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Poll: The Singularity (94 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you feel about the Singularity

  1. Voted Excited (63 votes [53.39%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 53.39%

  2. Scared (14 votes [11.86%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 11.86%

  3. Skeptical (26 votes [22.03%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 22.03%

  4. Angry (3 votes [2.54%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.54%

  5. Neutral (6 votes [5.08%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.08%

  6. What's That? (1 votes [0.85%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 0.85%

  7. Other (5 votes [4.24%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.24%

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#61
Zachemc2

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http://en.wikipedia....mits_of_the_law

^This might help to understand why it cannot continue for much longer.

Thanks for the info.

#62
Nick1984

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Moore's law ends when computers (or more importantly processors) can get no smaller. At that point to make more powerful computer you start to make them bigger.

#63
Unrequited Lust

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Yes, the singularity is inevitable, as we're following Moore's Law. If we start out with one in year 2000, after 60 years we end up with 526,870,912. So, yeah, there might be a point when things become unpredictable and seem even scary for some.

Moore's law runs out in 2019, as I have already pointed out to you.

Okay, let's say it doubles every three years instead of two. 1 to 526,870,912 in 90 years. Still a large increase.

No, you don't get it. Moore's law applies SPECIFICALLY to integrated circuits. Integrated circuits have a limit. We will hit that limit in 8 years when transistors are 100 nm apart. Any closer, and they melt.

http://news.cnet.com..._3-5672485.html

Moore's law isn't the end all be all for the exponential growth of computing. Gordon Moore is actually kinda pissed that people ignorantly apply his law to anything other than what it refers to (integrated circuits), as he is staunchly anti-singularitarian.

"Moore's law has been the name given to everything that changes exponentially. I say, if Gore invented the Internet, I invented the exponential."



Moore's law ends when computers (or more importantly processors) can get no smaller. At that point to make more powerful computer you start to make them bigger.


No, this is also horribly wrong. Do you guys even confirm your suspicions before you say them? I've lost count of the number of times I've told someone on this board that they can't just make something up and assume it's true.

Moore's law refers to integrated circuits. Integrated circuits is the (at least) FIFTH paradigm in computing. It started in 1890 with electromechanical, then relay, then vacuum tubes, then discrete transistors. Then, in 1965, we transitioned to integrated circuits. Only a few years into this new paradigm, Gordon Moore noticed that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubled every 2 years. He said this trend would continue. (He made this prediction in 1958, so only had to base this off of 3 and a half doublings). His contemporaries said that such exponential growth is impossible, and the exponential trend was actually linear. But over 45 years later, and we know Moore was right.

Kurzweil later extended Moore's law into the Law of Accelerating Returns, which predicts exponential growth for all information technologies. The evidence for this theorem (which is below) is in the four paradigms preceding Moore's law. Those paradigms also experienced exponential growth, but no one noticed them until Kurzweil. So what are we going to do when Moore's law runs out by the end of the decade? Well we'll do what we did the previous four times. We'll get a new paradigm. The next paradigm is likely to be 3D molecular computing, and after that probably quantum computing, which will be the seventh and probably final paradigm.

And the proof for the Law of Accelerating Returns:

We have three variables:

W = total world knowledge about computer science (measured in bits, some gargantuan number, edited for redundancy)
V = cps (operations per second) per unit cost. The second could just be unit time but for simplicity we'll just call it a second. The unit cost could be a million dollars or a thousand dollars.
t = time
(and we'll have some constants i.e. c1, c2, c3, etc.)

We have two postulates:
Wc1 = V The more we know about computer science, the faster our computers are at a given price. Pretty straightforward.
dW/dt = c2V The faster our computers, the faster we learn more about computer science. Also pretty straightforward; we use computers to make predictions, quantify experiments, etc.

If we accept the above two postulates, then that means dW/dt = c1c2W

Integrating both sides we get W = e^c1c2t + c3, an exponential function.

Meaning: V = e^c1c2t/c1 + c4. Computational ability increases exponentially over time.

#64
Prolite

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Honestly, I don't think we'll have to wait 20 years for quantum computers. The US government and Australian government is investing hugely into quantum computing. This field is moving fast. I look up information on it almost every day. There are constant breakthroughs every week. I think quantum computing will be available in 10 years. Moreover, I think quantum simulators will be here in 5 years or less. Quantum simulators are going to help push solar power technology fast. While I disagree with a lot of Kurzweil's claims - - I think they're overly optimistic, I think he's spot-on when it comes to solar energy (2020's).
I'm a business man, that's all you need to know about me.

