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The Singularity Makes Me Nervous

Singularity Eschatology

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#1
Ru1138

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I'm getting nervous about the idea of the Singularity.

 

Ray Kurzweil himself gives us about a 50/50 chance of making it through, and he's considered an optimist!

 

And of course there's what might happen after the Singularity. Look at 5 and 6 on that list and tell me you don't feel horrified by those possibilities. If the experiments aimed at testing whether we live in a simulation or not find that we are indeed inside one, what then? Will we cease research into exponentially improving AI? Formally perhaps, but there will always be nutjobs out there that would want to become "one with the creator" or initiate the end times.

 

Long story short, I'm not sure if a Singularity is a good thing. :fie:


What difference does it make?


#2
Zeitgeist123

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i am willing to gamble the 50/50 odds. if we're all gonna die, we're all gonna die eventually at some point. so why not risk it instead in return for a god-like quality of life, pleasure and immortality. but if we overcame singularity, then we will reap the fruits of our sacrficice. 


“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


#3
Ru1138

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Yeah, but the 50/50 odds are on the reasonably optimistic side of the spectrum. Why gamble with less?


What difference does it make?


#4
IzzyIngleby

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I'm in the "there won't ever be a singularity" camp, a prime example being the human brain, Hugo De Garis calculates using the rate of neuron fireing, number of neurons and number of synapses each neuron is capable of forming, this gives a very large number (unsuprisingly). If his calculations are correct for the speed of the human brain, then we should get there in 20 years or so, but at its base, his calculation runs off only three variables, which for the "most complex structure in the known universe" seems a little dubious.

 

http://www.nature.co...ll/nn.2666.html

 

Abstract

Memory formation and storage require long-lasting changes in memory-related neuronal circuits. Recent evidence indicates that DNA methylation may serve as a contributing mechanism in memory formation and storage. These emerging findings suggest a role for an epigenetic mechanism in learning and long-term memory maintenance and raise apparent conundrums and questions. For example, it is unclear how DNA methylation might be reversed during the formation of a memory, how changes in DNA methylation alter neuronal function to promote memory formation, and how DNA methylation patterns differ between neuronal structures to enable both consolidation and storage of memories. Here we evaluate the existing evidence supporting a role for DNA methylation in memory, discuss how DNA methylation may affect genetic and neuronal function to contribute to behavior, propose several future directions for the emerging subfield of neuroepigenetics, and begin to address some of the broader implications of this work.

 

Right there is proof that memory function and storage is far more complex than many anticipated (and certainly Hugo de Garis), so now we have to factor in epigenetic reading and writing processes into the storage of memory.

 

According to Garis:

Number of neurons=100 billion (1011)

Number of possible synapses per neuron=10,000 (104)

Number of action potentials (fireings) per second=101s-1

 

Hugo de Gariss calulation for speed of the human brain= 1011 X 104 X 101 =1016 bits per second

 

Amount of base pairs in human DNA per cell= 6 billion (of which 98% of it is believed to be "non-coding")=~ 6x109 bp

Amount of base pairs in human brain = 6x109 X 1011 =6x1020 bits can be stored at any one time

This is also assuming that only methylation can encode memory, which my hunch is would not be the case.

 

How this would affect the "RAM" i have no idea, that's question for mathematicians, and neurologists.



#5
zEVerzan

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Why gamble with less? WHY GAMBLE WITH LESS??

...I don't really know, exactly.

 

I guess the reward outweighs the cost. If we all ascend to a higher plane of existence, that's godhood right there. If something crazy and unexpected happens that kills us all, we'll all be dead and will have created something better than us. Dead people are dead.

 

I always thought the robot apocalypse is the most optimistic apocalyptic scenario. There's something very hopeful about the idea of being able to create something better than you. Destruction through creation.


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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#6
superexistence

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When scientists equate the human brain to its equivalency computer power always seems pointless to me, what does a jet have in common with a bird aside from wings? They fly in completely different ways yet one is far more powerful than the other.



#7
RandomInternetStranger

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The Singularity is a really dumb idea when you think about it. We are barely scratching the surface when it comes to exploring the brain and the human mind. We don't know how consciousness works, or how it arises from the material. We don't know how other people or organisms experience consciousness, since we're all stuck in our own subjective experience and perspective. For example, what's it like to be a bat? We haven't the slightest clue. We don't even know what consciousness even is, so we don't know what to even look for when examining brains. Yeah MRIs show us what parts light up when people focus on things, but we still can't get outside of our own POVs and enter into another persons to really see the world from their eyes. Heck, how do we even know that other people are truly conscious, if all we have to go by is their word that they're not zombies? Yeah it sounds silly but it just goes to show how much we still don't know. Even if we did create strong A.I., we'd never be able to tell if it were truly conscious (whatever that is) in the same way we are.

 

I'm not saying its impossible, but we're SO FAR from achieving it. And then there's mind uploading. How the heck do you "upload" a mind? We don't know how the mind works, so how are we going to upload it? And it's stated so glibly, too. Yeah we'll just upload ourselves into a simulated reality, no big deal. Never mind the fact that we don't know what consciousness is or what the mind is or how it arises or interacts with the physical brain, or how to recognize it in other beings, or how to replicate it, etc. 

