The Coming Technological Singularity

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pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

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3D printing, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

—Vernor Vinge, The Coming Technological Singularity, 1993 This quotation sounds like a fleshed-out version of I. J. Good’s biographical aside, doesn’t it? Like Good, two-time Hugo Award-winning science fiction author and mathematics professor Vernor Vinge alludes to humans’ lemminglike predilection to chase glory into the cannon’s mouth, to borrow Shakespeare’s phrase. Vinge told me he’d never read Good’s self-penned biographical paragraphs, or learned about his late-in-life change of heart about the intelligence explosion. Probably only Good, and Leslie Pendleton, knew about it. Vernor Vinge was the first person to formally use the word “singularity” when describing the technological future—he did it in a 1993 address to NASA, entitled “The Coming Technological Singularity.” Mathematician Stanislaw Ulam reported that he and polymath John von Neumann had used “singularity” in a conversation about technological change thirty-five years earlier, in 1958.

Bowden stated: Good, “Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machines.” Such machines … could even: Good, I. J., ed., The Scientist Speculates, an Anthology of Partly Baked Ideas (London: William Heinemann, Ltd. 1962.) Speculations Concerning: Good, I. J., The 1998 “Computer Pioneer Award” of the IEEE Computer Society, Biography and Acceptance Speech (1998), 8. 8: THE POINT OF NO RETURN But if the technological Singularity: Vinge, Vernor, “The Coming Technological Singularity,” 1993, http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/misc/WER2.html. This quotation sounds a lot: Could Good have read Vinge’s essay, inspired by his own earlier essay, and then had a change of heart? I find that unlikely. By his death Good had published some three million words of scholarship. He’s the most prolific attributer I’ve ever read. And even though many of his footnotes cite his own papers, I believe he would have given credit to Vinge for his change of heart, if Vinge’s essay had prompted it.

And even though many of his footnotes cite his own papers, I believe he would have given credit to Vinge for his change of heart, if Vinge’s essay had prompted it. Good would have delighted in that kind of literary recursion. It’s a problem we face every time: Vinge, Vernor, True Names and Other Dangers (Wake Forest: Baen Books, 1987), 47. Through the sixties and seventies: Vinge, “The Coming Technological Singularity.” Good has captured the essence of the runaway: Ibid. Technology thinkers including: Kelly, Kevin, “Q&A: Hacker Historian George Dyson Sits Down With Wired’s Kevin Kelly,” WIRED, February 17, 2012, http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/02/ff_dysonqa/all/ (accessed June 5, 2012). At his home in California: Wisegeek, “How Big is the Internet?” last modified 2012, http://www.wisegeek.com/how-big-is-the-internet.htm (accessed July 5, 2012).


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

Hibbert “Diverse goods arbitration system and method for allocation resources in a distributed computer system” (Sun Microsystems, 1997); and with Norman Hardy, Linda L. Vetter “System and method for generating unique secure values for digitally signing documents” (2000). Vernor Vinge, PhD, is former Professor of Mathematics, University of California San Diego. He authored A Fire Upon the Deep (Tor, 1993, 2011); “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era” (Whole Earth Review, 1993); and True Names … and Other Dangers (Baen Book, 1987). Natasha Vita-More, PhD, is Professor of Design University of Advancing Technology, ­co-founder, Institute for Transhumanism, chairman of Humanity+, and co-editor of The Transhumanist Reader. She authored “Epoch of Plasticity” (Metaverse Creativity 1, 2010); and “Aesthetics of the Radically Enhanced Human” (Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research 8, 2003).

Various (2002) “The Transhumanist Declaration.” http://humanityplus.org/philosophy/transhumanist-declaration/. Various (2003) “The Transhumanist FAQ: v 2.1.” World Transhumanist Association. http://humanityplus.org/philosophy/transhumanist-faq/. Verdoux, Philippe (2009) “Transhumanism, Progress and the Future.” Journal of Evolution and Technology 20/2 (December), pp. 49–69. Vinge, Vernor (1993) “The Coming Technological Singularity.” Whole Earth Review (Winter). Vita-More, Natasha (1983) “Transhuman Manifesto.” http://www.transhumanist.biz/transhumanmanifesto.htm. Vita-More, Natasha (1992) “Transhumanist Arts Statement.” Revised 2002. http://www.transhumanist.biz/transhumanistartsmanifesto.htm. Further Reading Bell, T. W. and Murashige, K.H. (1999) “Who Owns Your Genes?” EXTRO-4: Biotech Futures Conference, Berkeley, CA.

