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Does it even matter if we reach a Singularity if we can create VR?

Singularity Virtual Reality Robots Human Space Immortality Science Video Games Computers

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#1
slick_willly

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I see many posts that argue if we will ever reach a "Singularity" and to be quite frank, I think this discussion is irrelevant.

 

Who cares about what happens in the "Real world" if you can have whatever you want, do whatever you want, and be where and whenever you want in Virtual Reality? Sure we could learn about how everything REALLY started, we could be a superior being among the entire universe but what pleasure would be gain from that? In my view, the only way us humans could ever be "eternally" entertained is through Virtual Reality because of one simple ability that we would not want to use in the "Real World".

 

That ability is the ability to erase and forget every single piece of knowledge you have ever gained through your life and start over fresh without even knowing that you ever had the ability to restart! What could be more entertaining than having the ability to live a whole new life again as if this one never existed? You would also have the ability to go back to your original self, but some event would have to cause this to happen if you didn't know you could do it and to me, that event is death. 

 

Anyways, I would greatly appreciate it if someone could give an answer as to why a Singularity even matters at all. All opinions and ideas are appreciated and welcomed!


Edited by slick_willly, 23 August 2013 - 12:24 AM.


#2
Ewan

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We will reach a singularity before true VR. Proper VR indistinguishable from real life is centuries off, and requires complete understanding of what you're creating. You can't create a realistic VR without essentially creating life. How will you make the animals seem realistic? The other humans? The planet weather patterns? All needs to be understood.

 

As to your second point, why would you want to erase your memories. You are your memories, erase them and you are no different to a clone. If you want to erase your life and start afresh you can already have the same result: get someone to brainwash you into thinking it's possible then kill you. Either way the result would be the same, as after erasing your memories you are essentially gone so it doesn't matter what happens. 

 

Excerpts of interest from FT

 

--

 

"By 2140, a region of space measuring 1 cubic metre can be simulated in near-perfect detail, down to the smallest quantum unit.* This landmark in physics has profound applications. It soon paves the way for larger simulations of two metres, providing absolutely accurate representations of the entire human body. Scientific experiments on these and similar-sized objects can now be literally as controlled as they can be – with data obtained far more reliably and much faster than in real-world and real-time settings.

Holodeck-style environments become possible in the latter half of this century, as these simulations continue to increase in detail and spatial extent, reaching tens of metres and greater. This offers a level of realism that was unavailable with full-immersion virtual reality. To an observer placed in these miniature universes, it would be almost impossible to distinguish reality from fantasy."

 

"2039: Although on a different scale of technical wizardry compared to graphics of earlier decades, they are still somewhat limited in their accuracy of towns and cities. At this stage, many of them lack sufficient AI, are often sparsely populated, and miss out vital details or subtle characteristics of foreign culture... things which make real-life travel such an enriching, worthwhile experience. Decades of refinement will be needed before VR is entirely convincing."

 

--

 

Also of note, you should be able to store your memories and restart your life in reality before true VR is available. Crude mind uploading (this enables memory erasion and backup) & VR will come first, then the singularity, then much later proper VR. That is what is suggested upon this site at least.

 

However the problem is you see, if we can create truly realistic VR, then the chances we are not already in some kind of simulation is remote.  


Edited by Ewan, 23 August 2013 - 01:20 AM.


#3
Frizz

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Virtual reality isnt the be all end all, and neither is the singularity, the answer is no.
“Give me time and I’ll give you a revolution.”
- Alexander McQueen

#4
Colonel O'Neil

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The singularity is just the point in time when technological progress becomes too fast for an unaugmented human to follow. We can't see beyond the singularity because by its very definition, we can't comprehend what lies beyond.

 

There's not much debate to be had regarding the singularity tbh, if you understand the exponential growth of technology.

 

It's simply a point on the exponential curve. It's clear that if technology gets faster and faster, there will come a time when it's too fast for a normal human to understand. That time is the singularity.

 

Therefore your post makes little sense. Sure VR will be awesome but how does that link in with the singularity?

 

Saying the singularity doesn't matter is the same as saying that exponential technological progress doesn't matter. And if that's the case don't expect VR anytime soon.


The art of forgetting is inherent in human minds; the art of being forgotten  is the normal fate of knowing. We as futurists don't accept that. In the panels of the Universe, we alone will remain standing; remain unforgotten.


