The Singularity

This is a discussion on The Singularity within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; The Singularity – lately I’ve been hearing and reading about the Singularity in various places and most recently the August ...

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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    The Singularity

    The Singularity – lately I’ve been hearing and reading about the Singularity in various places and most recently the August issue of “Popular Science”. (Unfortunately they don’t have that article on the web yet, but as soon as they will put it up I will link you guys to it.)

    Anyways, the idea of the Singularity is very interesting, and I would like to hear your ideas about it since it is an idea that deals closely with computer science. For those who don’t know what the Singularity is I’m putting a short explanation below:

    The Singularity is a term coined by Vernor Vinge a computer scientist and sci-fi writer who’s now a professor at San Diego University. The following is straight out of popsci: “We’re living through a period of unprecedented technological and scientific advances,” Vinge says, “and sometimes soon the convergence of fields such as ai and biotechnology will push humanity past a tipping point ushering in a period of wrenching change. After that moment – the Singularity – the world will be as different from today’s world as this one is from the Stone Age.”

    So basically what we’re talking about here is things as uploading minds into artificial bodies which could stand the forces of speeds close to that of the speed of light, etc etc.

    What do you guys think? How soon will this happen? Will it ever happen?

    some more reading:
    Vernor Vinge on Singularity
    The Singularity links

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    'AlHamdulillah
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    How soon will this happen?
    probably never, as more than likely man kind will almost eliminate itself before the time when it would become feasable.

    I dont really care for the speculations of SF writers that are of the "perfect world" variety. Remember, people said that we would have anti-grav cars by 2000, and they dont seem anywhere close to making them, if they ever are able to.
    there used to be something here, but not anymore

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    mov.w #$1337,D0 Jeremy G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvBladeRunnervE
    probably never, as more than likely man kind will almost eliminate itself before the time when it would become feasable.

    I dont really care for the speculations of SF writers that are of the "perfect world" variety. Remember, people said that we would have anti-grav cars by 2000, and they dont seem anywhere close to making them, if they ever are able to.

    Well, we do have magnalift monorails - thats pretty much an anti-grav car. The thing about such a technology is the danger. Considering any nations population - to put all of them into vehicles far more dangerous then cars (as having no ground friction, and being left to the whim of air physics) it is just unfeasable to invest in such technology. But we do have hover tanks, and other forms of vehicles that are not in physical contact with the ground. It's boiled down to developing a safe system then technology to power the system.


    On the point of singularity - I do belive such a thing is coming. But mainly from the point of robot AI. Sure you say I'm just a fanboy of sci-fi movies and fiction the notion of a robot power isn't that far fetched. Even in the event that we spawn AI that isn't bent on dominating humanity it will still be a singularity. Isaac Asimov mentioned the idea in his Book I, Robot. We created a first robot "brain" to help us build better robot brain to help it build better robot brain to help it build a better robot brain so on , until we merely then incouragement to the system to tell it what to create for us and it doing so with out ourselves being able to under stand it. Such a foolheardy approach to science can only lead to disaster, but time will tell.
    c++->visualc++->directx->opengl->c++;
    (it should be realized my posts are all in a light hearted manner. And should not be taken offense to.)

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    ggs
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    as science gives us knowledge it takes away ignorance. the next moment of wrenching change will occur when the universe is shown to be utterly deterministic. this will make the term 'free will' meaningless and take away the value of creation and creativity from us. many people already have this point of view, but science will soon enough prove its validity and force anybody else with a mind to somehow cope
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    Registered User caroundw5h's Avatar
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    I don't know about all that. but of course its guess work until proven otherwise. I"m more interested if any of you have ever read the books "the earth chronicles series" by Zacariah sitchen. provocative. Curious as to how many of you are open minded enough to even humour it.

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    nbk
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    I believe it will happen, but not soon. We have 5 billion(or million?) years left to live. It may strike as luck(e.g. Ben Franklin and electricity) or just technology growing. It seems very possible, but I agree, not ANYtime soon(that WOULD be cool tho...)

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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggs
    as science gives us knowledge it takes away ignorance. the next moment of wrenching change will occur when the universe is shown to be utterly deterministic. this will make the term 'free will' meaningless and take away the value of creation and creativity from us. many people already have this point of view, but science will soon enough prove its validity and force anybody else with a mind to somehow cope
    whoa!? you seem so confident about this claim. I really hope you don't believe this as your life would seem awfully sad, and "coping" would be extremely hard. If what you said was even remotely true than nothing we do now matters; whatever we do will dot affect our future as it is based on antecedent affairs.

    Its interesting how we went from the singularity to determinism....

