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The Singularity - Official Thread

Singularity AI Deep Learning Technology Artificial Intelligence Future Science Culture Government Computers

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Poll: The Singularity (76 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you feel about the Singularity

  1. Voted Excited (48 votes [50.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  2. Scared (11 votes [11.46%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 11.46%

  3. Skeptical (24 votes [25.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  4. Angry (3 votes [3.12%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.12%

  5. Neutral (5 votes [5.21%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.21%

  6. What's That? (1 votes [1.04%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.04%

  7. Other (4 votes [4.17%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.17%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#61
wjfox

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Stop Waiting for the Singularity. It Started 200 Years Ago.

 

The Industrial Revolution is the most transformative event in human history. It is the true Singularity — and you’re living through it.

 

https://shift.newco....go-46ec24d32a49


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#62
Yuli Ban

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This is quite true. A lot of people seriously can't grasp just how sweepingly transformative the Industrial Revolution was. The human condition itself changed. And the change happened over the course of mere generations.
 
For example: the United States was born right around the time the Industrial Revolution started, way back in 1776. Within that same generation, our 10th president, John Tyler, was born.. He became president in 1841. He still has two living grandchildren. So you need only go back about four lifetimes to return to a pre-industrial age.
 
Hell, we even had a thread on this, one of my personal favorite threads that I started as well as one of my favorite threads on the forums: Person From 1815 Wakes Up In 2015/2016. I read through it recently and learned a few new facts, and it just keeps blowing my mind how different the world was 200 years ago, right at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
At the same time, it's also interesting how many things remain the same. That, too, is something I keep mentioning— while there are some stark differences in life, we're still the same people we were 200 years ago. We're more distracted by technology than enhanced by it. Yet we're still so shockingly close to the age when we will be enhanced by technology. It's been fascinating me recently more and more, the thought that people 100 years ago lived with an entirely different set of expectations for the immediate future and that many of these people are still alive and watching this new world unfold.
 
To put it another way, someone in 1768 would likely doubt that the world 250 years later would look much different from their present besides geopolitical changes, new grand pieces of art, maybe some new discoveries in astronomy because that's all that had changed in the past 250 years to them. Sure, we know there were more changes, but they were hard to see for them since they were looking at it like they were standing on a modest incline while we're looking at them from the top of a mountain. And it was made harder to grasp by an almost dogmatic belief that humanity had peaked 1500 to 2000 years hitherto their present with the Greeks and Romans. Even into the 1800s, you had people saying, IIRC, 

Modern society is scarcely different from the days of the Classical Greeks save for the addition of machinery

As well as that one other quote that went something like

The average Roman would find contemporary rural life (of the 19th century) recognizable

Which was kinda sorta true since our ploughs, scythes, and use of oxen hadn't changed much, but all our other agricultural practices had. 
 
So on one hand, we vastly overestimated how advanced these ancient societies were to the point we couldn't see how advanced we were becoming. You see the same sort of "we have fallen" mindset in the Ancient Alien crowd, who claim that we are not even a tenth as advanced as we were at some ancient point when we were someone wearing robes and going around barefoot creating stone buildings and cramped quarters but also using psychokinesis crystals to levitate heavy blocks to build the pyramids and whatnot. Nonsense! But it represents this everpresent belief that can't quite understand that we are at our historical peak at the present. 
 
In modern times, we're more aware of it because 90% of us are damn sure our ancient ancestors weren't building kilometer-high buildings, casually going into space, fusing and splitting atoms, and carrying cheap supercomputers around everywhere. It dates back to the very start of humanity, when we were nothing more than another species of animal whose finest accomplishment was figuring out that you can make a sharp rock even sharper in order to survive longer. Animals don't understand that the future can be any different from the past. They don't have to. Because for them, it genuinely won't be any different. And there's nothing they can do about this. 
 
 
So our view of the future being better than the present is, in itself, a sign of the Singularity. It's something that isn't natural, but it has now become the commonly accepted view of things. Even if age-old problems persist, our technological means towards abating or exacerbating them are changing and bringing their own issues that we have never had to consider before. We never had to care about hackers, cyberterrorists, and trolls waging cyber warfare before. We never had to worry about our economic activities causing a mass extinction event, the likes of which have only ever happened five other times in the planet's history. We never had to worry about war ending all human life. We never had to worry about a million people dying in automobile accidents every year. We never had to worry about having enough leg room on an airplane. We never had to worry about machines stealing our jobs. We never had to worry about the plight of an industrial working class. We never had to worry about sustaining growth quarter after quarter. 
 