#5
Zeitgeist123

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i still think that singularity would be more important. VR without singularity would mean that you would have to get out from the VR world to meet some basic human necessities from time to time. VR with singularity means that you can have the option to just throw away your body, keep your brain somewhere in some kind of a highly-secured bank, where automated bot nourish and make sure it is always safe, while you are in your VR trying to create universes or worlds, or probably just working a job without the commute, or having rough crazy sex without condoms or fear of getting someone pregnant/get stds, or just hanging about with your family and friends were everyhting is convenient and accessible. this, while you also have the option to get out of the VR world, live in the real world yet still via telepresence/remote-controlled body (like the movie: surrogates) without the fear getting killed by mugging or car crash since your brain is hidden somewhere safe all the time.


“Philosophy is a pretty toy if one indulges in it with moderation at the right time of life. But if one pursues it further than one should, it is absolute ruin." - Callicles to Socrates


#6
slick_willly

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We will reach a singularity before true VR. Proper VR indistinguishable from real life is centuries off, and requires complete understanding of what you're creating. You can't create a realistic VR without essentially creating life. How will you make the animals seem realistic? The other humans? The planet weather patterns? All needs to be understood.

 

As to your second point, why would you want to erase your memories. You are your memories, erase them and you are no different to a clone. If you want to erase your life and start afresh you can already have the same result: get someone to brainwash you into thinking it's possible then kill you. Either way the result would be the same, as after erasing your memories you are essentially gone so it doesn't matter what happens. 

 

Excerpts of interest from FT

 

--

 

"By 2140, a region of space measuring 1 cubic metre can be simulated in near-perfect detail, down to the smallest quantum unit.* This landmark in physics has profound applications. It soon paves the way for larger simulations of two metres, providing absolutely accurate representations of the entire human body. Scientific experiments on these and similar-sized objects can now be literally as controlled as they can be – with data obtained far more reliably and much faster than in real-world and real-time settings.

Holodeck-style environments become possible in the latter half of this century, as these simulations continue to increase in detail and spatial extent, reaching tens of metres and greater. This offers a level of realism that was unavailable with full-immersion virtual reality. To an observer placed in these miniature universes, it would be almost impossible to distinguish reality from fantasy."

 

"2039: Although on a different scale of technical wizardry compared to graphics of earlier decades, they are still somewhat limited in their accuracy of towns and cities. At this stage, many of them lack sufficient AI, are often sparsely populated, and miss out vital details or subtle characteristics of foreign culture... things which make real-life travel such an enriching, worthwhile experience. Decades of refinement will be needed before VR is entirely convincing."

 

--

 

Also of note, you should be able to store your memories and restart your life in reality before true VR is available. Crude mind uploading (this enables memory erasion and backup) & VR will come first, then the singularity, then much later proper VR. That is what is suggested upon this site at least.

 

However the problem is you see, if we can create truly realistic VR, then the chances we are not already in some kind of simulation is remote.  

 

I think that our idea of reality is relative to what we experience. If you erased your memories and started over as a young child, how would you know if the "real world" was any different than what you are seeing? So what if Jaguars could fly or if the sky was red instead of blue. If our memories were erased, we would have no idea that there is anything wrong with what is going on. I'm not suggesting beginning a new life in middle age, I'm suggesting beginning at a time in our infant stage so that we would get the full experience of a new life.

 

And I don't think you understood what I meant when I was talking about erasing memories. The whole idea is to go through life again with absolutely no knowledge because you would be able to have a different personality, make different choices because of different reasons. Yes your original mind is gone, but only in VR. That's the whole point of starting over new. 



#7
slick_willly

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The singularity is just the point in time when technological progress becomes too fast for an unaugmented human to follow. We can't see beyond the singularity because by its very definition, we can't comprehend what lies beyond.

 

There's not much debate to be had regarding the singularity tbh, if you understand the exponential growth of technology.

 

It's simply a point on the exponential curve. It's clear that if technology gets faster and faster, there will come a time when it's too fast for a normal human to understand. That time is the singularity.

 

Therefore your post makes little sense. Sure VR will be awesome but how does that link in with the singularity?

 

Saying the singularity doesn't matter is the same as saying that exponential technological progress doesn't matter. And if that's the case don't expect VR anytime soon.

I'm not saying that the Singularity does not matter, I'm only asking why anyone would care how fast we progress if we can have our every desire in VR. Realistically, why would a human want to live in a world that is advancing faster than he can comprehend if he can simply live in his own world that he actually understands?

