Technological singularity The technological singularity is the hypothesis that accelerating progress in technologies will cause a runaway effect wherein artificial intelligence will exceed human intellectual capacity and control, thus radically changing civilization in an event called the singularity. Because the capabilities of such an intelligence may be impossible for a human to comprehend, the technological singularity is an occurrence beyond which events may become unpredictable, unfavorable, or even unfathomable. The first use of the term "singularity" in this context was by mathematician John von Neumann. Proponents of the singularity typically postulate an "intelligence explosion", where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, that might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent's cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human. Basic concepts Superintelligence Non-AI singularity Intelligence explosion Exponential growth Plausibility
Defining the Singularity Q: So you mentioned that there is no widely accepted view of what the Singularity is and what exactly is going to happen, is that correct? That’s correct, there is very little continuity regarding what exactly the term “Singularity” refers to. A brilliant AI researcher by the name of Eliezer Yudkowky has dissected and categorized these beliefs into three schools of thought: the Event Horizon Thesis, the Intelligence Explosion Thesis, and finally the Accelerating Change Thesis. Q: Well which school did Vernor Vinge fall into when he originally coined the term “Singularity”? He would fall under the Event Horizon school of thought. Now this could occur through either artificial intelligence or purely bio-hacking, but whatever occurs will allow us to create/obtain an intelligence that is greater than ours on a trans-species scale (think the difference between us and chimpanzees). Learn More Q: Could you provide me with an example? Now do you see what I mean by feedback cycle? Q: Yup, got it.
Introducing the Singularity Q: So what is this “Technological Singularity” I keep hearing about? In the broadest sense it refers to “an event or phase brought about by technology that will radically change human civilization, and perhaps even human nature itself before the middle of the 21st century.”1 Think of it as the “tipping point” where the accelerating pace of machines outrun all human capabilities and result in a smarter-than-human intelligence. Q: Seriously? Yes. Q: Sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel… Well the term “technological singularity” was coined by Vernor Vinge, a professor of Mathematics who originally used the term in one of his sci-fi novels. In it, he writes: “Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Learn More His use of the term “singularity” stemmed from a mathematical concept where there exists a point at which output is not defined and expected rules break down. Vinge himself thought the Singularity could occur in four ways: 1. “1. 2.
Singularity University’s GSP Class of 2014 Blasts Off to the Future Last week, Singularity University hosted the Closing Ceremony of its 2014 Graduate Studies Program, the pinnacle of an annual program that brought 80 entrepreneurs and visionaries from 35 countries to Silicon Valley for an intense 10-week crash course on exponential technologies and global grand challenges. Now in its sixth year, the event was a celebration of the participants’ commitment to solving the world’s greatest challenges, culminating in 21 team projects sure to produce viable companies that will positively impact a billion people worldwide. I had the opportunity to attend this sold-out event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, which showcased the collective talents of the participants along with the dedication of all involved in making this year’s GSP a success. He added, “That’s what makes this institution special. I don’t know of many places in the world where that is the basic, fundamental premise.”
The Coming Technological Singularity ==================================================================== The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era Vernor Vinge Department of Mathematical Sciences San Diego State University (c) 1993 by Vernor Vinge (Verbatim copying/translation and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.) This article was for the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 30-31, 1993. It is also retrievable from the NASA technical reports server as part of NASA CP-10129. A slightly changed version appeared in the Winter 1993 issue of _Whole Earth Review_. Abstract Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence.
