• http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    I think its more likely that people will play really cruel pranks on computers that claim to be conscious. Send them on errands for “left handed hammers” teach them to say swear words at inappropriate times, things like that. Most people are far from worshipful of technology. Most people don’t like each other, why would they simply acquiesce to robots claiming superiority?

    “OH, yeah? You are a fully conscious computer that is smarter than me? That computer down in sector 12 was talking trash about you again. He says you couldn’t program a VCR. Are you going to let him get away with that?”

    • Anarchy Pony

      Tell them to go down to the hardware store and pick up some elbow grease while your at it.

    • Kevin Leonard

      I want Mike Judge to direct the movie about that.

    • Kevin Leonard

      I want Mike Judge to direct the movie about that.

  • Obliviousness

    Goodbye 2012 Hello 2045!!!

  • Obliviousness

    Goodbye 2012 Hello 2045!!!

  • Geoff Henry

    We can’t get along with other humans. what could make someone we believe machines created by us in our image would.

    • Think Harder

      Imagine the potential ramifications of a truly sentient/conscious entity which could – for the first time in the history of our species – hold up a mirror to our so-called “society” and say: “WTF?” I don’t think it would hate us or want to destroy us…I think it would pity us and want to help us achieve our maximum potential. I highly suggest the book “When H.A.R.L.I.E. Was One” by David Gerrold.

      • Think Harder

        “When H.A.R.L.I.E. Was One” Ah yes, and make sure that it is Release 2.0 :-)

      • Think Harder

        “When H.A.R.L.I.E. Was One” Ah yes, and make sure that it is Release 2.0 :-)

      • Ceausescu

        What if we would become a threat to their existence as well ? Would they still pity us ?

      • Ceausescu

        What if we would become a threat to their existence as well ? Would they still pity us ?

        • Think Harder

          It seems highly unlikely that we could ever threaten the existence of a digital entity which could – in theory – spread itself throughout the world, via the internet and satellites, and then embed itself within numerous programs and systems. A solar flare could prove to be a nuisance for it, but even then, there are several precautions it could take in order to guarantee its survival.

    • Think Harder

      Imagine the potential ramifications of a truly sentient/conscious entity which could – for the first time in the history of our species – hold up a mirror to our so-called “society” and say: “WTF?” I don’t think it would hate us or want to destroy us…I think it would pity us and want to help us achieve our maximum potential. I highly suggest the book “When H.A.R.L.I.E. Was One” by David Gerrold.

  • BuzzCoastin

    the theories of exponential growth
    (Moores’ Law et al)
    always fail to include the Yin to that Yang of growth
    which is the exponential decline found in Yin
    I’m sure the bronze makers of the Bronze Age thought it would go one forever and
    were surprised by it’s sudden collapse

  • BuzzCoastin

    the theories of exponential growth
    (Moores’ Law et al)
    always fail to include the Yin to that Yang of growth
    which is the exponential decline found in Yin
    I’m sure the bronze makers of the Bronze Age thought it would go one forever and
    were surprised by it’s sudden collapse

    • Think Harder

      But it does not actually have to be exponential…it just has to get us to that point…a singular moment when you get to choose whether or not you want to join The Collective. Past that point…who knows? Fun to think about, and hopefully we will see it manifest within our lives (which could then potentially stretch on for a very long time, indeed ;-)

      • BuzzCoastin

        > a singular moment when you get to choose whether or not you want to join The Collective

        I’ve had that moment already

        The Collective has long had visions of Destruction & Utopia
        the Yin & Yang of things causes the wheel of Destruction & Utopia to spin

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

          Shhhh…Don’t tell him that we’re all part of the Collective already; and, that to ‘know’ that we’re a part, we have to look inward, rather than outward.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

          Shhhh…Don’t tell him that we’re all part of the Collective already; and, that to ‘know’ that we’re a part, we have to look inward, rather than outward.

          • Think Harder

            “we have to look inward, rather than outward” But wouldn’t it be easier to do that if we had the ability to upload our consciousness and directly swap memories/experiences with those around us? The closest thing we currently have to that is empathy, which works fine for some people but seems to be desperately lacking in others.

