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The Singularity Makes Me Nervous

Singularity Eschatology

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#21
KomissarBojantchev

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I always hated the wish that we should create a virtual reality. Why shouldn't we create technology to improve our reality than trying to escape from it? Things like uploading your mind would be very helpful, like saving mortally wounded or deseased person and replacing his body, but escape from reality forever? This seems very dystopian and unnecessary. Same with creating AI much smarter and able than us and eventually destroying us. This seems downright masochistic. Why can't we instead improve ourselves and our own bodies, thus improving the real enviroment we live in. Sure  superintelligent AI would need to be created for tasks too inefficient for the human brain but never to be too multifunctional o that it could never destroy us.



#22
Ru1138

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I always hated the wish that we should create a virtual reality. Why shouldn't we create technology to improve our reality than trying to escape from it? Things like uploading your mind would be very helpful, like saving mortally wounded or deseased person and replacing his body, but escape from reality forever? This seems very dystopian and unnecessary. Same with creating AI much smarter and able than us and eventually destroying us. This seems downright masochistic. Why can't we instead improve ourselves and our own bodies, thus improving the real enviroment we live in. Sure  superintelligent AI would need to be created for tasks too inefficient for the human brain but never to be too multifunctional o that it could never destroy us.

 

I have a bias towards non-virtual reality myself. I think I'll just prefer the real thing.


What difference does it make?


#23
Squillimy

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I always hated the wish that we should create a virtual reality. Why shouldn't we create technology to improve our reality than trying to escape from it? Things like uploading your mind would be very helpful, like saving mortally wounded or deseased person and replacing his body, but escape from reality forever? This seems very dystopian and unnecessary. Same with creating AI much smarter and able than us and eventually destroying us. This seems downright masochistic. Why can't we instead improve ourselves and our own bodies, thus improving the real enviroment we live in. Sure  superintelligent AI would need to be created for tasks too inefficient for the human brain but never to be too multifunctional o that it could never destroy us.

 

Simply put: because it's science, and science basically goes in any direction someones willing to research into. You ask "Why shouldn't we create technology to improve our reality than trying to escape from it?" But we already do; every day we invent technology that improves our quality of life, yet every day at the same time scientists research technology that will eventually lead to Full Immersion VR. But not many would escape from reality forever.

 

Remember this is only the ~2050's we're talking about, and the people that will be alive at this time (who are us) share the same attitude as you. Virtual reality will be fun, but limiting at the same time. As it will be cutting edge technology in that era, the time to create & render this world, create servers capable of handling the information, input every bodies movements simultaneously, will likely take ENORMOUS amounts of computing power and invested time. Not to mention, this virtual world will be for leisure and for work. Things will still continue in the real world; things like science itself.

 

As for Artificial Intelligence; the Age of Transhumanism is right around the corner, and it sits on the very pinnacle of what you mentioned as "improving our reality". We will be able upgrade ourselves into higher than human intelligence with medicine and technology, and essentially be able to improve on every aspects of our lives, minds, and bodies. The goal of creating a super-intelligence is more of a science experiment rather than a dystopian way to choose the new rulers of the planet. We will create these intelligences to aid us, not in tasks but in further science development, because the scientists who create these intelligences will themselves too have achieved superior intelligence.

 

Think about it: If you're a scientist, is it not only logical to improve your intelligence in order to become a better scientist? If you do not, then you have no hope of becoming greater than a scientist that does do this.


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


#24
Raklian

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Everyone who prefers to stay "rooted" in reality will change his tune when Immersive VR reaches the level of complexity that there is no difference between the two except for the fact you could do whatever you want in the VR world.


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#25
Yuli Ban

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Why not merge Alternative Reality (my term for FIVR) with Actuality?

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


#26
Raklian

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Why not merge Alternative Reality (my term for FIVR) with Actuality?

 

Isn't that Augmented Reality?


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#27
Squillimy

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Everyone who prefers to stay "rooted" in reality will change his tune when Immersive VR reaches the level of complexity that there is no difference between the two except for the fact you could do whatever you want in the VR world.