Accelerating change In futures studies and the history of technology, accelerating change is a perceived increase in the rate of technological (and sometimes social and cultural) progress throughout history, which may suggest faster and more profound change in the future. While many have suggested accelerating change, the popularity of this theory in modern times is closely associated with various advocates of the technological singularity, such as Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil. Early theories In 1938, Buckminster Fuller introduced the word ephemeralization to describe the trends of "doing more with less" in chemistry, health and other areas of industrial development. In 1946, Fuller published a chart of the discoveries of the chemical elements over time to highlight the development of accelerating acceleration in human knowledge acquisition. In 1958, Stanislaw Ulam wrote in reference to a conversation with John von Neumann: Mass use of inventions: Years until use by a quarter of US population
The future of technology will "pale" the previous 20 years Infinity Point Will Arrive by 2035 Latest Eray Ozkural December 23, 2013 During writing a paper for the 100 Year Starship Symposium, I wished to convince the starship designers that they should acknowledge the dynamics of high-technology economy, which may be crucial for interstellar missions. Infinity Point was the original name for the hypothetical event when almost boundless amount of intelligence would be available in Solomonoff's original research in 1985 (1), who is also the founder of mathematical Artificial Intelligence (AI) field. The original theory arrives at the Infinity Point conclusion by making a few simple mathematical assumptions, and solving a system of equations. Computer Science (CS) community size ~ improvement in computing technologyCS community size ~ rate of log of computing efficiencyFixed amount of money is invested in AI every year To remind Moore's Law, well, it is: "number of transistors placed on a microprocessor at a fixed cost doubles every two years" as originally conceived. . References:
The best visuals to explain the Singularity to senior executives Tomorrow morning I’m doing a presentation to the top executive team of a very large organization on the next 20 years. Most of what I will cover will be general societal, business and technological drivers as well as specific strategic issues driving their business. However as part of stretching their thinking I’ll also speak a about the Singularity. As such I’ve been trying to find one good image to introduce my explanation, however I haven’t been able to find one which is quite right for the purpose. Ray Kurzweil’s Six Epochs diagram below is great and the one I’ll probably end up using, however it is a bit too over-the-top for most senior executives. Source: Ray Kurzweil, Applied Abstractions The chart below from Hans Moravec showing how exponential growth of computing power will allow machines to match human intellectual capabilities is excellent, but it is seriously out of date. Source: Hans Moravec, When will computer hardware match the human brain? Source: Ray Kurzweil, Tropophilia
The Singularity is closer than it appears! Published on Mar 7, 2014 - Socrates of Singularity 1 on 1 sits down with William Hertling to talk about the technological singularity and AI. William Hertling is a rather recent science fiction discovery of mine and the author of award-winning novels Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears, A.I. Apocalypse, and The Last Firewall. William has written several plausible scenarios for the technological singularity that were so engaging and compelling that, as soon as I finished his first book, I could not help it but go ahead and read the next one too. And so I was very happy to get an opportunity and interview Hertling on my Singularity 1 on 1 podcast. Podcast: Play in new window | Download This is the second out of a series of 3 sci fi round-table interviews with Ramez Naam, William Hertling and Greg Bear that I did last November in Seattle. (You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. Who is William Hertling? , A.I. . Listen/View
The Acceleration of Acceleration: How The Future Is Arriving Far Faster Than Expected The Acceleration of Acceleration: How The Future Is Arriving Far Faster Than Expected This article co-written with Ken Goffman. One of the things that happens when you write books about the future is you get to watch your predictions fail. Used to be, folks were way too bullish about technology and way too optimistic with their predictions. But today, the exact opposite is happening. Take Abundance. And we were wrong. Just three years later, Google went on a buying spree, purchasing eight different robotics companies in less than six months, Amazon decided it was time to get into the drone delivery (aka flying robots) business, and Rethink Robotics released Baxter (a story explored in my new release Bold), the first user-friendly industrial robot to hit the market. Rethink Robotics Baxter robot. Baxter was the final straw. And we’re not the only ones having this experience. You really have to stop and think about this for a moment. This is more than a little peculiar.
Evolution of evolvability Evolution of Evolvability This paper shows how evolution tunes the content and frequency of genetic variation to enhance its evolvability. Genetic evolution is not random or entirely blind. (For a more general approach to the evolution of evolvability, see Chapters 8 to 12 inclusive of the on-line book Evolution's Arrow. (a final version of this paper was published in the Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems (1997) 20: 53-73.) The cognitive ability of a genetic system is its capacity to discover and perpetuate beneficial adaptations. Cognitive ability will be influenced by genetic arrangements which affect the range and types of variant genotypes which are produced and trialed within the genetic system. A genetic arrangement which enhances cognitive ability will be selected within a population where the arrangement captures sufficient of the fitness benefits which it produces through the discovery of successful variants. Are genetic arrangements which have these features feasible?
Why the Word "Transhumanism" Should Bother You, Too Want to have the ability to move things around with your mind, print out any new body parts you might need, including organs, and be able to work from home every day via a completely convincing virtual reality setup? All of these things are not only within reach, according to a movement that is gaining traction more rapidly than almost any other in history, but they are inevitably happening within the next 30 years. Many authors (myself included) struggle to give a name to this incredible movement, instead deferring to the event where all of this converging technology culminates in a brand new way of life for all human beings, utterly different in ways we aren't capable of imagining with our "unaugmented" human brains: the Technological Singularity. The world we live in is not one of linear growth, nor has it ever been one.