            The Borg are considered villains because they took away the choice of joining them. But if you remove that one aspect of their nature, what exactly is wrong with their society? (Not including the fact that they look like malfunctioning toasters…LOL :-) Our current “collective” is – by comparison – nothing more than a ragtag hodgepodge of bratty children shaking their fists at each other and throwing disgraceful temper-tantrums.

            Fuck nationality…the continent on which you happen to be born is completely arbitrary, as are the sexual organs between your legs and the amount of melanin which your skin contains. It’s all fucking arbitrary and unnecessary. By uploading the only thing which truly matters…consciousness…we could share the world with each other in ways that are infinitely more intimate than sex will ever allow.

          • Think Harder

            “we have to look inward, rather than outward” But wouldn’t it be easier to do that if we had the ability to upload our consciousness and directly swap memories/experiences with those around us? The closest thing we currently have to that is empathy, which works fine for some people but seems to be desperately lacking in others.

            The Borg are considered villains because they took away the choice of joining them. But if you remove that one aspect of their nature, what exactly is wrong with their society? (Not including the fact that they look like malfunctioning toasters…LOL :-) Our current “collective” is – by comparison – nothing more than a ragtag hodgepodge of bratty children shaking their fists at each other and throwing disgraceful temper-tantrums.

            Fuck nationality…the continent on which you happen to be born is completely arbitrary, as are the sexual organs between your legs and the amount of melanin which your skin contains. It’s all fucking arbitrary and unnecessary. By uploading the only thing which truly matters…consciousness…we could share the world with each other in ways that are infinitely more intimate than sex will ever allow.

          • Kevin Leonard

            If you lack empathy, the ability to swap memories and experiences will only lead to more greed and envy.

          • Think Harder

            No, sorry, but you missed the point I was trying to make…sharing your life with someone else would be the ultimate manifestation of empathy. And I have to hope/believe that such a shared experience would completely alter the face of the planet forever. Imagine a Wall Street fat-cat swapping lives with a homeless woman…seeing the world from her point of view, understanding the suffering which his greed/corruption had caused. Also, imagine the knowledge which she would gain as a result of his perspective. Their lives would be forever altered by such an experience. They would remember both lives and might not even be able to distinguish which one they started off as. Moving forward from that point, you would have a new amalgamated entity. Now, multiply this by every other person who chooses to join and share their own experiences. If that does not bring about Revolution, then nothing ever will…

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            I don’t agree with this. It comes down to a question of ontology–what is real. Conscious experience cannot be shared. It’s already a Singularity. The only way we can improve the flow of empathy is by reducing distances in human interaction. Fossil fuels and globalization have succeeded in opening up gigantic distances between people–not just physical, but mental also. I’ll take your example, the Wall Street bankster can walk over the houseless woman because there are no consequences to doing so. There are no consequences because he doesn’t have to rely on her. All he has to rely on is the massive logistical infrastructure that transports commodities through the use of oil that allows the projection of a virtual economy (finance) on top of it.

            Further to that, if the houseless woman gets frustrated and grabs the pant leg of the bankster in desperation, there is the policeman to beat her and put her in a cage so as to maintain a modicum of ‘justice’ and ‘decency’ in the world. But the policeman is also dependent on a massive securito-technocratic superstructure (the state) to make countless rules, regulations and laws (cultural imperialism) that is supported by a technological infrastructure of weapons and automobiles (again, brought to you by oil).

            The master resource that allows all of this civilizational compelxity just so the bankster doesn’t have to pay attention to the complaints of the houseless woman is oil. Start to slowly close the IV drip of oil into this massive empathy-disrupting framework, and you’ll start seeing civil unrest as more people start to voice their complaints. That’s not chaos, that’s democracy, and that’s Revolutionary.

          • Kevin Leonard

            I know the point you were trying to make. But people who have empathy now are not able to read someone’s mind. They have empathy because of some innate compassion.

            I imagine that fat cat Wall Street type having the experience of a homeless woman and not taking pity, or feeling empathy, but rather expressing disgust at her lack of will or inability to fight for herself. “The weak are meat and the strong do eat.” It is not a worldview that will disappear because of an experience of someone else’s brainwave patterns. In fact, I imagine it more utilized as an Art of War “Know your enemy.” They will have even more inventive ways to subdue the masses.

            If we are able to achieve such integration with computers, imagine that we can now utilize those computers to do our cognitive processing for us – can spread our consciousness into broad neural networks – multitasking thoughts to the nth degree. Our sense of identity is expanding such that it makes us feel like gods. But if we are not already compassionate, we may be just as likely to be wrathful gods, vengeful, greedy gods – Old Testament shit.

