“DO WHAT YOU CANNOT DO.
SEE WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE.
EXPLAIN WHAT YOU CANNOT EXPLAIN.”
I remember watching the movie series – The Matrix Trilogy – almost two decades ago. If you watched similarly-themed futuristic motion flicks, you might have marveled at the scope and reach of man’s mind. But the amazing thing is that these technologies have refused to simply remain within the confines of science fiction novels and movies. They’ve proven to be prophetic. Do you recall a time when creating a music device with no moving parts seemed like a far-fetched idea? Or when 3D printing would have sounded like an absurd, impossible prospect? Look where we are now… Indeed, mankind has proven the efficacy in the statement “whatever a man’s mind can conceive, it can achieve”.
So what is singularity?
The concept is one that was borrowed from pure mathematics. And it describes the specific point where things go haywire and all control is lost. Much like the final piece of crack that tips a junkie irreversibly over the edge. Or the specific discovery that radically changes how we interact with others and the world around us.
Are we at the edge of some profound technological breakthrough?
The kind that could leave the world spiralling away from our grasp?
Many observers certainly think so.
With bated breath, we’ve watched the unravelling of Artificial Intelligence, AI, anxious to know – HOW it could evolve. We’re not sure HOW, but it could open up a whole new vista of life that humanity may not be prepared for. The discovery of electricity opened up far reaching possibilities, such that it’s hard for the average millenial to imagine a world without it.
Would the next generation be wondering how we survived as well?
If the idea of singularity gives you a bit of anxiety, relax, you aren’t alone. It’s a well documented phenomenon that man fears what he cannot control. And we very well could have artificial intelligence ascending to uncontrollable dimensions. Within the core of AI is the capacity for self-learning and adaptation, but:
- what’s the guarantee that these machines would work for us as we plan?
- could they self-learn and adapt negatively?
- could they lock us out or start, or even wage war against humanity?
One of the most vocal observers on singularity, Vernor Vinge, has predicted the world to end within 30-35 years, based on the presumed growth of artificial intelligence.
Is this true or just ‘extreme’?
We never can be sure.
Mankind has achieved unprecedented success technologically, riding on the back of amazing innovations over the centuries. Technology has been a patient and loyal servant so far, helping to cure diseases, transport and house us, entertain us, and so on. A new swing of singularity could push mankind thousands of years forward technologically, and potentially solve all modern problems. But also it could be our downfall…
I choose to take an optimistic position though.
Let’s meet 30 years from now!
HERE you can find a very cool article about ‘black holes’ – Stephen Hawking explains how you could escape a black hole
#guestpost – TW
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