Preventing Post Humanity
By Alex Jarstad
Introduction to Technological
• Technological singularity is the point at which
computers achieve artificial intelligence that
surpasses the intelligence of humans.
• Scientists generally agree that this will occur
before the year 2030.
• The term Singularity was first proposed in
1993 by Theorist Vernor Vinge.
“Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can
far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever.
Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities,
an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines;
there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’
and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first
ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever
make.” – I.J. Good, 1965
• 3000 B.C. The Chinese invent a counting device known as the “abacus”.
• 1623 A.D. Wilhelm Schickard develops the first automatic calculator.
• 1679 A.D. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz develops the modern binary system.
• 1938 A.D. As a result of World War II starting, the United States Army begins
research towards the development of the ENIAC.
• 1947 A.D. The transistor is invented at AT&T Bell labs.
• 1965 A.D. Gordon Moore makes the discovery that the number of transistors that
can be placed on a circuit board and still be cost efficient will double every 24
• 1988 A.D. Hans Moravec creates an early projection for when the intelligence
explosion will occur.
• The number of transistors that can be placed on an
integrated circuit will increase exponentially
approximately every two years in relationship to cost.
• Has held true to the test of time (Twist, 2005).
What is intelligence?
• Human intelligence
• Animal intelligence
• Artificial intelligence
The Human Brain
• According to Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind
Works, “The mind is a system of organs of
computation, designed by natural selection to solve
the kinds of problems our ancestors faced in their
foraging way of life, in particular, understanding and
outmaneuvering objects, animals, plants, and other
The Turing Test
Implications of Turing Test
• An error in identifying the human exhibits the
computer’s ability to think and trick the participant.
• “The only way to know that a man thinks is to be
that particular man (Turing, 1950).”
• In the years that followed the work of Turing the
primary question of AI turned from “Can computers
think?” to “How well can computers think?” (Hayles,
Computer thinking vs. Human thinking
• Serial Processing
• Can analyze
• Parallel Processing
• Can analyze novel problems
Completely Autonomous AI
• Understand Full Spectrum of Human Emotion
• Experience Emotion
• Be able to recognize images and language
• Sense of self preservation
• Quantum Computers – Building The Matrix (Castelvecchi, 2008).
• Parallel Processing Computers – Cray and Intel multiyear deal
• Self Aware Artificial intelligence – NaturalMotion Euphoria software
• Socializing Robots – Robots develop unique personalities based on
interactions with humans (Ceurstemont, 2009).
• Facial recognition software – Facial expression recognition
The Singularity is Near
• Kurzweil (2005) on reverse engineering the brain – Because
human intelligence exists means it is possible to replicate it.
• Forms of artificial intelligence already exists within search
engines, video games, and cell phones.
• One of the biggest setbacks towards developing AI is that
computers right now cannot process language the way
humans can. However, within the next five years computer
programs should be able to model semantics, not just simply
• By the year 2029 computers will be completely
indistinguishable from human intelligence (Ramaswami,
Vernor Vinge’s (2008) Scenarios for AI
• The AI Scenario: superhuman AI in computers.
• The IA Scenario: humans can be essentially upgraded
by computers (Intelligence Amplification).
• The Biomedical Scenario: We alter the biological
structures of our brains thus improving human
• The Internet Scenario: All information becomes directly
connected creating a super intelligent entity.
• The Digital Gaia Scenario: Networks of microprocessors
become so efficient that they are said to hold
• Virtual reality worlds (Kurzweil, 2005)
• Cures for everything and every possible
discovery made within years of intelligence
explosion (Good, 1965).
• If something can go wrong, it will (Vinge,
• Post biological beings (Dick, 2008).
Which Future Will It Be?
Regulation for AI must start now
• The Singularity Institute for Artificial
Intelligence Mission Statement – “In the
coming decades, humanity will likely create a
powerful artificial intelligence. SIAI exists to
handle this urgent challenge, both the
opportunity and the risk (singinst.org).”
• “Will the movie we live in be The Jetsons or
Terminator 2? (Stix, 2000)”.
YouTube – The Singularity
• Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., & Paradiso, M.A. (2007). Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
• Bennett, M.R. and Hacker, P.M.S. (2005). Emotion and cortical-subcortical function: conceptual developments. Progress in Neurobiology, 75, 29-52.
• Castelvecchi, D. (August 30, 2008). Building ‘The Matrix’. Retrieved February 2, 2009 from
• Ceurstemont, S. (2009). Sociable robots learn to get along with humans. Retrieved February 23, 2009 from
• Dick, S. (August 19, 2008). Could Robot Aliens Exist? Retrieved February 2, 2009 from http://www.popsci.com/popsci-staff/article/2008-08/could-robot-
• Good, I. J. (1965). Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine. Advances in
Computers (Academic Press), 6, 31-88.
• Hayles, N.K. (1999). How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
• Kurzweil, R. (2005) The Singularity is Near. Available February 3, 2008 from http://books.google.com/
• Moravec, H. (1988). Mind Children. Boston: Harvard University Press.
• NaturalMotion Ltd. (2008). FAQ. Retrieved February 23, 2009 from http://www.naturalmotion.com/faq.htm
• Pinker, S. (1997). How the Mind Works. Retrieved February 3, 2009 from http://human-nature.com/books/mind.html.
• Ramaswami, R. (2009). Artificial Intelligence: Is the Future Now For A.I.? Retrieved February 23, 2009 from
• Stix, G. (2000). Artificial Intelligentsia. Retrieved February 3, 2009 from http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=artificial-intelligentsia.
• Thomas, A. (2008). Cray goes with Intel for HPC. Retrieved February 16, 2009 from
• Turing, A.M. (1950). Computer Machinery and Intelligence. Mind, 59, 433-460.
• Twist, J. (2005). Law that has driven digital life. Retrieved February 16, 2009 from
• Vinge, V. (2008). Signs of the Singularity . Retrieved March 1, 2009 from http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/jun08/6306
• Vinge, V. (1993). The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human
Era. Retrieved February 2, 2009 from http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/ misc/singularity.html.
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