2045: The End of Human Civilization as We Know It [Good Articles]

4 Mar

Via TIME

If you’re a fan of Asimov’s “The Last Question,” you’re already familiar with the idea of Singularity.  Other philosophers and scientists already talk about technology as a sort of technology that has a form of will — the technism.  This feature article in TIME is a must read for anybody interested in how technology might shape our future, and the philosophical, ethical, and moral implications thereof.

From the article:

So if computers are getting so much faster, so incredibly fast, there might conceivably come a moment when they are capable of something comparable to human intelligence. Artificial intelligence. All that horsepower could be put in the service of emulating whatever it is our brains are doing when they create consciousness — not just doing arithmetic very quickly or composing piano music but also driving cars, writing books, making ethical decisions, appreciating fancy paintings, making witty observations at cocktail parties.

…..

The difficult thing to keep sight of when you’re talking about the Singularity is that even though it sounds like science fiction, it isn’t, no more than a weather forecast is science fiction. It’s not a fringe idea; it’s a serious hypothesis about the future of life on Earth. There’s an intellectual gag reflex that kicks in anytime you try to swallow an idea that involves super-intelligent immortal cyborgs, but suppress it if you can, because while the Singularity appears to be, on the face of it, preposterous, it’s an idea that rewards sober, careful evaluation.

Read the full article here.

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