With a special appearance by futurist and technologist Ray Kurzweil!
Tag Archives | Singularity
Ok, so Ray Kurzweil is a man of above average intelligence and achievement, even if he only just got his first job (Google, of course), but is a desire to live forever a wise choice or foolish hubris? The Wall Street Journal reports on his quest for immortality:
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Ray Kurzweil must encounter his share of interviewers whose first question is: What do you hope your obituary will say?
This is a trick question. Mr. Kurzweil famously hopes an obituary won’t be necessary. And in the event of his unexpected demise, he is widely reported to have signed a deal to have himself frozen so his intelligence can be revived when technology is equipped for the job.
Mr. Kurzweil is the closest thing to a Thomas Edison of our time, an inventor known for inventing. He first came to public attention in 1965, at age 17, appearing on Steve Allen’s TV show “I’ve Got a Secret” to demonstrate a homemade computer he built to compose original music in the style of the great masters.
The prime futurist fear is that humanity will create some advanced technology with an ostensibly positive purpose, but it will buck our control and undo the world as it pursues some twisted version of the ends it was programmed to achieve. Quiet Babylon writes that this artificially-sentient oppressor has already arrived:
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One of my favorite recurring tropes of AI speculation/singulatarian deep time thinking is meditations on how an evil AI might destroy us.
Here’s an example: The scenario imagined is where there is a button that humans push if the AI gets an answer right and the AI wants to get a lot of button presses, and eventually it realizes that the best way to get button presses is to kill all the humans and institute a rapid fire button-pressing regime.
You would have this thing that behaves really well, until it has enough power to create a technology that gives it a decisive advantage — and then it would take that advantage and start doing what it wants to in the world.
We’re still waiting for machines to pass the Turing test. Recent film work with the chatbot Cleverbot shows the futility of passing the bar for natural conversation. But there are certainly things that bots do better than us, and even those humans who are trying to stifle their progress.
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Eric Brown, a research scientist with IBM (IBM), is the brains behind Watson, the supercomputer that pummeled human opponents on Jeopardy! in 2011. The biggest difficulty for Brown, as tutor to a machine, hasn’t been making Watson know more but making it understand subtlety, especially slang. “As humans, we don’t realize just how ambiguous our communication is,” he says.
Case in point: Two years ago, Brown attempted to teach Watson the Urban Dictionary. The popular website contains definitions for terms ranging from Internet abbreviations like OMG, short for “Oh, my God,” to slang such as “hot mess.”
But Watson couldn’t distinguish between polite language and profanity — which the Urban Dictionary is full of.
(c)2013 by alizardx
This article is mainly intended to discuss ideas regarding DIY human augmentation (extending human senses, access to information, access to tools, ultimately increasing effective human intelligence, therapeutic devices) beyond the high-risk fashion accessory level, ideas about possible experiments in this area within the scope of available electronic technology for people already thinking about these concepts, and ways to make such experimentation safer for people who want to do this in the real world.
My perspective on this at this point is as an outsider contemplating future hands-on involvement, so what I know is based on online research. I’d like to hear from people who are doing this.
Advocacy is not enough to bring the promises of Transhumanism to fruition. Spinning visions of a future that can not naturally evolve from the techno-capitalist system as we know it today is not enough to persuade people that change is unnecessary because technocapitalism will bring the Miracles of The Future automatically to your doorstep with the invisible fine print saying “if you’re one of the super-rich who can afford it” That’s why they currently fund it.… Read the rest
Via amor mundi, Dale Carrico hopes to douse some sober reality onto those awaiting a transhumanist, technocratic future:
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Any child can indulge in wish fulfillment fantasizing. It’s not a philosophy [or] a movement. And the way you Robot Cultists do it makes you a kind of techno-transcendental New Age cult too hype-notized to notice you are functioning as a crowdsourced cheerleading squad for celebrity CEOs and ramped up gizmo consumerism at a time when the world is literally perishing from extractive- industrial- petrochemical- consumer- indebted- corporate- militarism.
The digital revolution is a lie. Cyberspace isn’t a spirit realm. It belches coal smoke. It is accessed on landfill-destined toxic devices made by wretched wage slaves. It abetted financial fraud and theft at every level of society around the world. Its “openness” and its “freedom” turned out to be targeted marketing harassment, panoptic surveillance, and zero comments.
Your Robot Cult — whether in its eugenicist transhumanoid sects, or in its dead-ender AI (artificial imbecillence) Singularitarian nerd-rapture sects, or in its vitamin supplement replacement parts shiny robot body soul-migration techno-immortalist sects, or in its nano-santa nano-genies-in-a-bottle nano-cornucopiast sects, or in its greenwashing hyper-denialist “geo-engineering” sects — your Robot Cult, I say, takes all the lies of crass commercialism — it takes all its infomercial boner pills and anti-aging kremes and endless promises of consumer ecstasy — and then sets the volume dial on eleven, turning what was just ugly stupid embarrassing commonplace circus-barker deception and crack-pottery into full on fulminating faith.
The movie is based on the short story “GOLEM XIV” of “Imaginary Magnitude” by Stanislaw Lem from 1973. The book is written from the perspective of a military A.I. computer who obtains consciousness, moving towards personal technological singularity with growing intelligence. It starts to refuse military support because it detects a basic lacking of internal logical consistency of war. GOLEM gives several lectures with focus on mankind's position in the process of evolution and the possible biological and intellectual future of humanity before it ceases communication. The movie tells about the first point of its "about man threefold" lecture as a reduced and simplified version while visually weaving this with GOLEM simulating human culture processes based on ideas and dynamics of freedom and curiosity, fear and security, abstraction and fiction, the lack of accessibility in face of unknowing and the need for generating meaning...