 

But how big would this virtual world be able to be if it matches the complexity of ours? It's like, how videogames that are indistinguishable to real life (likely to come in 2020) will feature worlds hundreds of times of magnitudes smaller than even a city in our world. And how immersive will it be? will every corner of every building be accessible, decorated, and available for me to walk through? I feel like it'll take a long time for FIVR to reach the complexity of real life. At first, I believe it'll just be confined to actual videogames, then progress from there.


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


#28
advocatusdiaboli

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Well, being defined i.a. as "an event after which life of humanity, as we know it, simply cannot go on", of course the technological singularity should make anybody nervous.

 

However, most people have no clue what this singularity business is about at all and ignorance is bliss. However, I frankly admit that I myself find this entire singularity issue very hard to fathom, both re what this event would actually look like (Skynet?) as well as the possible consequences of such an event for human life. Could spell technological super advancement, transhumanism or human slavery/extinction, I guess. Maybe both? 

 

Question is would a simple increase in processing power beyond the powers of a human brain or all of humanity necessarily mean that a computer would eventually become a self-concious A.I. or would it not just remain a very fast and powerful tool?

 

What do you think?



#29
GenX

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I always hated the wish that we should create a virtual reality. Why shouldn't we create technology to improve our reality than trying to escape from it? Things like uploading your mind would be very helpful, like saving mortally wounded or deseased person and replacing his body, but escape from reality forever? This seems very dystopian and unnecessary. Same with creating AI much smarter and able than us and eventually destroying us. This seems downright masochistic. Why can't we instead improve ourselves and our own bodies, thus improving the real enviroment we live in. Sure  superintelligent AI would need to be created for tasks too inefficient for the human brain but never to be too multifunctional o that it could never destroy us.

I think it would be a lot of fun. You can create worlds with different laws of physics that allow you to fly like Superman or survive a 70-mile wide asteroid hitting you or something like that.  You could have worlds like that one movie where people walk upsidedown in one world above the other people who walk right side up in a different world.  You could have seats on the 50-yard line at the Super Bowl.  You could be the main character in your favorite movie or TV show. There are a million different cool things you can do in a VR world that you can't do in the real world that would make it worth developing the technology.   


The only thing we ever want is more


#30
KomissarBojantchev

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But not so it can completely replace our real lives



#31
GenX

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I guess it depends on your life.  Someone with cerebral palsy could live a normal virtual life instead of being a prisoner in their own body here in real life.  I think that would be something that each person would have to decide for themselves.  You value living in the "real" world, so you can choose to never even experience the virtual world if you want.  Other people might hate the "real" world for whatever reason and decide to live their entire lives in the virtual world.  As long as they can afford to keep their real body nourished and stored somewhere safe, then that's up to them.  To each his own.


The only thing we ever want is more


#32
Ru1138

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I guess it depends on your life.  Someone with cerebral palsy could live a normal virtual life instead of being a prisoner in their own body here in real life.  I think that would be something that each person would have to decide for themselves.  You value living in the "real" world, so you can choose to never even experience the virtual world if you want.  Other people might hate the "real" world for whatever reason and decide to live their entire lives in the virtual world.  As long as they can afford to keep their real body nourished and stored somewhere safe, then that's up to them.  To each his own.

 

Yeah. If VR improves your life, then go for it; just don't make me do it.

 

Ooh, and that's like the Heaven VR system in Blindsight, another Peter Watts book.


What difference does it make?


#33
Ru1138

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Thought I'd bring this topic back up. I'm not as pessimistic as I was before. But I still think there should be a plan B for humanity in case things do go south.

 

I'll have to think about that plan some more.


What difference does it make?


#34
Ru1138

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It turns out that the Third Impact from NGE is listed as a fictional singularity on TV Tropes. For those of you unfamiliar:

 

 

I don't think things will end exactly like that; but maybe we'll be mindscrewed into death come the singularity...


What difference does it make?


