Two Paths beyond Singularity
دو راه در فراسوی نقطه انفصالی
Kurzweil's Comment 7/24/12: I agree that hardware alone is not sufficient but my key point is that we are making exponential gains in mastering the software of life and intelligence as well. I disagree that biological intelligence will be better than nonbiological intelligence at anything come the 2030s.
Ray Kurzweil in his magnum opus entitled The Singularity is Near predicts that by 2045 humanity will pass a point of Singularity (1).
Kurzweil suggests that by 2027 computers will work at the speed of 10 19 CPS, bypassing the speed of the human brain, and by 2045 humans that are not augmented by artificial intelligence will not be able to compete. He further shows that human progress in the 21st century will be equal to 20,000 years, meaning that the 100 years of this century, that we are now living in, are equal to moving forward 10 times all the 2000 years of the history of the past. In other words, if it took 10,000 years for carriages and horse roads to expand over the Earth, and 100 years for automobiles and highways, for computers and the Internet just a decade was enough to connect the Earth (2).
Beyond the upcoming singularity, there are at least two paths for humanity to advance:
First is the path of what has hitherto been referred to as “work” in all human civilizations. This role can better be fulfilled by a non-biological intelligent tool. Already, products like vision systems simulating the work related to our sense perceptions, expert systems simulating work related to our knowledge and expertise, and language translators are examples of such devices. We could get to a point of downloading our brain onto these artificial devices soon (3).
Second is the path of modifying genes and biological structures of our body even to the point of using nanobots, as Kurzweil notes, not only to overcome diseases but also to make us resistant to radiation or to live without oxygen (4).
Why should this path of a new biological variant be pursued? Biological entities are much more capable than non-biological intelligent tools in their self-learning of the external world. If we were to use Kant’s terminology, the former is better at *synthetic* truth whereas the latter is better at *analytic* truth. The above fact is not going to be any different even when we pass the human CPS speed. Even right now, less advanced biological entities, which have lower CPS speed than their non-biological counterparts, are better at the former.
Thus it seems that both paths of human advancement will be important in the post-singularity world, and we should not drop one in favor of the other.
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
July 19, 2012
1. The Singularity is Near
2. Singularity and Us
3. Intelligent Tools the Cornerstone of a New Civilization
4. New Human Variant is Needed
Kurzweil was Right
بازهم حق با کرزوایل بود