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The Singularity and you


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A brief history of the notion of the Singularity, why some think it is coming soon, why some disagree, and why some are afraid of it. This is a very old presentation. See the updated one at

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The Singularity and you

  1. 1. The Singularity and you piero scaruffi March 2015 "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it" (Chinese proverb)
  2. 2. 2 Thinking about Thought (four volume reader of my UC Berkeley class)
  3. 3. 3 A History of Silicon Valley
  4. 4. 4 Intelligence is not Artificial Why the Singularity is not Coming any Time Soon & other Meditations on the Post-Human Condition and the Future of Intelligence
  5. 5. 5 The Singularity Debate Good, Irving John: "Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine" (1964) Moravec, Hans: "Mind Children" (1988) Vinge, Vernon: "The Singularity" (1993) Kurzweil, Ray: "The Singularity Is Near" (2005) 5 Ray Kurzweil at the Singularity University
  6. 6. 6 Progress in A.I. 1997: IBM's "Deep Blue" chess machine beats the world's chess champion, Garry Kasparov 2003: Hiroshi Ishiguro's Actroid, a robot that looks like a young woman 2006: Geoffrey Hinton's Deep Belief Networks (a fast learning algorithm for restricted Boltzmann machines) 2008: Adrian Bowyer's 3D Printer builds a copy of itself at the University of Bath 6
  7. 7. 7 Progress in A.I. 2011: IBM's Watson debuts on a tv show 2012: Google’s software learns to find cat videos 2014: Vladimir Veselov's and Eugene Demchenko's program Eugene Goostman, which simulates a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy, passes the Turing test at the Royal Society in London 7
  8. 8. 8 Progress in A.I. 2014: Deep Knowledge Ventures (Hong Kong) appoints an algorithm to its board of directors 8
  9. 9. 9 The Singularity Ray Kurzweil’s predictions • Infinite life extension: “Medical technology will be more than a thousand times more advanced than it is today… every new year of research guaranteeing at least one more year of life expectancy”* (2022) • Precise computer simulations of all regions of the human brain (2027) • Small computers will have the same processing power as human brains (2029) • 2030s: Mind uploading - humans become software-based • 2045: The Singularity 9* recently postponed to 2040
  10. 10. 10 The Singularity Ray Kurzweil’s predictions 10
  11. 11. 11 To be worried or not to be worried? (Hamlet 2015) Demystifying A.I. A.I. is everything that machines can't do When a machine does it, then it is no longer A.I. (John McCarthy) Demonizing A.I. Elon Musk: “The human race’s biggest existential threat” Stephen Hawking: “The end of the human race” Piero: “What we understand is not enough to understand why we understand it” 11
  12. 12. 12 The Singularity? Five arguments against the Singularity 1. Reality Check 2. Accelerating Progress? 3. Non-human Intelligence 4. Human Intelligence 5. A Critique of the Turing Test 12
  13. 13. 13 The Singularity? More: Slideshare -> Scaruffi -> Artificial Intelligence and the Singularity (200 slides) 13