Metzinger, Thomas (2003) Being No One. Rockville, MD: Springer. More, Max (2009) “Singularity and Surge Scenarios.” http://strategicphilosophy.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-fast-will-future-arrive-how-will.html (accessed October 30, 2011). Sandberg, Anders and Bostrom, Nick (2008) Whole Brain Emulation: A Roadmap. Technical Report #2008-3. Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University. Vinge, Vernor (1993) “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era.” Whole Earth Review (Winter). Walter, Henrik (2001) The Neurophilosophy of Free Will. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Wegner, Daniel (2002) The Illusion of Conscious Will. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Yudkowsky, E. (2008) “Artificial Intelligence as a Positive and Negative Factor in Global Risk.” In Nick Bostrom and Milan Cirkovic, eds., Global Catastrophic Risks.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

The Singularity The first application of the term “singularity” to a future technology-driven event is usually credited to computer pioneer John von Neumann, who reportedly said sometime in the 1950s that “ever accelerating progress . . . gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.”5 The theme was fleshed out in 1993 by San Diego State University mathematician Vernor Vinge, who wrote a paper entitled “The Coming Technological Singularity.” Vinge, who is not given to understatement, began his paper by writing that “[w]ithin thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.”6 In astrophysics, a singularity refers to the point within a black hole where the normal laws of physics break down. Within the black hole’s boundary, or event horizon, gravitational force is so intense that light itself is unable to escape its grasp.

James Barrat, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era (New York: Thomas Dunne, 2013), pp. 196–197. 3. Yann LeCun, Google+ Post, October 28, 2013, https://plus.google.com/+YannLeCunPhD/posts/Qwj9EEkUJXY. 4. Gary Marcus, “Hyping Artificial Intelligence, Yet Again,” New Yorker (Elements blog), January 1, 2014, http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/01/the-new-york-times-artificial-intelligence-hype-machine.html. 5. Vernor Vinge, “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era,” NASA VISION-21 Symposium, March 30–31, 1993. 6. Ibid. 7. Robert M. Geraci, “The Cult of Kurzweil: Will Robots Save Our Souls?,” USC Religion Dispatches, http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/culture/4456/the_cult_of_kurzweil%3A_will_robots_save_our_souls/. 8. “Noam Chomsky: The Singularity Is Science Fiction!” (interview), YouTube, October 4, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?

See collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) Center for Economic and Policy Research, 171n Central Intelligence Agency, 46, 85 cervical cancer screening, 152–153 chargemaster prices, 160–161, 164 cheating, MOOCs and, 136–137 Cheney, Dick, 240 chess, 97–98, 122, 123 Chicago, data portal of city of, 87–88 China American consumer spending and, 54 college graduates overqualified for occupations in, 251 consumer demand in, 223–227 globalization and, 53 industrial automation in, 3, 10–11, 225–226 labor’s share of national income in, 41 offshoring and, 120 reshoring and, 9 saving rate in, 224–225 super-intelligence and, 236n China rebalancing, 224–225 Chomsky, Noam, 129, 236 Christensen, Clayton, 142 Chronicle of Higher Education (journal), 139 Chrysler, 76 Circuit City, 16 Cisco, 234 Citigroup, 103, 198 citizen’s dividend, 266–267 Cleveland Clinic, 102 Clifford, Stephanie, 8 climate change, xvii, 211–212, 282–283 Clinton, Bill, 242 cloud computing, 52, 104–107, 109 cloud robotics, 20–23 cobalt poisoning, 145–146 cognitive capability, global competition for jobs and, 120 cognitive computer chip, 72 cognitive computing, 96–104 collaboration software, 64 Collapse: How Societies Choose to Succeed or Fail (Diamond), x collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), 56 college-educated workers, 120–121, 126–128 college graduates, declining income and underemployment for recent, 48–49 College Unbound (Selingo), 140 college wage premium, 48n Colton, Simon, 112 “The Coming Technological Singularity” (Vinge), 233 community colleges, 276–277 comparative advantage, 73–75 compensation. See wages competency-based education (CBE), 138 computers acceleration of power, xii–xiii, 68 (see also Moore’s Law) acquisition of skills by, xv–xvi increase in memory capacity, 63–64 innovation and improvements in, 69–73 predictions of impact of, 31–32, 33–34 S-curve of, 69, 70–71 construction industry, 3D printing and, 180–181 Consumer Price Index (CPI), 38n consumer robots, 197n consumers Chinese, 223–227 demand and, 196–197 permanent income hypothesis, 210–211 workers as, 193–194, 196–198, 221–222 consumer spending, 54 consumer spending/consumption, 200, 202n demand and, 196 guaranteed income and, 269–270 income inequality and, xvi–xvii, 198–202 Cornell University, Creative Machines Lab, 108 corporate profits financial sector, 55 recovery from Great Recession and, 39–40, 202, 203 as share of GDP, 40, 202, 203 correlation vs. cause, big data and, 88–89, 102 costs health care, 160–174 higher education, 140 Coursera, 133, 136 Cowen, Tyler, 65, 123, 126n CPI.


