The Singularity


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  • rapture of the nerds, deals with a bunch of science fiction ideas (in fact name comes from a sci fi author) and promises a lots of high technology stuff. singularity summit 2007 @ stanford sep 8-9. video broadcast.
  • The Singularity

    1. 1. The Singularity <ul><ul><li>AKA The Rapture of the Nerds </li></ul></ul>Joel Pitt -
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Singularity definition </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it important? </li></ul><ul><li>How might it happen? </li></ul><ul><li>Arguments against and problems </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Just what IS the “Singularity”? <ul><li>The creation of greater than human intelligence. </li></ul><ul><li>The recursive self-improvement in said intelligence. </li></ul><ul><li>A point at which our predictions about the future break down. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why is the Singularity important? <ul><li>A major paradigm shift for humanity </li></ul><ul><li>Raises, and potentially will answer, questions about consciousness and intellect </li></ul><ul><li>Magic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” - Arthur C. Clarke </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensure/Assist our survival against existential risks* </li></ul>*
    5. 5. Avenues to the Singularity <ul><li>Artificial Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Direct brain-computer interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Biological augmentation of the brain or genetic engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Ultra-high-resolution scans of the brain followed by computer emulation </li></ul>
    6. 6. The Trends <ul><li>Ray Kurzweil’s take: It's all about exponential curves. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moore’s Law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paradigm Shifts </li></ul></ul>The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2005) by Ray Kurzweil
    7. 7. The Gillette Singularity On the caution of extrapolation… But then, the rate of nano-tech R&D spending could mean we have nano-tech razors in 2015.
    8. 8. Artificial General Intelligence <ul><li>Narrow vs. strong AI. </li></ul><ul><li>Best/safest bet? </li></ul><ul><li>Several strong candidates: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Novamente (potentially opencog), Ben Goertzel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A2I2, Peter Voss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NARS, Pei Wang </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-Aware Systems, Steve Omohundro </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and if they fail, Google has AI on their project planner in the distant future at 2030. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Hard vs Soft Take-off <ul><li>Dependent on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Duration between improvement loops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improvement factor </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Good vs. Bad <ul><li>The dilemma: If you make a recursively self-improving intelligence system, how do you ensure it plays nice with humans? </li></ul><ul><li>Friendly AI vs. Unfriendly AI </li></ul><ul><li>Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence’s research focus. </li></ul><ul><li>Important to get it right first time! </li></ul>
    11. 11. Problems <ul><li>The problem with extrapolation (e.g. The Gilette Singularity)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Can an intelligent entity design a more intelligent entity? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there some inherent limit to intelligence? </li></ul><ul><li>Current inability to ensure a safe singularity </li></ul>
    12. 12. When might it happen? <ul><li>Dependent on so many things, but let's use the wisdom of crowds : </li></ul>from Bruce J. Klein's blog:
    13. 13. Conclusions <ul><li>The Singularity, whether it eventuates or not, has the potential to cause tremendous good, but also the potential to result in great harm. Thus it is worth thinking about now, while we still have the ability to influence the direction it proceeds in. </li></ul><ul><li>We are in for interesting times… </li></ul>
    14. 14. Further reading <ul><li>The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil </li></ul><ul><li>The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>The Wikipedia page on “Technological singularity” </li></ul>