"Singularity" -- Is Anyone Else As Fascinated With This Subject As I Am?

  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Feb 18, 2011 8:03 PM GMT
    I read the TIME magazine cover story this week on this subject, and it was not only fascinating, but VERY scary.

    1101110221_400.jpg


    Read the article here...

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2048138,00.html
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    Feb 18, 2011 10:29 PM GMT
    A computer that is more intelligent than us?
    By 2045?
    Er come on, where have you been for the last 35 years or so?
    In my hand I have a small piece of plastic with a tiny screen and a set of keys underneath it. On it I keyed in 360, then pressed the square root function key. Instantly it came up with 18.973665.
    Have you tried to work out the square root of 360 without a calculator?
    At best you may have just rounded it up to 19, and that's after several minutes of paperwork. (Actually, 19 squared = 361.)
    But machines will always be machines, no matter how "intelligent" they might be, or become. A machine will never achieve the human soul. In other words, such a computer may "know" how to make decisions via a highly complicated flowchart programmed into it, but without a human soul it would be unable to feel empathy, sympathetic, happy, sad, angry, amused, laugh, cry, feel compassionate, to know right from wrong or to be a good friend, or for someone to be there if one is lonely or bereaved.
    And it will function as long as there is a source of power. A short circuit and the machine would have as much animation as a trash can lid lying on the ground!
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:13 AM GMT
    Post-Humanism is nutty...icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:17 AM GMT
    http://www.amazon.com/Radical-Evolution-Promise-Enhancing-Bodies/dp/0767915038/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1298085360&sr=8-2

    I recommend the book Radical Evolution by Joel Garreau.
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:18 AM GMT
    Yes, CuriousJockAZ, I am at least as fascinated with this subject as you are! it's been the most interesting topic to me since my early teens. :-)
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:25 AM GMT
    Mathematical computation is one thing, but understanding and processing natural language is a big leap forward. Watson, IBM's computer (also mentioned in the Time article) is an example of such advanced artificial intelligence. Pitted against Jeopardy! superstars Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, it won easily, although it missed the final jeopardy question. More time is required before such smart systems can be shrunk down to size so that they can be used in everyday environments (Watson's computing requirement of terabytes of RAM takes up the space of a room).



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    Feb 19, 2011 3:25 AM GMT
    Haven't read this article, but singularity to me means that memories are transferable. If so, mankind is truly immortal.
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:28 AM GMT
    NotThatOld saidBut machines will always be machines, no matter how "intelligent" they might be, or become.


    The same goes for us. We are machines.

    NotThatOld saidA machine will never achieve the human soul.


    Why not? We're machines, and we have souls. (Or we don't, depending on how one defines "soul").

    NotThatOld saidIn other words, such a computer may "know" how to make decisions via a highly complicated flowchart programmed into it, but without a human soul it would be unable to feel empathy, sympathetic, happy, sad, angry, amused, laugh, cry, feel compassionate, to know right from wrong or to be a good friend, or for someone to be there if one is lonely or bereaved.


    Each of the things you mentioned arises from electrochemical interactions in the brain.

    NotThatOld saidAnd it will function as long as there is a source of power.


    The same is true of us. We require energy (from food) to keep functioning.

    NotThatOld saidA short circuit and the machine would have as much animation as a trash can lid lying on the ground!


    The same would be true of me if I have a stroke or a heart attack.
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:32 AM GMT
    The article is extremely overblown, and unfortunately fails to make some important points.

    For one, the *total computing power* available on the whole of Earth in 2007 was about the same as one human brain [in terms of the number of operations per second that the human brain performs]. A computer as compact as the human brain with similar computing power is a long long way off.

    Fot another, Moore's law is rapidly heading to the limit of chip fabrication on silicon due to quantum mechanics [the electrons are no longer well confined].

    At heart, I think making a creative machine is really just as simple as making a sufficiently complicated computer, but it also has to be highly mobile and with an excellent array of sensory input. It also requires clever programming and adaptivity.

    The question is interesting, because it seems to address what truly makes us human. The question is, I suppose: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Feb 19, 2011 3:43 AM GMT
    In some ways, it reminds me of the Borg off of Star Trek...
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    Feb 19, 2011 3:47 AM GMT
    TigerTim saidFot another, Moore's law is rapidly heading to the limit of chip fabrication on silicon due to quantum mechanics [the electrons are no longer well confined].


    Yes, I thought of that apparent obstacle as well. I'm sure Kurzweil has an answer to that, but it wasn't addressed in the article.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:18 AM GMT
    Do we really want to transfer our thoughts into electronic format? Living forever might get kinda boring.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:36 AM GMT
    We will find a cure to death for humans before robots take over.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:37 AM GMT
    xrichx saidDo we really want to transfer our thoughts into electronic format? Living forever might get kinda boring.


    Living forever is only boring to those who don't care to live life.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:40 AM GMT
    TigerTim saidThe question is interesting, because it seems to address what truly makes us human. The question is, I suppose: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?


    Absolutely not, and questions like this reflect a very huge barrier that will take a lot longer to overcome: creating consciousness. Neuroscientists do not know what consciousness is yet let alone know how to recreate it. It's probably in the prefrontal cortex though (my guess).
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:42 AM GMT
    xrichx saidDo we really want to transfer our thoughts into electronic format? Living forever might get kinda boring.


    and painful... trying watching others you get old and die icon_sad.gif or, we ALL get this 'technology' and live happily forever after.. Jesus would get mad >.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:43 AM GMT
    ddt8665 said
    xrichx saidDo we really want to transfer our thoughts into electronic format? Living forever might get kinda boring.


    and painful... trying watching others you get old and die icon_sad.gif


    Unless your friends live forever too.
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    Feb 19, 2011 4:44 AM GMT
    JAKEBENSON said
    ddt8665 said
    xrichx saidDo we really want to transfer our thoughts into electronic format? Living forever might get kinda boring.


    and painful... trying watching others you get old and die icon_sad.gif


    Unless your friends live forever too.


    haha i was jus thinking that and edited my post. ur fast icon_eek.gif
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    Feb 19, 2011 5:02 AM GMT
    sadly, I go to carnegie mellon where this is a particularly hot topic. I hear about this every day.............every fucking day........icon_mad.gif
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    Feb 19, 2011 5:09 AM GMT
    All of this has happened before. And, it will all happen again.

    So say we all!
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    Feb 19, 2011 5:14 AM GMT
    Skynet...
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    Feb 19, 2011 5:21 AM GMT
    ah....silly me...and here I thought you were referring to a wormhole....as in quantum singularity icon_eek.gif
  • rdberg1957

    Posts: 662

    Feb 19, 2011 5:22 AM GMT
    Unless we figure out our resource problems (energy, water food, soil, overpopulation), the issue is moot.
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    Feb 19, 2011 7:24 AM GMT
    2045, more like 2450, if we are astonishingly lucky. Humans are so, so bad at predicting technological progress, you should look at some of the "2000 predictions". Human progress is slow and mindnumingly iterative, not much happens in 10 years, or 20, or 50. In a few hundred, sure, but below that there's nothing worth writing home about.

    Don't hold your breath for this before you die.
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    Feb 19, 2011 7:42 AM GMT
    xrichx saidDo we really want to transfer our thoughts into electronic format? Living forever might get kinda boring.


    Let's see... Given the choice between "certain death" and "possible boredom", I think I'll go for "possible boredom." Besides, you can always delete yourself later if you really can't stand it any more!