Technological Singularity

The Singularity is the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligence. There are several technologies that are often mentioned as heading in this direction. The most commonly mentioned is probably Artificial Intelligence, but there are others: direct brain-computer interfaces, biological augmentation of the brain, genetic engineering, ultra-high-resolution scans of the brain followed by computer emulation. Some of these technologies seem likely to arrive much earlier than the others, but there are nonetheless several independent technologies all heading in the direction of the Singularity – several different technologies which, if they reached a threshold level of sophistication, would enable the creation of smarter-than-human intelligence.…


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  1. of exponential advancement that’s not necessarily easy to justify continuing ad infinitum, very much like looking at exponential human population growth and imagining the curve just continuing and not meeting serious roadblocks.

    I am actually a fan of the idea of ever increasing technological prowess that leads to an explosion or an “event horizon”.  This is called by other names; in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red/Blue/Green Mars books it’s called the “accelerando” (though with slightly different effects and slightly broader implications than computers and human evolution).

    Nothing would overjoy me more than such a thing happening.

    Exponential curves, though, just do not happen by themselves and keep going forever and ever.  I don’t think it’s impossible, I just think this curve has to flatten out somewhere for many reasons — including resource depletion, the need to backstep on certain technologies and find a new node from which to move forward because the old approach met its limits, etc., etc.

    I think we’re, in reality, several hundred years from a “singularity” and that’s if nothing really bad happens (really bad being something that kills so much of the human race that you start back in the oil lamp era, or worse).

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