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, millennium bug, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

Oxford: Oxford University Press. 21Tegmark, M. (2014), ‘Humanity in Jeopardy’, in: Huffington Post, 13 January 2014. 22Tegmark, N., Hawking, S., Russell, S., and Wilczek, F. (2014), ‘Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence – but are we taking AI seriously enough?’, in: Independent, 1 May 2014. 23Vinge, V. (1993), ‘The coming technological singularity: how to survive in the post-human era’, presented at: the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, 30–31 March, 1993. 24Vinge, V. (1993), ‘The coming technological singularity: how to survive in the post-human era’, presented at: the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, 30–31 March, 1993. 25Kurzweil, R. (1999), The Age of Spiritual Machines, New York: Viking Penguin. 26Dowe, D. L., and Herandez-Oralli, J. (2011), ‘IQ tests are not for machines, yet’, in: Intelligence, March–April 2012, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 77–81. 27Although Earth, as a cybernetic system, acts in an ‘intelligent’ way through constant adaptation and self-regulation, a concept explored by James Lovelock in his Gaia hypothesis. 28Vinge, V. (1993), ‘The coming technological singularity: how to survive in the post-human era’, presented at: the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, 30–31 March, 1993. 29At the time this book was written in 2014 the fastest computer in the world was the Chinese Tianhe-2, located at Sun Yatsen University, Guangzhou, China.

L., and Herandez-Oralli, J. (2011), ‘IQ tests are not for machines, yet’, in: Intelligence, March–April 2012, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 77–81. 27Although Earth, as a cybernetic system, acts in an ‘intelligent’ way through constant adaptation and self-regulation, a concept explored by James Lovelock in his Gaia hypothesis. 28Vinge, V. (1993), ‘The coming technological singularity: how to survive in the post-human era’, presented at: the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, 30–31 March, 1993. 29At the time this book was written in 2014 the fastest computer in the world was the Chinese Tianhe-2, located at Sun Yatsen University, Guangzhou, China. It could perform 33.86 petaflops, or 33.86 quadrillion floating point operations per second. 30Moravec, H. (1988), Mind Children.


pages: 797 words: 227,399

Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

Singer, December 7, 2006. 103 “the laws of science and our ability” As quoted in Garreau, Radical Evolution, 72. 103 “Google all the time” Peter Moon, “AI Will Surpass Human Intelligence After 2020,” TTworld.com, May 3, 2007 (cited May 30, 2007); available at http://www.itworld.com/Tech/3494/070503ai2020/. 103 “the Internet-based cognitive tools” Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End (New York: Tor Books, 2006), 5. 103 “The Coming Technological Singularity” Vernor Vinge, “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era” (paper presented at the VISION-21 Symposium, March 30-31, 1993). 103 “within thirty years” Ibid. 103 “point where our old models” Ibid. 104 “We are on the edge of change” Vinge, as quoted in Garreau, Radical Evolution, 71-72. 104 “It’s a future period” Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near, 7. 104 “It’s not merely a technology” Robert Epstein, interview, Peter W. Singer, Washington, DC, October 25, 2006. 104 “fits many of our happiest dreams” Vinge, “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era.” 104 “physical extinction of the human race” Ibid. 104 “the very nature of what it means to be human” “About the Book,” Singularity.com (cited May 29, 2007); available at http://singularity.com/aboutthebook.html. 105 “the non-biological intelligence” Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near, 136. 105 “The Rapture for Nerds” Charles Stross, “Singularity: A Tough Guide to the Rapture of the Nerds,” 2005 (cited January 28, 2008); available at http://www.antipope.org/charlie/toughguide.html. 105 “By 2030 we are likely to” Bill Joy, “Forfeiting the Future,” Resurgence, no. 208 (2001), http://www.resurgence.org/resurgence /issues /joy208.htm. 105 “By the way, Joy’s thesis is spot-on” Special forces officer, interview, Peter W.

