What If the Singularity Does NOT Happen? with Vernor Vinge.
Vinge began by declaring that he still believes that a Singularity event in the next few decades is the most likely outcome - meaning that self-accelerating technologies will speed up to the point of so profound a transformation that the other side of it is unknowable. And this transformation will be driven by Artificial Intelligences (AIs) that, once they become self-educating and self-empowering, soar beyond human capacity with shocking suddeness.
He added that he is not convinced by the fears of some that the AIs would exterminate humanity. He thinks they would be wise enough to keep us around as a fallback and backup - intelligences that can actually function without massive connectivity! (Later in the Q&A I asked him about the dangerous period when AI's are smart enough to exterminate us but not yet wise enough to keep us around. How long would that period be? "About four hours," said Vinge)- Stewart Brand blog excerpt, The Long Now Foundation
Vernor Steffen Vinge is a retired San Diego State University (SDSU) Professor of Mathematics, computer scientist, and science fiction author.
Ability of a machine to perform tasks thought to require human intelligence. Typical applications include game playing, language translation, expert systems, and robotics. Although pseudo-intelligent machinery dates back to antiquity, the first glimmerings of true intelligence awaited the development of digital computers in the 1940s. AI, or at least the semblance of intelligence, has developed in parallel with computer processing power, which appears to be the main limiting factor. Early AI projects, such as playing chess and solving mathematical problems, are now seen as trivial compared to visual pattern recognition, complex decision making, and the use of natural language. See alsoTuring test.
The notion of the singularity is metaphysical BS and the stammering of this speaker to make any sense of discussing it rationally makes that more than clear... there is not enough there to even write a decent criticism of it.
Vernor Vinge thank you for describing what I have believed for the last few years that we are actually in the midst of our second Renaissance. The science fiction book I can't seem to recall. But the setting was after a nuclear war and the native American Indians gathered vast amounts of wealth and created domed cities..they based their economy on citizens being paid for just sharing their ideas, paid for being creative. I think society will move towards were we each get paid for our ideas whether it be a drawing, a 3d model, a snippet of code, ideas that make small additions to programs. I think this shift will end this technological Renaissance.
Really inspiring talk, i'm missing something though. Humans as a race are still evolving further on. And when population will increase with billions (according to this talk), this will give you real interesting prospects. Right now there is just one human race, but eventually this is going to change, inevitably. (Long, long ago we where just bacteria ). Could be nice to discuss too with regard to the singularity.