Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


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

The one percent discovers transhumanism: Davos 2016

The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn

“McMindfulness”: is Buddhism contaminated by capitalism?” - interview with Terry Hyland

Stefan Sorgner co-organizing 8th Beyond Humanism Conference in Madrid

The Value of Deep Work and How to Prioritise It

Should you be able to patent a human gene?


ieet books

Keywords for Environmental Studies
Author
eds. Joni Adamson, William A. Gleason, David N. Pellow


comments

RJP8915 on 'Ray Kurzweil’s Basic Ideas' (Feb 6, 2016)

spud100 on 'Is Cheap Oil a Bad Thing?' (Feb 6, 2016)

John G Mess on 'Ray Kurzweil’s Basic Ideas' (Feb 6, 2016)

RJP8915 on 'Ray Kurzweil’s Basic Ideas' (Feb 6, 2016)

Barbara546 on 'My Gay Marriage in USA Prediction was Incredibly Wrong, by 20 Years - Hooray!' (Feb 6, 2016)

g3reth on '"McMindfulness": is Buddhism contaminated by capitalism?" - interview with Terry Hyland' (Feb 6, 2016)

almostvoid on 'The Value of Deep Work and How to Prioritise It' (Feb 6, 2016)







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


“Technology Could Bring Heaven on Earth, or Create Hell” - interview with futurist Gerd Leonhard
Jan 9, 2016
(9097) Hits
(1) Comments

Becoming the First Transhuman: A Call For The Right Stuff
Jan 17, 2016
(7142) Hits
(2) Comments

First Successful Gene-Editing in Live Mammals Brings Us Closer to Human Treatments
Jan 22, 2016
(4803) Hits
(0) Comments

The Singularity: Fact or Fiction or Somewhere In-between?
Jan 13, 2016
(4376) Hits
(17) Comments



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

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (4418) 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 (4419) 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.

East Coast Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-428-1837

West Coast Contact: Managing Director, Hank Pellissier
425 Moraga Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
Email: hank @ ieet.org