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zakk

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Singularitet
« on: 04-09-2009, 13:16:04 »
Hvala Milošu Rančiću na linku:
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/robotics/robotics-software/singular-simplicity/0

The story of the Singularity is sweeping, dramatic, simple--and wrong

 BY Alfred Nordmann // June 2008

This is part of IEEE Spectrum's SPECIAL REPORT: THE SINGULARITY

Take the idea of exponential technological growth, work it through to its logical conclusion, and there you have the singularity. Its bold incredibility pushes aside incredulity, as it challenges us to confront all the things we thought could never come true—the creation of superintelligent, conscious organisms, nanorobots that can swim in our bloodstreams and fix what ails us, and direct communication from mind to mind. And the pièce de résistance: a posthuman existence of disembodied uploaded minds, living on indefinitely without fear, sickness, or want in a virtual paradise ingeniously designed to delight, thrill, and stimulate.

This vision argues that machines will become conscious and then perfect themselves, as described elsewhere in this issue. Yet for all its show of tough-minded audacity, the argument is shot through with sloppy reasoning, wishful thinking, and irresponsibility. Infatuated with statistics and seduced by the power of extrapolation, ­singularitarians abduct the moral imagination into a speculative no-man’s-land. To be sure, they are hardly the first to spread fanciful technological prophecies, but among enthusiasts and doomsayers alike their ­proposition enjoys an inexplicable popularity. Perhaps the real question is how they have gotten away with it.

The trouble begins with the singularitarians’ assumption that technological advances have accelerated. I’d argue that I have seen less technological progress than my parents did, let alone my grandparents. Born in 1956, I can testify primarily to the development of the information age, fueled by the doubling of computing power every 18 to 24 months, as described by Moore’s Law. The birth-control pill and other reproductive technologies have had an equally profound impact, on the culture if not the economy, but they are not developing at an accelerating speed. Beyond that, I saw men walk on the moon, with little to come of it, and I am surrounded by bio- and nanotechnologies that so far haven’t affected my life at all. Medical research has developed treatments that make a difference in our lives, particularly at the end of them. But despite daily announcements of one breakthrough or another, morbidity and mortality from cancer and stroke continue practically unabated, even in developed countries.

Now consider the life of someone who was born in the 1880s and died in the 1960s—my grandmother, for instance. She witnessed the introduction of electric light and telephones, of auto­mobiles and airplanes, the atomic bomb and nuclear power, vacuum electronics and semi­conductor electronics, plastics and the computer, most vaccines and all anti­biotics. All of those things mattered greatly in human terms, as can be seen in a single statistic: child mortality in industrialized countries dropped by 80 percent in those years.

So on what do intelligent people base the idea that technological progress is moving faster than ever before? It’s simple: a chart of productivity from the dawn of humanity to the present day. It shows a line that inclines very gradually until around 1750, when it suddenly shoots almost straight up.

But that’s hardly surprising. Since around 1750 the world has witnessed the spread of an economic system, by the name of capitalism, that is predicated on economic growth. And how the economy has grown since then! But surely the creation of new markets and the increasingly fine division of labor cannot be equated with technological progress, as every consumer knows.



Technological optimists maintain that the impact of innovation on our lives is increasing, but the evidence goes the other way. The author’s grand mother [see photo] lived from the 1880s through the 1960s and witnessed the adoption of electricity, phonographs, telephones, radio, television, airplanes, antibiotics, vacuum tubes, transistors, and the automobile. In 1924 she became one of the first in her neighborhood to own a car. The author contends that the inventions unveiled in his own lifetime have made a far smaller difference.
 

Even if we were to accept, for the sake of argument, that technological innovation has truly accelerated, the line ­leading to the singularity would still be nothing but the simple-minded ­extrapolation of an existing pattern. Moore’s Law has been remarkably successful at describing and predicting the development of semiconductors, in part because it has molded that development, ever since the semiconductor manufacturing industry adopted it as its road map and began spending vast sums on R&D to meet its requirements. Yet researchers and developers in the semiconductor industry have never denied that Moore’s Law will finally come up against physical limits—indeed, many fear that the day of reckoning is nigh—whereas singularitarians happily extrapolate the law indefinitely into the future. And just as the semiconductor industry wonders nervously whether nanotechnology really can give Moore’s Law another lease on life, singularitarians accept that this will occur as a given and then appropriate the exponential growth curve of Moore’s Law not only to all the nano- and biotechnologies but to the cognitive sciences as well.

