Sad that enough people believe this singularity nonsense that people have to actually take the time to debunk it. Then again: religion.
Can the singularity be debunked?
I just think of the singularity as being the exact point when computers can out think people. I'm unsure of the timescale, but I see it as an inevitability, assuming better and better computers will continue to be made.
Nobody is clear on what "The Singularity" even is; any serious discussion of "it" has to begin with a definition of terms. More expansive definitions involve the integration of all consciousness and technology into some sort of singular entity--hence, "the singularity."
I tend to think of The Singularity as much like The Revolution, a kind of idealized condition that never actually seems to occur but is always approached
Well, what exactly does "out-think" mean?
Computers surpassed humans at speed of calculation long ago.
Computers have also overtaken us at some of our classic thinking games like Chess, Othello, etc.
Genetic algorithms have designed electronic components that duplicate and in some cases outperform analogous human inventions.
Nowadays, computers can even give us a run for our money at Captchas! It's getting to the point where beating computer detection algorithms may require distorting the letters so much they are barely readable (or unreadable, as I'm sure plenty of us have experienced).
The point is, there's no one way to think, and no one easy metric by which computers can be judged to out-think us. Arguably, that point has already passed.
I think the singularity is roughly defined as that feeling you get when you're talking to someone so grossly more intelligent than you that you get that sinking realization that you're just wasting his or her time and couldn't possibly offer anything interesting to say and that person will never envy you for anything.
Nobody's had that feeling with their phones yet, so we have a ways to go.
Chomsky's just mad because The Singularity will happen to tech-saavy white people, and leave the dirty poors behind, with their shanties and subsistence farms and jobs salvaging scrap from broken pleasure droids that have fallen from the Cloud Cities.
Thirty minutes!? By the time I finish watching this, the singularity will have already happened.
The big sea change leading to the singularity that futurists like Kurzweil are talking about involves creating an algorithm that simulates the growth of mammal cerebral cortices. Think of it as a cerebral cortex emulator, in much the same way that a computer can run an emulation of another computer chip set. I don't think Chomsky accounts for this possibility in his description of what a computer can and cannot do.
| Register or login To Post a Comment|