Thursday, April 13, 2006

Singularity Summit

The Singularity Summit at Stanford: "A growing number of highly respected technological figures, including Ray Kurzweil and Hans Moravec, have in recent years forecast that computational intelligence will, in the coming two or three decades, not only match but swiftly surpass human intelligence, and that civilization will at that point be radically transformed in ways that our puny minds cannot possibly imagine. This bold hypothesis, now often called 'The Singularity,' strikes some as wonderful and strikes others as abhorrent. But whether it is wonderful or abhorrent, is the singularity scenario even remotely plausible, or is it just science fiction? If the singularity scenario is plausible, is the time frame proposed ridiculous or realistic?

To any thoughtful person, the singularity idea, even if it seems odd, raises a gigantic, swirling cloud of profound and vital questions about humanity and the powerful technologies it is producing. Given this mysterious and rapidly approaching cloud, there can be no doubt that the time has come for the scientific and technological community to seriously try to figure out what is on humanity's collective horizon. Not to do so would be irresponsible."

On the record, I'm one who finds the singularity abhorrent.

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