On tonight’s Glenn Beck Program, Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, and Jared Cohen, director of Google ideas, join Glenn on set in New York City for the full hour to discuss their new book The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, which explains how the face of the internet is about to change. During the interview, Glenn raised several questions about the face of technology in the next twenty or thirty years, leading to an in depth and at times tense debate over what is and isn’t possible.
During the discussion, Schmidt said that “life” was defined as consciousness, something unique to humans and more than an analytical or verbal process. “It’s that’s not understood. It’s never been understood by philosophers, and scientists today cannot explain consciousness.”
Glenn, however, brought up Google’s own Ray Kurzweil who has suggested that people’s consciousness could be downloaded into a computer, and the concept of memory prosthetics.
“These are speculation,” he said, “these are not current Google Extra Search Projects.”
“But you are working towards them,” Glenn said.
Schmidt argued that there were a lot of assumptions in Glenn’s questions, such as whether it was a perfect replica of a human, how it would interact and work.
“I just know Ray and I think he’s brilliant and I know what he’s shooting for,” Glenn said, suggesting these conversations needed to happen before artificial intelligence actually happens. “The world that you are projecting is a widely different and possibly dangerous world unless we all have these conversations and ask ‘What is life,’” Glenn said.
Ultimately, Schmidt suggested that companies like Google have a set of rules and missions that they follow to ensure they don’t go too far, such as “making the world a better place for each and every citizen” and “using technology to advance knowledge, empower individuals, and do amazing things.”
Glenn, however, was frustrated by those answers, comparing them to generic answers the President would give in an interview.
“I really thought we would have a more…philosophical conversation,” Glenn said.
“My problem is that your describing things as fact when there is a lot of guesswork to get there,” Schmidt said. “As philosophical matter, computers should be in the service humans. The information and services we are building should service us and not the other way around.”
The full hour is well worth a viewing as the Google bosses delve into how technology can empower people across the world, as well as privacy concerns involving the NSA. TheBlaze TV subscribers can watch by clicking here.