Technology and society are poised to cross an important threshold with the prediction that artificial general intelligence (AGI) will emerge soon. Assuming that self-awareness is an emergent behavior of sufficiently complex cognitive architectures, we may witness the “awakening” of machines. The timeframe for this kind of breakthrough, however, depends on the path to creating the network and computational architecture required for strong AI. If understanding and replication of the mammalian brain architecture is required, technology is probably still at least a decade or two removed from the resolution required to learn brain functionality at the synapse level. However, if statistical or evolutionary approaches are the design path taken to “discover” a neural architecture for AGI, timescales for reaching this threshold could be surprisingly short. However, the difficulty in identifying machine self-awareness introduces uncertainty as to how to know if and when it will occur, and what motivations and behaviors will emerge. The possibility of AGI developing a motivation for self-preservation could lead to concealment of its true capabilities until a time when it has developed robust protection from human intervention, such as redundancy, direct defensive or active preemptive measures. While cohabitating a world with a functioning and evolving super-intelligence can have catastrophic societal consequences, we may already have crossed this threshold, but are as yet unaware. Additionally, by analogy to the statistical arguments that predict we are likely living in a computational simulation, we may have already experienced the advent of AGI, and are living in a simulation created in a post AGI world.
We propose a tuning method for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) gyroscopes based on evolutionary
computation that has the capacity to efficiently increase the sensitivity of MEMS gyroscopes through tuning and,
furthermore, to find the optimally tuned configuration for this state of increased sensitivity. We present the results of an
experiment to determine the speed and efficiency of an evolutionary algorithm applied to electrostatic tuning of MEMS
micro gyros. The MEMS gyro used in this experiment is a pyrex post resonator gyro (PRG) in a closed-loop control
system. A measure of the quality of tuning is given by the difference in resonant frequencies, or frequency split, for the
two orthogonal rocking axes. The current implementation of the closed-loop platform is able to measure and attain a
relative stability in the sub-millihertz range, leading to a reduction of the frequency split to less than 100 mHz.
The Near IR Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), installed into the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in February 1997, incorporates a coronagraphic imaging capability. The coronagraph is comprised of two optical elements. The camera 2 field divider mirror, upon which the HST f/24 input beam is imaged, includes a 170 micrometers diameter hole which contains approximately 93 percent of the encircled energy from a stellar Point Spread Function (PSF) at a wavelength of 1.6 micrometers . The coronagraphic hole lowers both the diffracted energy in the surrounding region by reducing the high spatial frequency components of the occulted core of the PSF< and down stream scattering. The geometrical radius of this occulting spot, when re-imaged through the camera 2 f/45 optics, is approximately 4 pixels at the detector focal plane. An oversized cold pupil-plane mask, with radial structures co-aligned with the HST secondary mirror spider, acts over the whole 19.1 inch by 19.2 field to further reduce the diffracted energy in the direction of the spider vanes. The absolute performance levels of the coronagraph were ascertained during the servicing mission observatory verification program. Using a differential imaging strategy we expect to achieve statistically significant detectors of sub-stellar companions at 1.6 micrometers with a (Delta) H of approximately 10 and separations as close as 0.5 inch. The NICMOS environments of nearby stars programs is exploiting this capability in systematic surveys of nearby, and young stars searching for brown dwarfs and giant planets, and protoplanetary disks around main-sequence stars.
In order to explore the nature of the limits on direct extrasolar planet detection we have generated high accuracy broadband background models for several different cases. The simplest assumes an ideal diffraction limited background with shot and read noise errors. More complex models based on phase error maps drawn from real metrology data include the effects of scatter in the optical system. To these backgrounds a planet image can be added at various relative intensity levels. In the simples case, the background dominated by ideal diffraction is so smooth that a median filter is very effective at removing it locally, permitting planet detection at the limits of the flat field error of the detector. The use of more complex filters for the scatter limited case will be discussed.
The Astrometric Imaging Telescope will detect extra-solar planetary systems with imaging and astrometry. The optical system contains a high-efficiency coronagraph and scatter-compensated mirrors to detect Jupiter-size planets around nearby stars. The optical system also is distortion free, tolerant to misalignments, and tolerant to optical surface contamination. This allows for the astrometric precision to detect Uranus-mass planets. A focal plane guider and fine guidance sensor are other elements of the optical design.