And it all only began four lifetimes ago.


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#63
Vivian

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society is changing faster and faster , we can see it not only in tecnological stuff, but also in literature and music , for example. At least for portuguese speakers ( im a native portuguese speaker), literature and music used to change every century betwen 1500 and 1900, but then, they begin to change every 20 years, then after every 10 years. 

 

Whats more fun about reading old literature books is that we can know what was the common sense  at the time. Some things I´ve read that would be totally wrong or at least controversial nowadays:

 

- To kill a jaguar to give as a prize to a woman you love is an act heroism and means youre brave and sweet. The writer actually thinks this is true and doesnt think there may be objections about it. Today, people who do it are considered bad by many people. In the same book, however, killing your own dog is still considered a very evil thing by the same character that killed the jaguar. 

- A hunter that didnt kill the birds that sing is considered a very kind and sweet person. A normal hunter is suposed to kill all the birds. ( in a 1500 book) 

 

- To have slaves is perfectly normal ( in a 1800 book) 

 

-  Cars are monsters( early 1900)

- Trains are monsters that slide as snakes through their lairs . The lairs aparently were the tunnels. ( early 1900)

- Books were considered evil things that could make  people crazy (obviously, the writer and the reader wouldnt agree with it , but aparently many people thought like this at early 1900)

- Rich people were proud of not being able to read at 1700

- Only a prostitute would show her knees at early 1900.

 

 

 

Tecnology should advance even faster when machines become smarter.  The even greater acceleration of tecnology development is what we call singularity today. 


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#64
Yuli Ban

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It's a radio documentary, so it's fine that there's no video.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#65
Yuli Ban

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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#66
Yuli Ban

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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#67
Sciencerocks

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Only with machines based A.I.

 

Hopefully it is fair to the humans that it rules over as that is the only chance for a real singularity.



#68
Yuli Ban

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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#69
TranscendingGod

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Almost 30 years ago. Crazy.


The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#70
funkervogt

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I doubt the Singularity will happen, but I think more gradual improvements to technology and the human condition will transform the world into something resembling Kurzweil's Post-Singularity future by the year 2100. 

 

Here are two of the best critiques of the Singularity I've read:

 

Paul Allen: https://www.technolo...rity-isnt-near/

 

Ramez Naam: http://hplusmagazine...arity-misnomer/

 

The one thing I disagree with Ramez Naam on is his assertion that big institutions made up of teams of humans are "greater-than-human intelligence" in the same way an AGI would be. Consider that the team of highly skilled humans that built AlphaGo couldn't come close to beating their creation in a game of Go. 


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#71
wjfox

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Elon Musk warns A.I. could create an ‘immortal dictator from which we can never escape’

 

https://www.cnbc.com...ocumentary.html



#72
rennerpetey

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Reaping The Riches Of The Coming Singularity

 

There was a time when enterprises introduced technology as an afterthought into operations. However, the last two decades have seen technology morph into a formidable force equipped to assist companies with IT operations and turbocharge the way entire enterprises are run. In fact, we are now seeing an exponential increase in the levels of disruption where enterprises are unable to adopt new tech into their core business offerings.

 
I believe this development confirms what experts have been predicting. Namely, the coming of singularity. And by singularity, I don’t mean a definite point when the world will be transformed far more by machine-based intelligence than it is now -- I mean singularity as a continuous process of exponential change driven by the unprecedented growth of technology. This trend calls for a more iterative approach to business, and I see it promising companies across domains several previously unforeseen opportunities.
 
If you look around, you will find several examples of enterprises leveraging this trend by introducing hitherto unheard-of capabilities. Take, for example, the AI-based personal assistants from Apple and Amazon -- Siri and Alexa. Both are equipped to carry out a range of tasks in response to voice commands that can be applied to several front-, middle- and back-office functions. Similarly, narrow-scoped AI is being adopted by various other companies, including other tech giants like Facebook and Google, to monitor customer interfaces -- with a continuity inconceivable for a human workforce -- to help customize products in real time and enhance the customer experience.


#73
Zaphod

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My position on the existential threat of AI has steadily grown the more I read and ponder potential trajectories.

 

I consider it actually fairly unlikely that it will be a positive future for humanity or even that humanity will continue to exist. I actually think some of the most prominent so-called "AI Doomsdayers" like Elon Musk and Nick Bostrom would secretly agree, but would never state this publicly - I mean what Musk is saying already sounds pretty fringe and hard to take seriously by the general public. 

