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"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? "The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close??

07-31-2010 , 09:25 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Singularity_Is_Near

Have the book... Interesting material... How close to the truth do you think his predictions are??? Thanks.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 12:48 AM
Have thought some about it and come to the conclusion that we, as humans, will be naturally outplayed and replaced by the new intelligence with time. Wisely, we will partly pull the plug for some time to let the transition happen without bigger drama, obviously people gradually having less children with time being the key. I think we are talking about a time span of maybe 2-4 centuries. So itīs not directly knocking on the door during our lifetime, I presume.

I think itīs easier to develop (and let the computers/robots develop) a totally technological intelligence than to try to enhance our own with technology. The interface "chip versus brain" is so difficult to solve, so itīs probably easier to get rid of the "carbon chain based" brain alltogehter. The immortality thing is also easier to achieve with pure technology.

Thoughts?

Last edited by plaaynde; 08-01-2010 at 01:13 AM.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 12:55 AM
I'd say it's about never away
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 01:18 AM
Considering that there's no such thing as this 'singularity' I agree that it's "never" away.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 02:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
Considering that there's no such thing as this 'singularity' I agree that it's "never" away.
Perhaps I can't understand this sentence.
Do you have a reason to think this?
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 02:11 AM
In before large discussions about the meaning of a word.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 06:15 AM
The technological singularity is just an idea that happens to be a valid, but false, extrapolation. There is no good reason to suggest that the accelerated pace of technological development, which in itself is not easily quantifiable, in the last 50 or so years will continually follow the trend in a future period in time.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 07:23 AM
To me, a singularity should be a well-defined mathematical thing such as a ramphoid cusp. This new technological definition feels a little bit silly.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 11:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardball47
The technological singularity is just an idea that happens to be a valid, but false, extrapolation. There is no good reason to suggest that the accelerated pace of technological development, which in itself is not easily quantifiable, in the last 50 or so years will continually follow the trend in a future period in time.
I think that it commits a fallacy. Therefore, not valid.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 12:46 PM
Kurzweil is easily among the most qualified people alive to make technology predictions. It's hard to think of anyone comparable, in fact; world-class geniuses intimately familiar with research across so many domains are...rare.

Since the horizon on Kurzweil's Singularity is so close, it seems almost beside the point to debate it. We'll know soon enough.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 01:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subfallen
Kurzweil is easily among the most qualified people alive to make technology predictions. It's hard to think of anyone comparable, in fact; world-class geniuses intimately familiar with research across so many domains are...rare.

Since the horizon on Kurzweil's Singularity is so close, it seems almost beside the point to debate it. We'll know soon enough.
Except that it's not falsifiable.

It will come at 2015.

2015 comes and goes...it'll happen at 2025.

2025 comes and goes...it'll happen at 2050...

etc.

He'd never stop making the prediction that it's "just around the corner" or whatever.

Hack.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 01:04 PM
the singularity has been 20 years away for the past 30 years
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 01:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by econophile
the singularity has been 20 years away for the past 30 years
No, that's fusion

And fuel cells.

And flying cars (oh wait...we have those now...sorta).
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 01:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by econophile
the singularity has been 20 years away for the past 30 years
Kurzweil may prove to be very wrong. But surely you agree that if he's wrong, one still needs a very high level of sophistication across many difficult research domains to show why he's wrong.

Futurists have a poor track record---in fact, futurism seems to attract some of the laziest thinkers around. But Kurzweil is one of the deepest thinkers around; and he is erudite in the relevant research domains. Dismissing him because he also happens to be a futurist is...well, lazy thinking.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 02:01 PM
Ok, where will it end then, with the computers getting smarter and smarter with incredible speed? And humans not developing significantly?
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 02:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subfallen
Kurzweil may prove to be very wrong. But surely you agree that if he's wrong, one still needs a very high level of sophistication across many difficult research domains to show why he's wrong.

Futurists have a poor track record---in fact, futurism seems to attract some of the laziest thinkers around. But Kurzweil is one of the deepest thinkers around; and he is erudite in the relevant research domains. Dismissing him because he also happens to be a futurist is...well, lazy thinking.
You're getting the burden of proof backwards.

...particularly since he's apparently making an empirical claim that isn't falsifiable. He's the one making the error.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 02:23 PM
Hereīs about the theme, more including, not just about Kurzweil and his book:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

and a little more of what singularity is about:
http://singinst.org/overview/whatisthesingularity
A key phrase from there, about where the word comes from originally:
Quote:
A future that contains smarter-than-human minds is genuinely different in a way that goes beyond the usual visions of a future filled with bigger and better gadgets. Vernor Vinge originally coined the term "Singularity" in observing that, just as our model of physics breaks down when it tries to model the singularity at the center of a black hole, our model of the world breaks down when it tries to model a future that contains entities smarter than human.