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    another question for you guys...no matter when the momnet of the Singularity will happen, will it be a positive or negative thing? or will it be just another step in human evolution?

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    nbk
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    I would think it'd be positive and negative... We would be able to do many more things, like insert a chip into someone to control them(and that sort of thing), but we could also have a chip to learn things instantly... We'll have the technology to be aliens

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    ggs
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    axon - only a god can create. as a beings of flesh subject to and existing because of physical laws, we are far from gods. whether or not the future is actually predetermined does not matter, the only thing that does is that we have no control over what will happen. physical laws don't have to be absolutely deterministic in order for our lives to be effectively deterministic.

    but i would love to die and find myself a god
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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    According to your reasoning you live – to die. That is a very sad existence indeed.

    I was thinking however about this: >>this will make the term 'free will' meaningless<<

    What would you say to the notion of committing suicide? Would killing yourself be the ultimate proclamation of freedom and absolute power of choice? Would you be testing god, or proclaiming your power to the rest of the world, equating yourself with god? Your vision of the future talks about a socialistic-like structure where ‘free will’, and therefore happiness, is superimposed by the ruling few.

    Does your god permit suicide ggs?

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    ggs
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    the only thing that could make me god is the ability to truly create. that requires absolute, free will. in a deterministic universe where i am just an animal, there is no free will. acts of creation are meaningless. the universe is controlled by an algorithm, my choices are just part of its ongoing state. each state relies on the state of the past. i don't understand this algorithm, but science works to uncover it, and soon we will know how little we can become

    my vision of the future involves no imposition of structure among the people, just a future where people have found evidence of the deterministic nature of the universe. as a result, everybody who thinks about the issues of life will come to realize how meaningless it is - and it will not be conjecture, it will be fact. some will rationalize it with bizarre religious logic, others will do their best to ignore it, observing that people lived just fine in the past without letting this worry them, and for others it will devastate them - they know that creation is the only worthwhile thing to live for, and will also know that their creation is false. it's a matter of how many will fall into each catagory
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    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    that is all nice, but you failed to address any of my questions...mainly does your god permit suicide? as every other question flows from this very point


    and for those of you not familiar with the algorithm ggs is talking about:
    Describes an algorithm in which the correct
    next step depends only on the current state. This contrasts
    with an algorithm involving backtracking where at each point
    there may be several possible actions and no way to chose
    between them except by trying each one and backtracking if it
    fails.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

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    mov.w #$1337,D0 Jeremy G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggs
    the only thing that could make me god is the ability to truly create. that requires absolute, free will. in a deterministic universe where i am just an animal, there is no free will. acts of creation are meaningless. the universe is controlled by an algorithm, my choices are just part of its ongoing state. each state relies on the state of the past. i don't understand this algorithm, but science works to uncover it, and soon we will know how little we can become

    my vision of the future involves no imposition of structure among the people, just a future where people have found evidence of the deterministic nature of the universe. as a result, everybody who thinks about the issues of life will come to realize how meaningless it is - and it will not be conjecture, it will be fact. some will rationalize it with bizarre religious logic, others will do their best to ignore it, observing that people lived just fine in the past without letting this worry them, and for others it will devastate them - they know that creation is the only worthwhile thing to live for, and will also know that their creation is false. it's a matter of how many will fall into each catagory
    Do you realize that your determinism removes things like right, wrong, morality, justice and other concepts held in regard by most of humanity? Doesn't it seem odd to you that a complex system of judgements would evolve in a society based in a truly deterministic universe? How do you explain determinism when causality suffers from a fatal flaw of the first cause paradox? Going back to the singlest, most simplest thread in the fabric of the universe the first string of vibration, the first neuance of quantem mechanics - why did it vibrate at that frequency, at that time, at that place in the universe. It had to be either a random occurance or had to be an effect from a supernatural cause (god). Either idea interjects a notion non-determnism into existence. Random isn't determined - if it was determined what determined it? the paradox just continues. Only free will answers the paradox, weather by universal random, or by gods purpose.
    c++->visualc++->directx->opengl->c++;
    (it should be realized my posts are all in a light hearted manner. And should not be taken offense to.)

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    ggs
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    if the right string hadn't vibrated, we would not exist to observe what a marvel it is that it vibrated at all.

    morality, right, wrong and judgements are all results of values that we attach to things. the determinism is all in the physical laws... it is difficult to imagine the evolution of everything, but we're only human.

    if the universe has a big, truly random number generator behind it, everything is still effectively deterministic. just because the outcomes of physical events are not predetermined doesn't mean that your action is any less the result of very basic physical reactions and not some spiritual god-like will. your creation is still empty of worth
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