The Singularity" redirects here. For other uses, see Singularity (disambiguation).
The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity) is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization. According to this hypothesis, an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-basedartificial general intelligence) would enter a 'runaway reaction' of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence. Science fiction author Vernor Vingesaid in his essay The Coming Technological Singularity that this would signal the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence would continue to upgrade itself and would advance technologically at an incomprehensible rate.
The first use of the term "singularity" in a technological context was attributed in 1958 to John von Neumann. In the same year, Stanislaw Ulam described "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue". In the 1990s, Vinge popularized the concept, linking it to I. J. Good's "intelligence explosion", and predicting that a future superintelligence would trigger a singularity.
Ray Kurzweil predicts the singularity to occur around 2045 whereas Vinge predicts some time before 2030. At the 2012 Singularity Summit, Stuart Armstrong did a study ofartificial general intelligence (AGI) predictions by experts and found a wide range of predicted dates, with a median value of 2040......
Claimed cause: exponential growth
The exponential growth in computing technology suggested by Moore's Law is commonly cited as a reason to expect a singularity in the relatively near future, and a number of authors have proposed generalizations of Moore's Law. Computer scientist and futurist Hans Moravec proposed in a 1998 book that the exponential growth curve could be extended back through earlier computing technologies prior to the integrated circuit.
Kurzweil postulates a law of accelerating returns in which the speed of technological change (and more generally, all evolutionary processes) increases exponentially, generalizing Moore's Law in the same manner as Moravec's proposal, and also including material technology (especially as applied to nanotechnology), medical technology and others. Between 1986 and 2007, machines' application-specific capacity to compute information per capita roughly doubled every 14 months; the per capita capacity of the world's general-purpose computers has doubled every 18 months; the global telecommunication capacity per capita doubled every 34 months; and the world's storage capacity per capita doubled every 40 months.
Kurzweil reserves the term "singularity" for a rapid increase in intelligence (as opposed to other technologies), writing for example that "The Singularity will allow us to transcend these limitations of our biological bodies and brains ... There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine". He also defines his predicted date of the singularity (2045) in terms of when he expects computer-based intelligences to significantly exceed the sum total of human brainpower, writing that advances in computing before that date "will not represent the Singularity" because they do "not yet correspond to a profound expansion of our intelligence."
Next step of sociobiological evolution
While the technological singularity is usually seen as a sudden event, some scholars argue the current speed of change already fits this description. In addition, some argue that we are already in the midst of a major evolutionary transition that merges technology, biology, and society. Digital technology has infiltrated the fabric of human society to a degree of undisputable and often life-sustaining dependence. A 2016 article in Trends in Ecology & Evolutionargues that "humans already embrace fusions of biology and technology. We spend most of our waking time communicating through digitally mediated channels... we trust artificial intelligence with our lives through antilock braking in cars and autopilots in planes... With one in three marriages in America beginning online, digital algorithms are also taking a role in human pair bonding and reproduction". The article argues that from the perspective of theevolution, several previous Major Transitions in Evolution have transformed life through innovations in information storage and replication (RNA, DNA, multicellularity, and culture and language). In the current stage of life's evolution, the carbon-based biosphere has generated a cognitive system (humans) capable of creating technology that will result in a comparable evolutionary transition. The digital information created by humans has reached a similar magnitude to biological information in the biosphere. Since the 1980s, "the quantity of digital information stored has doubled about every 2.5 years, reaching about 5 zettabytes in 2014 (5x10^21 bytes). In biological terms, there are 7.2 billion humans on the planet, each having a genome of 6.2 billion nucleotides. Since one byte can encode four nucleotide pairs, the individual genomes of every human on the planet could be encoded by approximately 1x10^19 bytes. The digital realm stored 500 times more information than this in 2014 (...see Figure)... The total amount of DNA contained in all of the cells on Earth is estimated to be about 5.3x10^37 base pairs, equivalent to 1.325x10^37 bytes of information. If growth in digital storage continues at its current rate of 30–38% compound annual growth per year, it will rival the total information content contained in all of the DNA in all of the cells on Earth in about 110 years. This would represent a doubling of the amount of information stored in the biosphere across a total time period of just 150 years".