 

I think we're going to see a lot of awesome things in our lifetimes, but the Singularity just seems way too out there for me. 



#8
kjaggard

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When scientists equate the human brain to its equivalency computer power always seems pointless to me, what does a jet have in common with a bird aside from wings? They fly in completely different ways yet one is far more powerful than the other.

exactly. This idea of trying to remake the human brain in computers seems foolish to me. For me the singularity simply means that moment where the rule of accelerating returns begins to look a lot more like a vertical wall than a curve.

 

Moving past that point is vastly uncertain because it's a point of infinite gravity, a singularity, a threshold that once crossed changes our vary nature of being so thoroughly that trying to return to the way we live now would be a hollow shadow of what we remember because we've moved beyond it. It'd be like hunting furs with spears and living in caves to modern humans only orders of magnitude greater a rift.


Live content within small means. Seek elegance rather than luxury, Grace over fashion and wealth over riches.
Listen to clouds and mountains, children and sages. Act bravely, think boldly.
Await occasions, never make haste. Find wonder and awe, by experiencing the everyday.

#9
Alric

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It really doesn't matter how complex or fast the human brain is. There is no reason you couldn't just build a biological computer using human brain matter, so even if you wanted to believe the human mind was something special you can still easily just copy it. Well easily being a relative term, since we are talking with future technology of course. We can already print out some organs though, so it is just a matter of time before we can print out living brains, and once at that step we can make new objects with brain matter.



#10
Ru1138

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It really doesn't matter how complex or fast the human brain is. There is no reason you couldn't just build a biological computer using human brain matter, so even if you wanted to believe the human mind was something special you can still easily just copy it. Well easily being a relative term, since we are talking with future technology of course. We can already print out some organs though, so it is just a matter of time before we can print out living brains, and once at that step we can make new objects with brain matter.

 

Ever read the Rifters Trilogy by Peter Watts? In the notes to one of the books he talked about how brain cell based "smart gels" are coming along faster than he thought.


What difference does it make?


#11
Squillimy

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It's good to be something, but I wouldn't call myself nervous. We're at the edge of one of the biggest events in all human history that will blow all the other ones clear out of the water, and the amazing thing is people don't even realize it! We could be luckiest people in all of human history as we get to not only see what the technological singularity will be like, but also see how it unfolds and the events that lead up to it!

 

The coming Age of Transhumanism will be more awesome than the Industrial and the Digital ages put together! I personally don't believe it'll lead to our destruction since humanity seems to survive on the brink of destruction. The cuban missile crisis is a good example! It's just a paradigm shift - a big one at that - and ofcourse people are always afraid of paradigm shifts


What becomes of man when the things that man can create are greater than man itself?


#12
IzzyIngleby

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The Cuban missile crisis did not represent a paradigm shift, it just represented a culmination of political events that could very well have wiped out the vast majority of Humanity. Nothing changed in any way from before and after save from the appreciation of how close we came to nuclear anhilation.



#13
Squillimy

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The coming Age of Transhumanism will be more awesome than the Industrial and the Digital ages put together! I personally don't believe it'll lead to our destruction since humanity seems to survive on the brink of destruction. The cuban missile crisis is a good example! It's just a paradigm shift - a big one at that - and ofcourse people are always afraid of paradigm shifts

 

Sorry if that was confusing, It wasn't meant to be an example of a paradigm shift, but an example of exactly what you said: humanity was near the brink of destruction over political strife.  Since humanity seems to survive, or simply "get lucky"; as a nuclear war should have started at that point.


What becomes of man when the things that man can create are greater than man itself?


#14
IzzyIngleby

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That sounds like something a gambling addict would say when he's on a winning streak. This is a game no-one can afford to lose, even once.



#15
Raklian

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When we become gods we once feared, godhood probably won't turn out to be what it was cracked up to be. You still have to deal with other "gods" who will see you as competition thus strive for greater complexity and supremacy than what is already there. Like kjaggard, the rate of change will be virtually vertical and the constant struggle will burn out many of us and force us to consider the embrace of a peaceful death, if we don't learn to accept the new paradigm and change with it.


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#16
zEVerzan

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^^^ That's definitely something I never considered. Interesting.


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
Attention is currency in the "free marketplace of ideas".
I do other stuff besides gripe about the future! Twitter Youtube DeviantArt +-PATREON-+

#17
Yuli Ban

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Makes me think of this song.   

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


#18
Ru1138

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http://prospect.org/...what-happens-us

 

:(


What difference does it make?


#19
Yuli Ban

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I love spamming Motha Muki around here

 

You mean that old myth of the machineman deciding to wipe out mankind. We don't need evil aliens or Skynet. Just put a bunch of big headed Greys on Earth or make a toaster think, and we'll do the rest ourselves.

 

 

I think we humans can't handle another intelligent species existing, whether that species be biological or digital. Not without some buttsniffing, at least. See if the other guy's alright, get used to 'im.


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


#20
Raklian

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I think we humans can't handle another intelligent species existing, whether that species be biological or digital. Not without some buttsniffing, at least. See if the other guy's alright, get used to 'im.

 

And become one of 'em.

 

They're not going to give you much of a choice, I think. They are going to be the closest thing to the Borg in Star Trek. Resistance is futile!


What are you without the sum of your parts?





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