Purpose of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Support the IEET




The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.



Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

IEET Launching Annual Fundraiser

Sorgner @ Posthuman Studies and the Arts

Psymposia - Beyond the War on Drugs

Should libertarians hate the internet? A Nozickian Argument against Social Networks

Uploading and Autonomy

Should some conversations be suppressed?


ieet books

The Second Intelligent Species
Author
Marshall Brain


comments

AlonzoTG on 'Uploading and Autonomy' (Apr 16, 2015)

Rick Searle on 'The Sofalarity is Near' (Apr 9, 2015)

CygnusX1 on 'The Legal Dilemma of Age Play in Virtual & Augmented Reality' (Apr 9, 2015)

instamatic on 'How to regain trust in the NSA era: The IGUS Gambit' (Apr 9, 2015)

CygnusX1 on 'How to regain trust in the NSA era: The IGUS Gambit' (Apr 9, 2015)

Ben Goertzel on 'Transhumanist Position on Human Germline Genetic Modification' (Apr 8, 2015)

instamatic on 'Conservative Christians Pass the Plate for Anti-Gay Indiana Pizza Parlor, Raise $800,000 in Two Days' (Apr 8, 2015)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


The Sofalarity is Near
Mar 30, 2015
(10134) Hits
(14) Comments

Posthumanisms: A Carnapian Experiment
Mar 19, 2015
(6656) Hits
(4) Comments

Bitcoin and the Ontology of Money
Apr 7, 2015
(4023) Hits
(0) Comments

The Genetics and Neuroscience of Torture
Mar 26, 2015
(3655) Hits
(0) Comments



IEET > Security > Cyber > Resilience > SciTech > Vision > Futurism > Fellows > Jamais Cascio

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (3946) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


Singularity Scenarios


Jamais Cascio
By Jamais Cascio
Fast Company

Posted: Oct 13, 2009

If we do have something we can describe as a Singularity, what then?

My talk last weekend at the New York Future Salon explored the likelihood and the implications of the transformative event known as the “Singularity.” I tend to part ways with many Singularity enthusiasts over two small issues: what comes before a Singularity, and what comes after.

In terms of what comes before, I’m generally in the camp that machine-substrate intelligence is very likely possible, but is probably a much more complex problem than some of the more enthusiastic Singularitarians would have us think. We currently have a single model of a mind emerging from a physical structure—the human brain—and (as noted by one of the 2009 Singularity Summit speakers, David Chalmers) we’re not even sure how that happens. Add to that issues around learning, around complexity, around the very definition of intelligence, and you have the potential for a situation where—even if there are no physical laws preventing the emergence of artificial general intelligence—“real” AI remains the computer science version of nuclear fusion: perpetually just a couple of decades away (with plenty of dead-ends and showy hoaxes along the way).

I’ve noted elsewhere that I suspect that “a stand-alone artificial mind will be more a tool of narrow utility than something especially apocalyptic.” Part of the reason is the difficulty, but another part is the near-certainty that the technologies of human intelligence augmentation will continue apace. The technologies that may be dead-ends for efforts to construct a self-aware artificial mind could easily be of great value as non-conscious assistants to human minds.

The notion that creating “real” AI may turn out to be extraordinarily difficult, and the idea that human intelligence augmentation could itself turn out to be a more promising line of research doesn’t get a lot of push-back from the more thoughtful Singularity proponents I’ve encountered. After all, both have been demonstrably true so far. A tougher sticking point, however, comes when I explore what could come afterwards.

If greater-than-human artificial intelligence emerges out of aggressively competitive projects, each seeking to be first, and is put to use without much thought to what might happen next, then the traditional Singularity scenario seems pretty likely. But that’s not the only one:

Read more about the scenarios.


Jamais Cascio is a Senior Fellow of the IEET, and a professional futurist. He writes the popular blog Open the Future.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (3947) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: The Future of Money

Previous entry: Singularity Summit Coverage - Day 2

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376