I wonder what and merge with technology will do to are DNA as we merge into it farther in the future, perhaps more computer simulation universes like ours I don't know but what ever it is maybe staying in the "diamond light" may be a condition of no more rebirths but plunging into the source and saying mentally there forgetting the desire to be reborn and stay a level higher perhaps getting out of Wheel of Samsara and entering Nirvana.
Prophecies that assume endless improvements in computing machinery are assuming endless decreases in the size of electronic switches. State of the art designs now have feature sizes of 15nm (150 Angstroms, about 100 silicon atoms wide), which means the end of the road is in sight. Device density will hit the hard limit of single atom features if Moore's Observation continues for a few decades more, and practical considerations (including fabrication quality and connecting the bits together at an acceptable cost) must be overcome to get there. While quite not as unlikely as the Watchtower's 1975 prophecy, talk of "the singularity" is more science fiction than engineering reality.
computer simulation universes like ours
I like how this is now just an accepted fact.
Of course you are right in your point made, but for brevity I simply omitted the mathematical probabilities that we probably are.
And so was kind of randomly trying to parralel this bit of minutia with a computer simulation with the teachings of the enlightened one. It's all a brain con cocked illusion any way you look at it.
Implications for human society
In February 2009, under the auspices of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), Eric Horvitz chaired a meeting of leading computer scientists, artificial intelligence researchers and roboticists at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California. The goal was to discuss the potential impact of the hypothetical possibility that robots could become self-sufficient and able to make their own decisions. They discussed the extent to which computers and robots might be able to acquire autonomy, and to what degree they could use such abilities to pose threats or hazards.
Some machines have acquired various forms of semi-autonomy, including the ability to locate their own power sources and choose targets to attack with weapons. Also, some computer viruses can evade elimination and, according to scientists in attendance, could therefore be said to have reached a "cockroach" stage of machine intelligence. The conference attendees noted that self-awareness as depicted in science-fiction is probably unlikely, but that other potential hazards and pitfalls exist.
Some experts and academics have questioned the use of robots for military combat, especially when such robots are given some degree of autonomous functions.[improper synthesis?]
In his 2005 book, The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil suggests that medical advances would allow people to protect their bodies from the effects of aging, making the life expectancy limitless. Kurzweil argues that the technological advances in medicine would allow us to continuously repair and replace defective components in our bodies, prolonging life to an undetermined age. Kurzweil further buttresses his argument by discussing current bioengineering advances. Kurzweil suggests somatic gene therapy; after synthetic viruses with specific genetic information, the next step would be to apply this technology to gene therapy, replacing human DNA with synthesized genes.
Jaron Lanier, writes, "The Singularity [involves] people dying in the flesh and being uploaded into a computer and remaining conscious". Singularitarianism has also been likened to a religion by John Horgan.
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology is a 2006 non-fiction book about artificial intelligence and the future of humanity by inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil.
The book builds on the ideas introduced in Kurzweil's previous books, The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990) and The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999). This time, however, Kurzweil embraces the term the Singularity, which was popularized by Vernor Vingein his 1993 essay "The Coming Technological Singularity" more than a decade earlier.
Kurzweil describes his law of accelerating returns which predicts an exponential increase in technologies like computers, genetics,nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence. He says this will lead to a technological singularity in the year 2045, a point where progress is so rapid it outstrips humans' ability to comprehend it.
Kurzweil predicts the technological advances will irreversibly transform people as they augment their minds and bodies with genetic alterations, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. Once the Singularity has been reached, Kurzweil says that machine intelligence will be infinitely more powerful than all human intelligence combined. Afterwards he predicts intelligence will radiate outward from the planet until it saturates the universe....
