then, someday, will be a powerful automaton the one who will define life, its unique life, truth itself? Will he impose its point of view with his outstanding intelligence, his new science? That is, will he define where life begin and end too? Therefore, where does death too? Along these lines, there is a peculiar book, a preview in goo.gl/rfVqw6 Just another suggestion, in order to free-think for a while