#65
Logically Irrational

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Moore's law refers to integrated circuits. Integrated circuits is the (at least) FIFTH paradigm in computing. It started in 1890 with electromechanical, then relay, then vacuum tubes, then discrete transistors. Then, in 1958, we transitioned to integrated circuits. Only a few years into this new paradigm, Gordon Moore noticed that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubled every 2 years. He said this trend would continue. (He made this prediction in 1958, so only had to base this off of 3 and a half doublings). His contemporaries said that such exponential growth is impossible, and the exponential trend was actually linear. But over 45 years later, and we know Moore was right.

Kurzweil later extended Moore's law into the Law of Accelerating Returns, which predicts exponential growth for all information technologies. The evidence for this theorem (which is below) is in the four paradigms preceding Moore's law. Those paradigms also experienced exponential growth, but no one noticed them until Kurzweil. So what are we going to do when Moore's law runs out by the end of the decade? Well we'll do what we did the previous four times. We'll get a new paradigm. The next paradigm is likely to be 3D molecular computing, and after that probably quantum computing, which will be the seventh and probably final paradigm.

And the proof for the Law of Accelerating Returns:

We have three variables:

W = total world knowledge about computer science (measured in bits, some gargantuan number, edited for redundancy)
V = cps (operations per second) per unit cost. The second could just be unit time but for simplicity we'll just call it a second. The unit cost could be a million dollars or a thousand dollars.
t = time
(and we'll have some constants i.e. c1, c2, c3, etc.)

We have two postulates:
Wc1 = V The more we know about computer science, the faster our computers are at a given price. Pretty straightforward.
dW/dt = c2V The faster our computers, the faster we learn more about computer science. Also pretty straightforward; we use computers to make predictions, quantify experiments, etc.

If we accept the above two postulates, then that means dW/dt = c1c2W

Integrating both sides we get W = e^c1c2t + c3, an exponential function.

Meaning: V = e^c1c2t/c1 + c4. Computational ability increases exponentially over time.


Thanks. I get what you're saying now.

Honestly, I don't think we'll have to wait 20 years for quantum computers. The US government and Australian government is investing hugely into quantum computing. This field is moving fast. I look up information on it almost every day. There are constant breakthroughs every week. I think quantum computing will be available in 10 years. Moreover, I think quantum simulators will be here in 5 years or less.


I completely agree. It seems like half the news on Ray Kurzweil's site is about breakthroughs in quantum computing. We could potentially see the next paradigm become available before the current one is even finished. I wonder about 3D molecular computing though...
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#66
Unrequited Lust

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Honestly, I don't think we'll have to wait 20 years for quantum computers. The US government and Australian government is investing hugely into quantum computing. This field is moving fast. I look up information on it almost every day. There are constant breakthroughs every week. I think quantum computing will be available in 10 years. Moreover, I think quantum simulators will be here in 5 years or less.

Quantum simulators are going to help push solar power technology fast. While I disagree with a lot of Kurzweil's claims - - I think they're overly optimistic, I think he's spot-on when it comes to solar energy (2020's).

That is certainly plausible, but I am going to trust Kurzweil, and stick with 3D molecular computing.

#67
Prolite

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Here's what I think is going to happen: just as quantum simulators are hitting the market, in about 5 years' time, 3D molecular computing will be coming around about that time as well. And since the first quantum simulators won't really be very useful except for simulating quantum behavior, 3D molecular computing will be the norm for everyone else. And I think 3D computing will be here for the next 20 years or so working side-by-side with quantum computers until quantum computers are fast enough to rival ordinary 3d computers of that time. In about 10 year's time, we may have the world's first practical quantum computer, which can do everything a normal computer can do, but it will probably be really slow and there will be loads of memory issues and BUS issues. And last, the quantum computers will probably be really really big, because of cooling issues (absolute zero).

As a side note: In the future, I wonder if we'll have 'quantum ovens' instead of our traditional microwave ovens?
I'm a business man, that's all you need to know about me.

#68
Logically Irrational

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I wonder how we would define the paradigms if they do end up working side by side for a while. Now that I think anout it, I wonder if exponential progress could produce multiple, simultaneous paradigms in the future. Once once form of computing reaches the end, there might be two or three available to take its place, then three or four, then five or six and so on.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#69
jjf3

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We will ever be able to point out that we are in the singularity??? Probably not. We are having a hard time deciding if it's time to move up to web 3.0 or stay in web 2.0 or even web 1.0, in some cases.
"Did you really expect some utopian fantasy to rise from the ashes?" Thomas Zarek-- Battlestar Galactica.