 

The difficulty is, we require an incredibly specific type of superintelligence and one that has to align perfectly with humanities goals in order to have a solid chance of a positive future. There is a vast continuum of "bad AI" that we could create and only a very small window of "good AI". Consider that we have no idea how to create such a good AI, the fact there will be multiple early advanced AI created by many groups - many with dubious moral intentions or poor safe guards, knowing humanities history for violence and war, the superiority the creators of the first AI will have over competitors etc.

 

I find all of the arguments from the side of the "AI Doomsdayers-naysayers" utterly unconvincing. In almost all cases it is apparent they have either barely studied the subject in a serious way and instead instinctively dismiss it as scaremongering or Sci-Fi nonsense. Or else they are viewing the future through a very optimistic and idealistic lens - I'm sure Dr. Frankenstein felt the same positive attitude before he created his monster.

 

In any sense, regardless of whether you think the threat of AI is a large one or a very small one, it is unbelievably reckless and short-sighted to not treat it as a serious issue or simply as a problem to tackle decades from now. Even if there is what I believe might only be a small chance of having a successful future, then we should do everything in our power to try and steer the path in that direction. I'm trying to be as unbiased about this subject as I can and not let my somewhat optimistic tendencies to cloud my judgement, but I've definitely slowly shifted more into the AI Doomsday camp, especially after reading Bostroms' "Superintelligence".

 

Has anyone else's view on this issue shifted over the years, and if so, why?



#74
Alislaws

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I was ultra-positive about it when I first heard about it. I dismissed a lot of the doomsaying on the basis that they seem to project human desires and motivations onto AIs. Like they've watched terminator a couple of times and that's all the thought they have put in. 

 

After long conversations on this forum, (especially with Jakob, who was very patient as we went round and round on this!) I've become more conscious of the fact that:

 

a) There is a good chance we will mess up the first super intelligent AIs pretty badly.

 

b) If we make an AI that doesn't try to kill us from a programming error, the human in charge of it will very likely use it oppress everyone else.

 

c) We're doing nothing about the potential job issues even though we are looking more and more certain to have fully automated driving within 10 years, and millions are employed driving things, the likelihood of our governments responding to an AI that can do anything humans can fast enough for our economy to stay stable is incredibly unlikely.

 

So even if we get nice super-intelligent AI that isn't being used to oppress us we will all still have to live through the massive social upheaval of our unprepared nations failing to adapt to it.

 

(and don't say we could get the nice AI to fix it because, we could​ but our governments likely wouldn't consider anything that might compromise their control till it was way to late)


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#75
funkervogt

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c) We're doing nothing about the potential job issues even though we are looking more and more certain to have fully automated driving within 10 years, and millions are employed driving things, the likelihood of our governments responding to an AI that can do anything humans can fast enough for our economy to stay stable is incredibly unlikely.

Don't forget that there are also millions of support jobs for those trucking jobs. For instance, think of all the people who work at truck stops, roadside diners, and gas stations. Trump Country will be hit really hard. 


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#76
wjfox

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exponential-growth-singularity.jpg



#77
Infinite

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^^^ But I want my robosuit nowwwwwww!!!!!!!!
.

#78
Yuli Ban

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Note those short bits of stagnation.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#79
wjfox

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DkDbu2BWwAE39_s.jpg



#80
starspawn0

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The title is a little misleading. Many of the things on this list won't be "taken over" for a long time; but machines might do well enough to beat humans in competitions well before then.

One on the list that I think is off is "research math". It's the kind of problem that machines can programmed to get better at all on their own -- just like the games Chess, Go and Dota 2. Thus, I wouldn't be surprised if machines can beat humans in about 10 years on IMO-style tests (which isn't "research math", but how else to measure?); and maybe even in the next 5 years, or even 3.

The only thing that might stand in the way is this: part of what causes people to recognize a mathematical result as "impressive" is the fact that humans are just bad at coming up with those particular proofs. Some things are just counterintuitive to humans. There are proofs that are very short, that took humans a very long time to come up with, that are lauded as "gems", that blind-search would have come up with a lot sooner (if they had tried) -- and that humans find mind-bogglingly counter-intuitive.

I would hope that building good math AIs wouldn't require that we understand human intuition better -- that we can just bulldoze the problem away will brute computational power. But there is a possibility that it's really important, if we want to beat humans at their own game in this one respect.
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