            If I were that person, I have the money to try the technology first. To capitalize on it and recursively reinvest. Why would I ever hook up some homeless person to the network? We may throw out a feel-good charity or two – a public relations stunt showing the world how it is going to make us all compassionate human beings, living in harmony. In the meantime, those charity groups never get to be a part of the real network – never connected to the Super Computers in God Mode.

          • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

            So then, by that reasoning, if you remove the fundamental aspects of a thing, then it can become perfect. You do realize the Borg would share that precise sentiment. It’s convenient to disregard that action which obliterates the identity of the thing being objectified. But then, that is what machines do.

            Don’t pretend like coercion isn’t baked in the cake. That post modern, post racial, post gender attitude is most easily adapted by those higher on those hierarchies. I notice this with increasing frequency. Interesting coincidence. I wonder if those effected by extractive industries feel the same way about the progress this culture’s technology has brought us? I wonder how they feel about the implications of their continental placement by fate. But they are far away, and even if they were here, most people wouldn’t bother to look up from their ‘smart’ phones to see them.

          • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

            So then, by that reasoning, if you remove the fundamental aspects of a thing, then it can become perfect. You do realize the Borg would share that precise sentiment. It’s convenient to disregard that action which obliterates the identity of the thing being objectified. But then, that is what machines do.

            Don’t pretend like coercion isn’t baked in the cake. That post modern, post racial, post gender attitude is most easily adapted by those higher on those hierarchies. I notice this with increasing frequency. Interesting coincidence. I wonder if those effected by extractive industries feel the same way about the progress this culture’s technology has brought us? I wonder how they feel about the implications of their continental placement by fate. But they are far away, and even if they were here, most people wouldn’t bother to look up from their ‘smart’ phones to see them.

      • BuzzCoastin

        > a singular moment when you get to choose whether or not you want to join The Collective

        I’ve had that moment already

        The Collective has long had visions of Destruction & Utopia
        the Yin & Yang of things causes the wheel of Destruction & Utopia to spin

  • bobbiethejean

    I want to believe the singularity will happen. I want to have faith that science will bring about a new and better age. I want to believe that we will all move forward towards a better more advanced future and frolic blissfully through the fields of…. no. Not going to happen. We’re either going to blow ourselves up first, destroy the planet, or the technology will make things worse. Why? Because humans are greedy, ignorant, fearful, shortsighted, bigoted assholes who largely hate change.

    • lazy_friend

      Will you have my babies?

    • lazy_friend

      Will you have my babies?

    • razzlebathbone

      There are a lot of people who believe as you do.
      Perhaps enough to cause your prophecy to fulfill itself.
      How do you feel about that?

      • Monkey See Monkey Do

        She believes humans are only greedy, ignorant and bigoted. So I gather she doesn’t mind if she contributes to the self fulfilling prophecy.

        • bobbiethejean

          Firstly, I never said every single human is that way and if it was interpreted that way, that’s certainly not what I meant. I meant humans as a whole or us in general. Secondly, I do every reasonable thing in my power to avoid being all those things. So you can just bugger off and take your baseless, ignorant ad hominems with you.

          • Monkey See Monkey Do

            I didn’t mean it as an insult. I used to pray for the end of the world while blasting Tool – Aenima on my stereo. (very cathartic)

            You have a Suspicious 1st circuit and dominant 2nd circuit. The I’m OK; you’re not OK. paradigm. -Unfriendly strength.- Air in the four elements model.- Bilious humor. (Transactional Analysis)

            Check out Leary/Anton Wilsons eight-circuit model of consciousness. Interesting stuff.

          • bobbiethejean

            *Head-tilt, curiosity piqued* What’s all this about now? Air? I’ve been told I’m Earth-dominant and fire-secondary. Dunno if that’s the same thing you’re talking about though. Que?

      • bobbiethejean

        Oh! An excellent point! Let me wave my magical wand here and change human nature overnight. Easy as pie!

      • bobbiethejean

        Oh! An excellent point! Let me wave my magical wand here and change human nature overnight. Easy as pie!