#70
wjfox

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"You would know the Singularity was here when you had a million emails in your inbox." -- Ray Kurzweil

#71
Caiman

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An interesting article from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, which was posted in our facebook group that argues against any imminent technological singularity;

http://www.technolog...og/guest/27206/

Futurists like Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil have argued that the world is rapidly approaching a tipping point, where the accelerating pace of smarter and smarter machines will soon outrun all human capabilities. They call this tipping point the singularity, because they believe it is impossible to predict how the human future might unfold after this point. Once these machines exist, Kurzweil and Vinge claim, they'll possess a superhuman intelligence that is so incomprehensible to us that we cannot even rationally guess how our life experiences would be altered. Vinge asks us to ponder the role of humans in a world where machines are as much smarter than us as we are smarter than our pet dogs and cats. Kurzweil, who is a bit more optimistic, envisions a future in which developments in medical nanotechnology will allow us to download a copy of our individual brains into these superhuman machines, leave our bodies behind, and, in a sense, live forever. It's heady stuff.

While we suppose this kind of singularity might one day occur, we don't think it is near. In fact, we think it will be a very long time coming. Kurzweil disagrees, based on his extrapolations about the rate of relevant scientific and technical progress. He reasons that the rate of progress toward the singularity isn't just a progression of steadily increasing capability, but is in fact exponentially accelerating—what Kurzweil calls the "Law of Accelerating Returns." He writes that:

So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate). The "returns," such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There's even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity .


By working through a set of models and historical data, Kurzweil famously calculates that the singularity will arrive around 2045.

This prediction seems to us quite far-fetched. Of course, we are aware that the history of science and technology is littered with people who confidently assert that some event can't happen, only to be later proven wrong—often in spectacular fashion. We acknowledge that it is possible but highly unlikely that Kurzweil will eventually be vindicated. An adult brain is a finite thing, so its basic workings can ultimately be known through sustained human effort. But if the singularity is to arrive by 2045, it will take unforeseeable and fundamentally unpredictable breakthroughs, and not because the Law of Accelerating Returns made it the inevitable result of a specific exponential rate of progress.

Kurzweil's reasoning rests on the Law of Accelerating Returns and its siblings, but these are not physical laws. They are assertions about how past rates of scientific and technical progress can predict the future rate. Therefore, like other attempts to forecast the future from the past, these "laws" will work until they don't. More problematically for the singularity, these kinds of extrapolations derive much of their overall exponential shape from supposing that there will be a constant supply of increasingly more powerful computing capabilities. For the Law to apply and the singularity to occur circa 2045, the advances in capability have to occur not only in a computer's hardware technologies (memory, processing power, bus speed, etc.) but also in the software we create to run on these more capable computers. To achieve the singularity, it isn't enough to just run today's software faster. We would also need to build smarter and more capable software programs. Creating this kind of advanced software requires a prior scientific understanding of the foundations of human cognition, and we are just scraping the surface of this.

This prior need to understand the basic science of cognition is where the "singularity is near" arguments fail to persuade us. It is true that computer hardware technology can develop amazingly quickly once we have a solid scientific framework and adequate economic incentives. However, creating the software for a real singularity-level computer intelligence will require fundamental scientific progress beyond where we are today. This kind of progress is very different than the Moore's Law-style evolution of computer hardware capabilities that inspired Kurzweil and Vinge. Building the complex software that would allow the singularity to happen requires us to first have a detailed scientific understanding of how the human brain works that we can use as an architectural guide, or else create it all de novo. This means not just knowing the physical structure of the brain, but also how the brain reacts and changes, and how billions of parallel neuron interactions can result in human consciousness and original thought. Getting this kind of comprehensive understanding of the brain is not impossible. If the singularity is going to occur on anything like Kurzweil's timeline, though, then we absolutely require a massive acceleration of our scientific progress in understanding every facet of the human brain.