Moore's Law predicts the capacity of integrated circuits grows exponentially, but not indefinitely. Kurzweil feels the increase in the capacity of integrated circuits will probably slow by the year 2020. He feels confident that a new paradigm will debut at that point to carry on the exponential growth predicted by his law of accelerating returns. Kurzweil describes four paradigms of computing that came before integrated circuits: electromechanical, relay, vacuum tube, and transistors. What technology will follow integrated circuits, to serve as the sixth paradigm, is unknown, but Kurzweil believes nanotubes are the most likely alternative among a number of possibilities:
nanotubes and nanotube circuitry, molecular computing, self-assembly in nanotube circuits, biological systems emulating circuit assembly, computing with DNA, spintronics (computing with the spin of electrons), computing with light, and quantum computing.
Since Kurzweil believes computational capacity will continue to grow exponentially long after Moore's Law ends it will eventually rival the raw computing power of the human brain. Kurzweil looks at several different estimates of how much computational capacity is in the brain and settles on 1016 calculations per second and 1013 bits of memory. He writes that $1,000 will buy computer power equal to a single brain "by around 2020" while by 2045, the onset of the Singularity, he says same amount of money will buy one billion times more power than all human brains combined today. Kurzweil admits the exponential trend in increased computing power will hit a limit eventually, but he calculates that limit to be trillions of times beyond what is necessary for the Singularity.
Kurzweil notes that computational capacity alone will not create artificial intelligence. He asserts that the best way to build machine intelligence is to first understand human intelligence. The first step is to image the brain, to peer inside it. Kurzweil claims imaging technologies such as PET and fMRI are increasing exponentially in resolution while he predicts even greater detail will be obtained during the 2020s when it becomes possible to scan the brain from the inside using nanobots. Once the physical structure and connectivity information are known, Kurzweil says researchers will have to produce functional models of sub-cellular components and synapses all the way up to whole brain regions. The human brain is "a complex hierarchy of complex systems, but it does not represent a level of complexity beyond what we are already capable of handling".
Beyond reverse engineering the brain in order to understand and emulate it, Kurzweil introduces the idea of "uploading" a specific brain with every mental process intact, to be instantiated on a "suitably powerful computational substrate". He writes that general modeling requires 1016 calculations per second and 1013 bits of memory, but then explains uploading requires additional detail, perhaps as many as 1019 cps and 1018 bits. Kurzweil says the technology to do this will be available by 2040. Rather than an instantaneous scan and conversion to digital form, Kurzweil feels humans will most likely experience gradual conversion as portions of their brain are augmented with neural implants, increasing their proportion of non-biological intelligence slowly over time.
Kurzweil believes there is "no objective test that can conclusively determine" the presence of consciousness. Therefore he says nonbiological intelligences will claim to have consciousness and "the full range of emotional and spiritual experiences that humans claim to have"; he feels such claims will generally be accepted.
Genetics, nanotechnology and robotics (AI)
Kurzweil says revolutions in genetics, nanotechnology and robotics will usher in the beginning of the Singularity. Kurzweil feels with sufficient genetic technology it should be possible to maintain the body indefinitely, reversing aging while curing cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Much of this will be possible thanks to nanotechnology, the second revolution, which entails the molecule by molecule construction of tools which themselves can "rebuild the physical world". Finally, the revolution in robotics will really be the development of strong AI, defined as machines which have human-level intelligence or greater. This development will be the most important of the century, "comparable in importance to the development of biology itself".
Kurzweil concedes that every technology carries with it the risk of misuse or abuse, from viruses and nanobots to out-of-control AI machines. He believes the only countermeasure is to invest in defensive technologies, for example by allowing new genetics and medical treatments, monitoring for dangerous pathogens, and creating limited moratoriums on certain technologies. As for artificial intelligence Kurzweil feels the best defense is to increase the "values of liberty, tolerance, and respect for knowledge and diversity" in society, because "the nonbiological intelligence will be embedded in our society and will reflect our values".
This getting near and near to be a cult.
The Singularity is near... soon... always 30 years ahead...
Exactly. If it ever does happen, our great-great-great grandchildren's great great great grandchildren we'll be long gone.