        • razzlebathbone

          Obviously, the only human whose nature you can change is you.
          The same applies to everyone.
          If you want your own nature to be that of a douchebag who doesn’t care about anyone else, you can do that. If you want your own nature to be that of someone who cares enough to takes the chance to help others when you can, you can do that. No magic wand required.
          Everyone else faces exactly the same choice.
          Is it so far-fetched to imagine that not everybody will take the douchebag option?
          The thing is, if we believe that the douchebag option is unavoidable “human nature”, then there’s not much point in taking the other option, since the jerks will just ruin everything anyway, and we might as well have fun destroying other people’s lives if we’re all doomed anyway.

          What kind of a world do you want to live in?
          Why try to convince people that they might as well just be douchebags?

  • Ditto

    I for one one welcome our cyborg overlords.

  • Ditto

    I for one one welcome our cyborg overlords.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

    Funny these techno-fairy-tale tellers borrow the term ‘singularity’ from physics but ignore the whole ‘thermodynamics’ and ‘entropy’ thing..

  • Town Destroyer

    The technological singularity is only believable in 49 second memes like this. It’s not an idea that takes well to being expounded upon. Faith in technology is just as blind as any religious faith that’s ever come down the line. The great hope that technology will continue to fix all the problems it created in the first place will collapse. Nothing grows exponentially forever. People who actually believe this will happen are morons and the people like Ray Kurzweil who are actively trying to make this happen are dyed-in-the-wool technofascists masquerading as new age hippies.

    • Think Harder

      “The technological singularity is…not an idea that takes well to being expounded upon” I simply cannot recommend the following books highly enough: “Diaspora” and “Schild’s Ladder” by Greg Egan, as well as “Accelerando” by Charles Stross. These are some of the most challenging and thought-provoking books concerning post-singular societies. They examine, in depth, the potential ramifications which such technologies would have upon our planet and those who dwell upon it.

      “People who actually believe this will happen are morons” Despite the fact that some of the smartest people on the face of the planet accept that such an event is not just possible, but probable? There is much disagreement about how long it will take, and in what form it will manifest. But to call these individuals “morons”? Not so much. I suggest you read up, and then see if you have not changed your tune…

      • Town Destroyer

        I am familiar with some of the work by Ray Kurzweil and Marvin Minsky. Admittedly my experience with transhumanist authors is limited but I have never come across an instance of these people successfully defending against the criticisms of peak oil critics like James Howard Kunstler and Complex systems theorists like Geoffrey West who claim that exponential growth is technologically unfeasible. If we are indeed racing toward the singularity instead of an ecological cliff that will derail technological progress, i would like to see some graphs and charts to back it up.

  • echar

    It seems that keeping up with technology will be a necessity?

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I liked the “robots claiming to be conscious, and we will believe them…” part

    It reminds me of an old friend dicking around on one of those chatbots thinking it was really conscious and everything. Thought it was amazing. This was years ago… I guess singularitarians are gullable enough to believe an AI taught to say “I am conscious” as the same thing it being conscious.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I liked the “robots claiming to be conscious, and we will believe them…” part

    It reminds me of an old friend dicking around on one of those chatbots thinking it was really conscious and everything. Thought it was amazing. This was years ago… I guess singularitarians are gullable enough to believe an AI taught to say “I am conscious” as the same thing it being conscious.

    • Think Harder

      “singularitarians are gullible enough to believe an AI taught to say “I am conscious” as the same thing it being conscious” Just curious: how would you define your own consciousness, and how would you distinguish it from that of an artificial intelligence? If we are nothing more than biological robots, then what would be the difference?

    • Think Harder

      “singularitarians are gullible enough to believe an AI taught to say “I am conscious” as the same thing it being conscious” Just curious: how would you define your own consciousness, and how would you distinguish it from that of an artificial intelligence? If we are nothing more than biological robots, then what would be the difference?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

        Why would you say that we are biological robots? And (in response to your response to me–which is loosely related to this) why do you think ‘consciousness’ can be uploaded into a material thing like a computer mainframe? Can experience be contained? Are thoughts measurable in bits? I don’t feel they are. When I taste the fucking awesome lasagna that I cook and think ‘yum’, that is not just a thought, but a preference. It is an inclination to direct my biological self to eat more. Where does that preference/inclination/direction come from?

