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Thread: Technological Singularity

  1. #1
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    Default Technological Singularity

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

    Ive just watched the second of these last night. So we are last generation who will see the world as it is. All change by 2035 when the TS comes and we are replaced by ever increasing intelligent machines who can design and make even more capable machines.

    We will be able to live for hundreds of years and have nano stuff in us etc etc.

    Is it the stuff of futorologists dreams or can it happen. Ive not seen parts 1 + 3 but is anyone familiar with stuff or have any thoughts ?

    TechnoCalyps part 1: TransHuman
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...13668208&hl=en

    TechnoCalyps part 2: Preparing for the Singularity
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...84107504&hl=en

    TechnoCalyps part 3: The Digital Messiah
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...54373085&hl=en

  2. #2
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    It's a hippy dippy cliche. Nothing like this will happen, and Ray Kurzweil is a crackpot.

  3. #3

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    Nothing like what will happen? He may be a crackpot--I have no background in those disciplines--but it's not like we're far off some pretty out-there technology. We already have armies of droids, nanotech, quantumn computers...

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    Yeah, here's a good blog entry from Pharyngula on the subject:


    Kurzweil tosses a bunch of things into a graph, shows a curve that goes upward, and gets all misty-eyed and spiritual over our Bold Future. Some places it's OK, when he's actually looking at something measurable, like processor speed over time. In other places, where he puts bacteria and monkeys on the Y-axis and pontificates about the future of evolution, it's absurd. I am completely baffled by Kurzweil's popularity, and in particular the respect he gets in some circles, since his claims simply do not hold up to even casually critical examination.
    I suppose it's a bit like the space race, people saw a man on the moon and thought we'd be zipping off there on our holidays soon enough. You can't really predict what kind of changes are going to occur in technology in the long run with any accuracy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by swears View Post
    Yeah, here's a good blog entry from Pharyngula on the subject:




    I suppose it's a bit like the space race, people saw a man on the moon and thought we'd be zipping off there on our holidays soon enough. You can't really predict what kind of changes are going to occur in technology in the long run with any accuracy.
    Zomg, Swears, OT, but did you see the Dinesh D'Souza post on Pharyngula last night? Hilarious comments.

  6. #6

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    Seems fair:

    Now, it so happens that I didn't really need to read Kurzweil's book to learn this stuff, because I already think he's right. The basic hardware and software trends seem pretty indisputable to me, and the only serious arguments I've ever heard against the eventual development of genuinely intelligent machines all boil down to a thinly veiled belief that there just has to be something more to human intelligence than mere neurons and biochemistry. Well, no there doesn't. The pope's opinions notwithstanding, the evidence to date suggests that the brain really is just a biological computing device.
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/arc..._09/007172.php

    [That's from your link BTW swears...]

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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Seems fair:



    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/arc..._09/007172.php

    [That's from your link BTW swears...]
    Yeah, but we already have AI. That's not what the Singularity is, though. It's when we'll all become computers and have our memories stored in biological harddrives and be able to infinitely upload or download ourselves onto new hardware, so death becomes meaningless.

    The ridiculous part of that whole shtick is that we're already biological computers. We're just ones that don't have infinite bandwidth. And we likely never will.

  8. #8

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    Have you read his book?

  9. #9

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    That's a rhetorical question, in case you were wondering; you don't actually need to answer it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    That's a rhetorical question, in case you were wondering; you don't actually need to answer it.
    Um...yes. But it depends on which one you're talking about.

    Did you read the 15 page interview with Kurzweil in Rolling Stone a few months ago?

    That's a rhetorical question. You don't actually need to answer it.

  11. #11

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    That's a rhetorical question. You don't actually need to answer it.
    Clever.

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    That must be why you whipped it out, then, eh?

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    From the Pharyngula comments:

    He was all giddy about nanotechnology and little molecu-bots dancing around in our bloodstream doing disease fighter detail a-la a Doom video game or some such nonsense. Has he never heard of the immune response?(dumbass!)

    According to another Wired article last year sometime, he's now so hot and bothered about potentially missing the "singularity". Oh noes! So, he's gone off the deep end with the life extension cultists. It must be some sort of machine envy to think that we'd be so much better off without biological bodies.

    Get over it people, there is no mind/body duality! This is the latest delusional faction of people who don't understand that basic fact. They're just as delusional as the god-strokers and new age woo mongers.
    Exactly. We already have moleculebots dancing around in our bloodstream fighting disease! Ffs. Reinventing the wheel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nomadthethird View Post
    Zomg, Swears, OT, but did you see the Dinesh D'Souza post on Pharyngula last night? Hilarious comments.
    Not a regular reader, but he is good. Yeah, it boggles the mind when people like D'Souza try to use rational arguments to explain supernatural beliefs: "Yeah, well quantum physics is like, really weird and counterintuitive... a bit like the love of our lord Jesus."

    All this singularity stuff, I would have loved it when I was about 12, back when I could basically just choose to believe in stuff 'cuz it sounded cool. There night be some truth to it, I 'spose.

  15. #15

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    Kevin Drumm is basically correct, though, shirley. At some point, we should get self-improving AI. The rest is details.

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