 

As humans, we gain pleasure from advancing or getting better at something, sex, and other activities that create emotions. It's all centered around the emotional part. In VR we can do things that make our emotions run wild but in the "real world", using our own minds to work on problems to advance would be pointless at the point of the Singularity. Basically the real world wouldn't be fun any more. It's like having cheat codes, if we already know everything about everything, nothing would cause our emotions to fluctuate and the emotions we have are what separates us from the robots.



#8
Colonel O'Neil

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The singularity is just the point in time when technological progress becomes too fast for an unaugmented human to follow. We can't see beyond the singularity because by its very definition, we can't comprehend what lies beyond.

 

There's not much debate to be had regarding the singularity tbh, if you understand the exponential growth of technology.

 

It's simply a point on the exponential curve. It's clear that if technology gets faster and faster, there will come a time when it's too fast for a normal human to understand. That time is the singularity.

 

Therefore your post makes little sense. Sure VR will be awesome but how does that link in with the singularity?

 

Saying the singularity doesn't matter is the same as saying that exponential technological progress doesn't matter. And if that's the case don't expect VR anytime soon.

I'm not saying that the Singularity does not matter, I'm only asking why anyone would care how fast we progress if we can have our every desire in VR. Realistically, why would a human want to live in a world that is advancing faster than he can comprehend if he can simply live in his own world that he actually understands?

 

As humans, we gain pleasure from advancing or getting better at something, sex, and other activities that create emotions. It's all centered around the emotional part. In VR we can do things that make our emotions run wild but in the "real world", using our own minds to work on problems to advance would be pointless at the point of the Singularity. Basically the real world wouldn't be fun any more. It's like having cheat codes, if we already know everything about everything, nothing would cause our emotions to fluctuate and the emotions we have are what separates us from the robots.

 

To be honest, the thing I'm most looking forward to in the future is virtual reality. 100% with you on that one. The singularity and exponential growth of technology are important in that they allow us to have VR sooner :)


The art of forgetting is inherent in human minds; the art of being forgotten  is the normal fate of knowing. We as futurists don't accept that. In the panels of the Universe, we alone will remain standing; remain unforgotten.


#9
Ewan

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I think that our idea of reality is relative to what we experience. If you erased your memories and started over as a young child, how would you know if the "real world" was any different than what you are seeing? So what if Jaguars could fly or if the sky was red instead of blue. If our memories were erased, we would have no idea that there is anything wrong with what is going on. I'm not suggesting beginning a new life in middle age, I'm suggesting beginning at a time in our infant stage so that we would get the full experience of a new life.

 

And I don't think you understood what I meant when I was talking about erasing memories. The whole idea is to go through life again with absolutely no knowledge because you would be able to have a different personality, make different choices because of different reasons. Yes your original mind is gone, but only in VR. That's the whole point of starting over new. 

 

True but would you want to live in an unrealistic virtual reality? Where everyone is stupid? Of course all things are relative, but your intelligence would be much higher than any other lifeform. Think of those old games with bad AI that did stupid things. Would you want to live in a world like that? Intelligent AI is the only way to create proper VR and is the result of the singularity. 

 

"But only in VR?" Indeed but VR is all that matters since you cannot remember what came before. As I said, if someone brainwashed you into thinking it was possible now, then killed you, the result would be the same. Once your memories are erased you are essentially dead, any future you is essentially a clone, your consciousness is gone. This is why memory erasure is so dangerous, we are our memories and without them we are nothing but empty shells. 


Edited by Ewan, 24 August 2013 - 02:54 PM.


#10
Galgation

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You can't really argue about why the "real world" matters to you if your in a virtual reality, because even though you may not car about that "real world" it still has the potential of effect "your world". "You" would still exist as something physical (whether it is a brain kept on life support, or a quantum computer) and that physical thing exists in this "real world" you don't seem to care about (and if you erase your memory you may not even notice it at a certain point).

Actually the more i think about it, the more i wonder why a future society would keep some 20th-century relic alive (especially if that relic is content on not only ignoring reality, but erasing all prior usefulness that it had) in the first place. 

Also the what a Singularity is (as stated by other replies), is a change in technological advances that reaches an point in it's exponential growth were it becomes impossible to predicted the what will happen next. So if your question is, does the Singularity matter if your in some virtual reality, the answer is simple, yes, it definitely matters.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Singularity, Virtual, Reality, Robots, Human, Space, Immortality, Science, Video Games, Computers

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