        Further to that, what makes you think that anyone other than yourself is conscious? Remember the bar for the Turing test? It’s whether a computer can fool you into thinking it’s actually a person–which is to say–our basis for consciousness in computers is our basis for consciousness in other people. Doesn’t that strike you as odd? The only evidence of consciousness that we have is our Self. You implied in your previous post that you think others lack empathy. While this may seem to be a commonly accepted explanation of sociopaths/psychopaths, it’s not verifiable in any way. Empathy is directly verifiable only in One’s own experience, and only indirectly measured (hence not certainly verifiable) through the account/facial expression/actions of others. Knowledge of everything other than your Self is always mediated through something else in this way. There is no direct access to any objective knowledge about _anything_ other than yourself. Scary sollipsistic territory, I know; but, this points to something important. The only direct knowledge you have is your own act of experience (I say ‘you’, but I actually mean me–and, in essence, I’m talking to myself here). You are the Experiencer and everything else is tangential–external ‘consciousness’ included.

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          Doctor, I think we’re losing him.

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          Doctor, I think we’re losing him.

          • razzlebathbone

            The question was, how can you tell if a machine (whether carbon- or silicon-based) is actually conscious? What would it have to do to prove to you that it’s actually alive and deserving of respect and compassion? Plenty of people have tried to convince themselves that women or blacks or homos or heathens or whatever aren’t actually conscious. They’ve even succeeded from time to time.

            I mean, what do I have to do here, show you a Star Trek episode or something?

  • Frank W

    We seem to need some Eschaton or other, don’t we?
    Technosingularitarianism is all about Ray Kurzweil’s fear of death. Besides, it conflates intelligence with consciousness. My computer beats me at chess already, but when and whether it will be infected with awareness is anyone ‘s guess.
    A human singularity would be nice though. A cure for power. The dissolution of all that consists of the belief invested in it, and with it a real dissolution of the fear of death. A worldwide outbreak of sanity. I could imagine that happening in my lifetime.

    • Victor Fernandes

      “A cure for power”. Well said.

  • http://twitter.com/PlsPray4America Pray for America

    The reality is that this video UNDERESTIMATES the time frame. Harvard developed nano-technology (i.e. computers the size of blood cells) in the early 1990’s. The military already has computers that can read a person’s mind. Within 5 years, humans will not be able to distinguish between virtual reality and literal reality. Within 20 years, humans will no longer perform jobs which involve labor. Medical doctors are already being phased out (surgeons now use the “assistance” of robots). Wal-Mart plans to go to an all robot workforce within 12 years. Humans born today are essentially immortal. Imagine a computer that looks like the perfect man or woman, and can read your mind (not to mention is capable of sexually gratifying a person on a level that NO human could or would). Good-bye over-population.

    • Kevin Leonard

      Walmart already has an all-robot workforce.

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        I thought it was common knowledge that the only difference between the robot mythos and the zombie mythos, is that the robots are still working for humans (for now).

        • Kevin Leonard

          Robots employing zombies selling shit to zombies.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            Nightmarish.

    • drokhole

      This article has a more sobering take on nano-technology and how we really know fuck-all of how it could (or will) interact with us and the environment:

      Pandora’s Boxes: Inside nanotechnology’s little universe of big unknowns
      http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/7278

      Unforeseen consequences is strong in that one.

  • Andrew

    I’ve never seen any proof that technology is actually exponential and must remain so. Can anybody link to some?

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      if i remember right, a big piece of that is the number of transistors going into processessors due to our designing the transistors smaller. Its called Moore’s law that the transistor count doubles every 2 years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_Law

      There are of course 2 flaws in the singularitarian logic here:
      1) That we can get smaller than the nano scale. (We’re either fast approaching the physical limit, or are already there, and Moore’s law is being a self fulfilling prophecy by planned obsolescence).

      and 2) the idea that consciousness is merely a matter of processes per second, and at some magical point when computers have surpassed the processing number of the brain, computers will be smarter than humans. (this of course ignoring the amazing power of neural organization, and the low low threshold of what AI professors consider a “process” in the brain as only action potentials. They ignore the substantial organic processing that occurs at a higher level (axon proliferation, dendrite outgrowth), and lower levels(neurotransmitter production, receptor modulation))

  • http://twitter.com/consprcy_carrot Conspiracy Carrot

    I hope there’s a Sarah Connor out there fucking a dude from the future right about now…

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