Last edited by plaaynde; 08-01-2010 at 02:52 PM.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 03:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
I think that it commits a fallacy. Therefore, not valid.
Which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by plaaynde
Ok, where will it end then, with the computers getting smarter and smarter with incredible speed? And humans not developing significantly?
Computers aren't smart. DUCY?
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 03:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardball47

Computers aren't smart. DUCY?
You are right. They arenīt especially smart. Yet.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 03:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardball47
Which one?


A fallacy of extrapolation. Just because there has been an exponential growth in the past, therefore it will continue this way into the future. He's aware of this, too. But that's not my main problem with his argument: it's that it's passed off as a scientific hypothesis but it's unfalsifiable.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 03:36 PM
Again, if Kurzweil is in error, it is not because of a ludicrously sophomoric logical fallacy. A successful critique of Kurzweil would look like, for example, a rigorous refutation of the empirical roadmap to strong AI in his upcoming book How the Mind Works and How to Build One. (Mentioned in this interview, for the curious.)
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 03:40 PM
SMP gets a "Singularity" thread/post about every few months. On sound advice from my astrologer, I'm going to start channeling these posts into the Official Fringe Topics Thread. It will help consolidate the debate/discussion into a single thread, singularity speaking, and minimize the number of threads that keep popping up about this subject. And it will contain the singularity where it belongs, in the trash heap of human stupidity, which appears to heap ever upward and is increasing at an exponential rate toward a singularity of human stupidity - bound to occur on December 12, 2012; I think.


http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/47...thread-745446/


-Zeno, Moving the Goal Posts, one foot at a time.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 03:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subfallen
Again, if Kurzweil is in error, it is not because of a ludicrously sophomoric logical fallacy. A successful critique of Kurzweil would look like, for example, a rigorous refutation of the empirical roadmap to strong AI in his upcoming book How the Mind Works and How to Build One. (Mentioned in this interview, for the curious.)
Which is why that isn't my biggest issue with his argument. Maybe you should read posts more clearly.

My biggest beef is that he passes it off as an empirical prediction but it's unfalsifiable since he could keep pushing the 'due date' of the event further into the future. Let's say he lived for 500 years and this singularity still hasn't happened...he'd still say "it's coming!" It's absurd.

It's a little like the fortune cookie that says: "An event of importance will happen to you sometime in the future." He's not actually making a prediction since it can't be falsified (unless humanity stops existing).
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 03:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeno
SMP gets a "Singularity" thread/post about every few months. On sound advice from my astrologer, I'm going to start channeling these posts into the Official Fringe Topics Thread. It will help consolidate the debate/discussion into a single thread, singularity speaking, and minimize the number of threads that keep popping up about this subject. And it will contain the singularity where it belongs, in the trash heap of human stupidity, which appears to heap ever upward and is increasing at an exponential rate toward a singularity of human stupidity - bound to occur on December 12, 2012; I think.


http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/47...thread-745446/


-Zeno, Moving the Goal Posts, one foot at a time.
You may be right. It would be better to discuss the prospect of where the developing computers may bring us with time, without the weird word "Singularity" and the "you either believe it or not"-things. We are talking about speculation, and even I, who find the idea plausible, talked about 2-4 centuries ahead in time. Maybe the right place for the current discussion is in SMP, but in the Fringe Thread. It could eaven boost that threadīs image a bit .

But this one is coming, gradually, continuing after the non-existent armageddon of 2012.

Maybe we, though, could have a collected edition special thread on this theme, it has some substance on the contrary to the usual themes in the fringe. Maybe itīs our obligation to discuss, and give the possibility to discuss, this. Of the 2+2 forums SMP may be the most suited for that. The political forum covers much of other prospects of the fututre, I presume.

Last edited by plaaynde; 08-01-2010 at 04:19 PM.
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote
08-01-2010 , 03:58 PM
dd33 ---

Have you read his books? He makes very specific predictions, all of which can easily be falsified within the next 40 years.

An aside...I'll try to find a link later, but among people qualified to have an opinion, the most pessimistic estimates of how much longer Moore's Law will last are ~15 years. (I.e. at least another 1000-fold increase in computational power.) Given the qualitative shifts in human experience that information technology has already produced, I'm confused why Zeno for example thinks a Singularity concept is basically "fringe."
"The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil, How Close?? Quote

      
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