Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Technological Singularity

I apologize for not posting yesterday, I had gotten the free Nexus S from Google and had to play with it. To make up for it, I will spend extra time on today's post.

The technological singularity is a popular topic in recent science news. For those of you who might not understand what exactly it is, allow me to explain what it is (from my point of view, of course).

The technological singularity means that technology in our world will increase at an infinitely exponential rate. Our world will change drastically, and in unpredictable ways that are most likely too advanced for our ape-minds to understand. This all revolves around a single occurrence of something called the event horizon. This happens when consciousness is recreated in a computer or machine. The idea is that as humans gain more knowledge, we are able to increase the processing speed of our computers. So, if computers become smarter then they can increase their own processing speed. The higher the processing speeds, the faster they will be able to develop new technologies increase their own processing speeds, thus creating new technology at an infinitely exponential rate.

There is no guarantee that this will ever occur, but some people are predicting that it will happen within the next 20 years. My personal opinion is that consciousness cannot be programmed in the kinds of computers that we use every day. My reasoning behind this is that they cannot programmatically recreate  features that exist within quantum physics. For example, it is impossible to program a random number generator. All we can do is create pseudo-random number generators. The difference is that it is possible to predict the next number in a pseudo RNG if the seed for the calculations is known, but a real RNG cannot be predicted. Random number generators are a very common occurrence among quantum particles. If you have ever heard of Schrรถdinger's cat, you should know this. It seems to me that if we cannot even program such a simple mechanism as a random number generator, that something as complex as consciousness would not be possible either. There is such thing as a quantum computer, which may provide functionality for such things, however my knowledge on them is limited.

There are a few different things that could potentially happen after the event horizon. People theorize that  we will live in an "augmented reality" kind of world, where technology is extremely integrated into everything that we do. There is also the possibility that robots could run around and destroy the human race (but that's not really likely). If you expect the latter to happen, you need to stop believing what you see in movies. Robots would probably have no reason to want to kill us, and would probably be willing to reason with us. They would be infinitely more intelligent than us, and it seems that the more intelligent a race is, the less hostile it is.

Don't start blowing all of your money expecting life to drastically change and be perfect when this happens (which could possibly be soon), because it is definitely not a guaranteed thing. Comment about your opinion on this below.

13 comments:

  1. that's deep. i'd be interested to know what this "seed" is for discovering results of pseudo random

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  2. @Electric Addict
    It is just a number used for calculating in a pseudo random number generator. Any number can work as a seed. It is the starting point for the generation sequence.

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  3. Very interesting though, I've never thought of myself! I do not look forward to having a toaster that is smarter than me :)

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  4. I watched a movie about this last month. It was the guy who all that tech for blind/deaf people and also perdicted correctly alot of shit. it had his opinion on when the singularity would occur, which is in the next 25 yrs according to him.

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  5. @Kenneth Tso
    The Nexus S was free yesterday with a 2 year contract for some reason. It was a 1 day sale.

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  6. interesting read, nice
    def following

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  7. Interesting post, I need to inquire more about this subject.
    Btw, I remember the first time I needed a random number for a program, I was suprised when I found out that a computer can't generate a true random number.

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  8. very interesting way to think, I believe we'll never know exactly what will be the direction of technology,


    and beware the Skynet lol

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  9. Very interesting to know. This is sort of a hard concept to grasp(not for myself but for others i assume). Very interesting indeed.

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  10. Rarely find a topic this interesting.. following for sure

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  11. If the human mind is predictable and not inherently random, why should a RNG be a deciding factor in your argument to program consciousness?

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