#35
Ru1138

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Well, my plan B was shot down pretty thoroughly. So come the singularity we're all going to be doomed if it goes wrong.

 

I just don't know what to think anymore.


What difference does it make?


#36
Ru1138

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http://commonsenseat...itable-Doom.pdf

 

:fie:


What difference does it make?


#37
Brohanne Jahms

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You could die of anything at any given time. Living in fear of things out of your control won't help anything.



#38
caltrek

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I like the conclusion about focusing on the present. While discussion of AI taking over the world is an interesting one for me to partiicpate in, I think the priority for our political energies should lie elsewhere.  The challenges of global warming comes to mind. The availability of potable water is another, given the ever increasing growth in population. Issues of war and peace is yet another.

 

One issue that I think is related to the AI debate of immediate concern is in regards to the conduct of the NSA. That does represent a potential threat to our civil liberties that could have some rather profound short term political affects, especially if it spins out of control. It also involves computer technology to monitor our behavior, or at least the behavior of those identified as our "enemies". Putting adequate controls on all this should be a present day concern. Especially to the extent that there are obstructions in place witihn the status quo to addressing other problems such as global warming. The convergence of these negative trends is a source of legitimate concern.  


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#39
Cosmic Cat

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I always hated the wish that we should create a virtual reality. Why shouldn't we create technology to improve our reality than trying to escape from it? Things like uploading your mind would be very helpful, like saving mortally wounded or deseased person and replacing his body, but escape from reality forever? This seems very dystopian and unnecessary. Same with creating AI much smarter and able than us and eventually destroying us. This seems downright masochistic. Why can't we instead improve ourselves and our own bodies, thus improving the real enviroment we live in. Sure superintelligent AI would need to be created for tasks too inefficient for the human brain but never to be too multifunctional o that it could never destroy us.

I think it would be a lot of fun. You can create worlds with different laws of physics that allow you to fly like Superman or survive a 70-mile wide asteroid hitting you or something like that. You could have worlds like that one movie where people walk upsidedown in one world above the other people who walk right side up in a different world. You could have seats on the 50-yard line at the Super Bowl. You could be the main character in your favorite movie or TV show. There are a million different cool things you can do in a VR world that you can't do in the real world that would make it worth developing the technology.
That will break our psychology. Since the first living things, our universe has given us obstacles. We humans are set on a mindset of 3-4 billion years of evolution that life is all about the obstacles. It is all about the hardships. Our minds are neurons firing away to make emotions, to survive. VR would take away all of that. You would the world you live in doesn't exist, that the person you made to love isn't real. A great example would be the movie Inception. Mr. Cobb is dangling on a thread of sanity as he tries to distinguish between reality and dreams. He had to face how things in dreams do not exist and how he spent a lifetime in his dream and when he came to reality, he couldn't let go of the life he lived in the dream. After the time his spent in his dream, his whole life became a disaster. I would limit myself with virtual reality so I can stay sane, but i have to agree that some people in this world need VR. People who are prisoners in there bodies and need an escape from reality so they live the lives they wanted. As for me, I have more than enough reasons to keep my mind in the real world.

#40
Unity

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I think that he's a brilliant man, and that whatever you might think of his ideas ("How my ideas are faring" gives me a lot of faith in him), he deserves a lot of respect for spending most of his life working hard to make the world a better place. I admire him a lot.

What concerns me about "escaping" reality is if a consciousness has unlimited wish fulfillment it will eat up resources like a jet engine on cocaine. It may be able to do some incredible things and find patterns that others could not, however at some point it would likely need to trim down and become more efficient whether due to competition in the digital landscape with other intelligences, lack of basic raw materials, or entropy. Say for example a machine intelligence took over the solar system but didn't overcome the light barrier, the sun is slowly becoming a red giant. It would need to use its resources effectively because it only has so much time a temporal window go find a solution and leave say earth where the bulk of its infrastructure would likely be built. It may survive overall, but not without losing a partition of itself, like an equivalent to an arm, or spouse, or close family member for us





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