He describes a world in which people “Google all the time, everywhere, using wearable computers, and omnipresent sensors.” Vinge doesn’t dedicate the book to his wife or parents or cat. Instead, perhaps sucking up to our future owners, he dedicates it to “the Internet-based cognitive tools that are changing our lives—Wikipedia, Google, eBay, and the others of their kind, now and in the future.” In 1993, Vinge authored a seminal essay. The title he chose, “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era,” pretty much says it all. Vinge described the ongoing explosion in computing power and projected that “within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly thereafter, the human era will be ended.” Once superhuman intelligence gets involved, argued Vinge, the pace of technological development would accelerate even further than the doubling we have gone through for the last generations.


pages: 267 words: 82,580

The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

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3D printing, 4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Chrome, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, life extension, litecoin, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, moral hazard, Occupy movement, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, slashdot, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, The Coming Technological Singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

p.223 ‘“By thoughtfully, carefully and yet” . . .’ More, M., ‘The Philosophy of Transhumanism’, in More, M. and Vita-More, N., The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology and Philosophy of the Human Future, p.4. p.223 ‘(Nick Bostrom, a well-known . . .’ http://www.nickbostrom.com/papers/history.pdf. p.224 ‘In 1993, Vernor Vinge popularised . . .’ ‘The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era’, available here: https://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/misc/singularity.html; Good, I. J., ‘Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine’, Advances in Computers, vol.6. p.224 ‘By 1998, the burgeoning group . . .’ http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/a-history-of-transhumanist-thought.pdf; More, M. and Vita-More, N., The Transhumanist Reader, pp.54–5.


pages: 551 words: 174,280

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Bonfire of the Vanities, conceptual framework, cosmological principle, dark matter, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, first-past-the-post, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, illegal immigration, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, William of Occam

That being so, if our species will nevertheless have a finite lifetime, then knowing the total number of humans who will ever live provides no upper bound on that lifetime, because it cannot tell us how long the potentially immortal humans of the future will live before the prophesied catastrophe strikes. In 1993 the mathematician Vernor Vinge wrote an influential essay entitled ‘The Coming Technological Singularity’, in which he estimated that, within about thirty years, predicting the future of technology would become impossible – an event that is now known simply as ‘the Singularity’. Vinge associated the approaching Singularity with the achievement of AI, and subsequent discussions have centred on that. I certainly hope that AI is achieved by then, but I see no sign yet of the theoretical progress that I have argued must come first.

., Science and Ultimate Reality (Cambridge University Press, 2003) David Deutsch, ‘Quantum Theory of Probability and Decisions’, Proceedings of the Royal Society A455 (1999) David Deutsch, ‘The Structure of the Multiverse’, Proceedings of the Royal Society A458 (2002) Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law (BBC Publications, 1965) Richard Feynman, The Meaning of It All (Allen Lane, 1998) Ernest Gellner, Words and Things (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) William Godwin, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (Basic Books, 1979) Douglas Hofstadter, I am a Strange Loop (Basic Books, 2007) Bryan Magee, Popper (Fontana, 1973) Pericles, ‘Funeral Oration’ Plato, Euthyphro Karl Popper, In Search of a Better World (Routledge, 1995) Karl Popper, The World of Parmenides (Routledge, 1998) Roy Porter, Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World (Allen Lane, 2000) Martin Rees, Just Six Numbers (Basic Books, 2001) Alan Turing, ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’, Mind, 59, 236 (October 1950) Jenny Uglow, The Lunar Men (Faber, 2002) Vernor Vinge, ‘The Coming Technological Singularity’, Whole Earth Review, winter 1993 *The term was coined by the philosopher Norwood Russell Hanson. *This terminology differs slightly from that of Dawkins. Anything that is copied, for whatever reason, he calls a replicator. What I call a replicator he calls an ‘active replicator’. *These are not the ‘parallel universes’ of the quantum multiverse, which I shall describe in Chapter 11.


pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller

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23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

PRAISE FOR SINGULARITY RISING “There are things in this book that could mess with your head.” —Vernor Vinge, computer scientist; Hugo Award-winning author, A Fire Upon the Deep; essayist, “The Coming Technological Singularity” “The arrow of progress may kick upwards into a booming curve or it may terminate in an existential zero. What it will not do is carry on as before. With great insight and fore thought, Miller’s Singularity Rising prepares us for the forking paths ahead by teasing out the consequences of an artificial intelligence explosion and by staking red flags on the important technological problems of the next three decades.” —Peter Thiel, self-made technology billionaire; co-founder, Singularity Summit “Many books are fun and interesting, but Singularity Rising is fun and interesting while focusing on some of the most important pieces of humanity’s most important problem.”


pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo

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Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, market bubble, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

The introduction features a poem, pecked out in IBM typewriter lettering, titled “Into the Era of Cyberspace,” written with all the pocket-protector fluidity one might expect of a NASA engineer: “Our robots precede us / with infinite diversity / exploring the universe / delighting in complexity.” (Turing’s rhyming computer, you have to suspect, could have done better.) One of the first speakers at the conference was a San Diego State University professor named Vernor Vinge, whose remarks that day marked the start of an important era in our consideration of smart machines. His talk was called “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-human Era.” “Within thirty years,” Vinge began, “we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.” Vinge’s aim was not—or at least not merely—to tell a room full of NASA geeks who had been dreaming of life on another planet that life on our own planet might soon be replaced by whirring, calculating machines.


pages: 574 words: 164,509

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

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agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey

On Global Economic History: A Personal View on an Agenda for Future Research. International Institute for Social History, July 23. Vardi, Moshe Y. 2012. “Artificial Intelligence: Past and Future.” Communications of the ACM 55 (1): 5. Vassar, Michael, and Freitas, Robert A., Jr. 2006. “Lifeboat Foundation Nanoshield.” Lifeboat Foundation. Retrieved May 12, 2012. Available at http://lifeboat.com/ex/nanoshield. Vinge, Vernor. 1993. “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era.” In Vision-21: Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering in the Era of Cyberspace, 11–22. NASA Conference Publication 10129. NASA Lewis Research Center. Visscher, P. M., Hill, W. G., and Wray, N. R. 2008. “Heritability in the Genomics Era: Concepts and Misconceptions.” Nature Reviews Genetics 9 (4): 255–66. Vollenweider, Franz, Gamma, Alex, Liechti, Matthias, and Huber, Theo. 1998.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

(New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014), Kindle location 222–230. 34.Tim O’Reilly, Google+, January 9, 2014, https://plus.google.com/+TimOReilly/posts/F85gaWoBp3Z. 35.Matthieu Pélissié du Rausas, James Manyika, Eric Hazan, Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui, and Rémi Said, “Internet Matters: The Net’s Sweeping Impact on Growth, Jobs, and Prosperity,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2011, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/internet_matters. 36.“The Last Kodak Moment?” Economist, January 12, 2012, http://www.economist.com/node/21542796. 37.Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (New York: Penguin Books, 2006). 38.“The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era,” VISION-21 Symposium, NASA Lewis Research Center, NASA technical reports, NASA CP-10129, March 30–31, 1993, https://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/misc/singu larity.html. 39.Robert Geraci, Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality, reprint edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). 40.Moshe Y.


pages: 442 words: 39,064

Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems by Didier Sornette

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Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, continuous double auction, currency peg, Deng Xiaoping, discrete time, diversified portfolio, Elliott wave, Erdős number, experimental economics, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, frictionless, frictionless market, full employment, global village, implied volatility, index fund, invisible hand, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, law of one price, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, market fundamentalism, mental accounting, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, stochastic process, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, VA Linux, Y2K, yield curve

On growth, ageing and fractal differentitation of science, Scientometrics 47, 347–362. 437. Varian, H. R. (1989). Difference of opinion in financial markets, in Financial Risk: Theory, Evidence and Implications, Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Economic Policy Conference of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Courtenay C. Stone, editor (Kluwer, Boston). 438. Vinge, V. (1993). The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era, available at http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Global/Singularity/ sing.html, presented at the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 30–31, 1993. 439. Visser, W. (1997). Can the casino economy be tamed? Money Values, http://sane.org.za/moneyvalues/27-Oct-1997.html. 440. Vitousek, P. M., Mooney, H.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

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additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Joel Smoller and Blake Temple, "Shock-Wave Cosmology Inside a Black Hole," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100.20 (September 30, 2003): 11216–18. 19. Vernor Vinge, "First Word," Omni (January 1983): 10. 20. Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Intelligent Machines (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989). 21. Hans Moravec, Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988). 22. Vernor Vinge, "The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era," VISION-21 Symposium, sponsored by the NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 1993. The text is available at http://www.KurzweiW.net/vingesing. 23. Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (New York: Viking, 1999). 24. Hans Moravec, Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). 25.