But history tells us that the process of original scientific discovery just doesn't behave this way, especially in complex areas like neuroscience, nuclear fusion, or cancer research. Overall scientific progress in understanding the brain rarely resembles an orderly, inexorable march to the truth, let alone an exponentially accelerating one. Instead, scientific advances are often irregular, with unpredictable flashes of insight punctuating the slow grind-it-out lab work of creating and testing theories that can fit with experimental observations. Truly significant conceptual breakthroughs don't arrive when predicted, and every so often new scientific paradigms sweep through the field and cause scientists to reëvaluate portions of what they thought they had settled. We see this in neuroscience with the discovery of long-term potentiation, the columnar organization of cortical areas, and neuroplasticity. These kinds of fundamental shifts don't support the overall Moore's Law-style acceleration needed to get to the singularity on Kurzweil's schedule.

Read the rest: http://www.technolog...og/guest/27206/


~Jon


#72
Logically Irrational

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Michio Kaku on quantum computing: !
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#73
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Kurzweil Responds: Don't Underestimate the Singularity

Last week, Paul Allen and a colleague challenged the prediction that computers will soon exceed human intelligence. Now Ray Kurzweil, the leading proponent of the "Singularity," offers a rebuttal.

Ray Kurzweil 10/19/2011

http://www.technolog...st/27263/?p1=A4

#74
jjf3

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Why do you think these top computer guys are saying that the singularity isn't near? Maybe they are afraid that when computers become as smart as mankind itself, we will be able to create all of their products relatively cheaply and I don't think most businesses are ready to adapt a whole new economic system. But I still say we will have some form of money in the future.
"Did you really expect some utopian fantasy to rise from the ashes?" Thomas Zarek-- Battlestar Galactica.

#75
Unrequited Lust

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Why do you think these top computer guys are saying that the singularity isn't near? Maybe they are afraid that when computers become as smart as mankind itself, we will be able to create all of their products relatively cheaply and I don't think most businesses are ready to adapt a whole new economic system. But I still say we will have some form of money in the future.

No. This isn't even remotely correct. Stop giving fuel to the fire of PZ Myers and others. They frequently ridicule singularitarians because of asinine statements like these.

#76
jjf3

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Ok... then why do you think they are saying these things?
"Did you really expect some utopian fantasy to rise from the ashes?" Thomas Zarek-- Battlestar Galactica.

#77
Unrequited Lust

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Ok... then why do you think they are saying these things?

Because belief in the singularity is based purely on extrapolating existing trends in computer science and other fields and

1) They either do not know about this
2) They do, but think exponential growth will run out
3) They do, but do not think it applies to software

It also doesn't help that singularitarians cling to the idea religiously, which is why it has been pejoratively called the "rapture of the nerds." Ray Kurzweil is guilty of this too when he tries to quantify metaphysics. Because human intuition is inherently linear, it is hard for people to correctly imagine what things will be like in 30 years. The almost mythical attribution people give it doesn't help.

In the case of Paul Allen, he's guilty of #2 and little bit of #3. His main point is a criticism worthy of Malthus; he says that technology will reach a "complexity break" and it will be unable to advance exponentially past that point. Because we've gone through a series of complexity breaks, I don't understand why he thinks the next one will be the one to stop it.

tl;dr people see it as wishful thinking and highly improbable.

#78
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The more I read kurzweilai.net (and other websites), the more I am convinced that Singularity is in fact near. The IT companies like Intel won't give up and will seek new methods and new paradigms to accelerate computer speed. Software writers, driven by money and self-fulfilment, won't surrender too and will try to keep up with upgraded hardware (unfortunately always delayed). That's why the Singularity is gonna happen, if not in 2029, maybe in 2040. I assume Kurzweil will be alive then and will crush all sceptics with his predictions. But irrespective of what I've written, I feel that the future will be something in between what Ray Kurzweil and Michio Kaku say (probably 2 most active futurists now). Kurzweil may be too optimistic but Michio Kaku seem to underestimate exponential progress(although he writes about in his books). As for Paul Allen, Kurzweil's answer feels more coherent and probable than Paul's.

#79
Logically Irrational

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Well, Kurzweil thinks the singularity will happen in 2045. He thinks we'll get human-level AI in 2029.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

#80
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Many people, including myself, think that Mr Kurzweil is a little too optimistic in his predictions. It will happen, I'm just not convinced that it will happen (a) quite as quickly or (b) in the way it is envisaged. I'm not talking generations of difference, maybe only 10 years or so, and I think as we get closer to the point the predictions will be refined and the nature of the process by which the singularity will occur will become more visible.
All right, brain. You don't like me and I don't like you, but let's just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Singularity, AI, artificial intelligence, 2045, Kurzweil, Technological Singularity, superintelligence, future, intelligence explosion, transhumanism

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