A typical example is the ­therapeutic development of brain-machine interfaces. In 2002, people were able to transmit 2 bits per minute to a computer. Four years later that figure had risen to 40 bits—that is, five letters—per minute. If this rate of progress continues, the argument goes, then by 2020 brain communication with computers will be as fast as speech. This isn’t just the breathless cant of a true believer. The idea that an enhanced communication of thoughts will exceed speech can also be found in the 2002 report ”Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance,” issued by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Department of Commerce. It says that such methods ”could complement verbal communication, sometimes replacing spoken language when speed is a priority or enhancing speech when needed to exploit maximum mental capabilities.” Presumably, the singularity will be reached soon afterward, when transmission rates exceed the speed of thought itself, allowing the computer to transmit our thoughts before we think them.

This fantastic vision works only by ignoring the critical limit, which is the great concentration you have to muster to send the bits. It is a procedure far more tedious than speech. To ease that requirement—to make a brain-machine interface into a true mind-machine ­interface—we’d have to know a lot more than we do about the relation between specific thoughts and corresponding physical processes in the brain.

The seductive power of ­extrapolation has also been applied in ways less spectacu­lar but no less foolish. The ”lab on a chip” and other technologies for biochemical analysis have significantly increased the number of measurements—blood lipids, for instance—that can be obtained from a single drop of blood. It’s a fine achievement, no doubt, but visionaries stretch the imagination when they assume that a second Moore’s Law is about to produce astounding success stories and a transformation of all medical diagnostics.

Yet that assumption, which extrapolates an extrapolation—Moore’s Law—to another field, is precisely what lies behind the now commonly expressed fear that increasing diagnostic powers are creating ethical problems in medicine. Physicians, we are told, will routinely inform patients of impending diseases for which they can offer no cure.

Yet in fact the path is very long from quicker blood analysis to instantaneous detection of the near certainty of a dread disease in a patient’s future. A lab on a chip may provide mountains of data, but without great advances in many other fields—notably systems ­biology, ­pathology, and physiology—no one will be able to do much with it. Doctors already have more physiological information than they can profitably use.

Both examples of mindless extrapolation constitute wishful thinking. And in both cases, public debate is diverted from the real moral issues and quandaries that technology raises.

Rather than dream about how technology will soon effect an almost magical transformation of human life, societies need to debate the many real problems connected with technological changes that are already under way. These problems belong to the here and now.

Why, then, are so many people captivated by the simple story of exponential growth that culminates in a life-altering singularity? Part of the appeal lies in simplicity itself, part in technological optimism—yet both of these tendencies are very old. What’s new, though, is the changing role of technical expertise.

Plainly put, it is getting harder than ever to know whom to believe. Policy makers and members of the public have always had to put a degree of trust in experts. But now, when considering highly complex ­phenomena—in cellular processes, in chips containing billions of transistors, or in programs numbering hundreds of thousands of lines of code—even the experts must take a great deal on trust. That is because they have no choice but to study such ­phenomena using a cross-disciplinary approach.

These experts greet extraordinary claims made from within their own disciplines with skepticism and even indignation. But they can find it very hard to maintain such methodological vigilance in the hothouse atmosphere of a high-stakes collaboration in which ­researchers want desperately to believe that their own contributions can have wonderfully synergistic effects when combined with those of experts in other fields. And so, modest researchers recruit one another into immodest funding schemes.

The electronics engineer and the physiologist, the cognitive scientist and the physicist, the economist and the manufacturing specialist—all must take one another’s statements on trust. They must trust in the contributions from other disciplines, trust in the power of visions to motivate the cooperation, trust in techniques and instruments that remain somewhat opaque to their users, trust in the ­trajectories of technical development.

Where trust has become a virtue even for scientists, there is little incentive to challenge outrageous claims or to hold singularitarians accountable. They describe the progressive realization of technical possibility, after all, and their story has a pleasant ring to it. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with the singular simplicity of the singularitarian myth—unless you have something against sloppy reasoning, wishful thinking, and an invitation to irresponsibility.

For more articles, videos, and special features, go to The Singularity Special Report.
About the Author

ALFRED NORDMANN, author of ”Singular Simplicity”, is a professor of philosophy and the history of science at Darmstadt Technical University, in Germany. His interests include the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, the physicist and philosopher of science Heinrich Hertz, and the birth of new scientific disciplines, such as nanotechnology.
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

zakk

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #1 on: 04-09-2009, 13:20:04 »
Da citiram sopstveni FB komentar:

"Više je ovo nekakav trezveniji pogled na problematiku, a opet sa flejmerskim stavom. Sve što je rekao o singularitetu je "neće to baš *tako* moći", ali ne vidim da se nešto protivi ideji."

Ako sam dobro shvatio koncept.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

дејан

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #2 on: 26-07-2011, 14:47:30 »
а ево, у духу теме, за лење постоји документарни филм о Ray Kurzweil-у
~Transcendent Man~
забавно, поучно и сингуларно
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FLA

Gaff

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #3 on: 26-07-2011, 15:40:11 »

Je, za one koji do sada nisu bili upoznati s njegovim radom. Meni su, iskreno, već dosadile njegove, do u beskraj ponavljane teme, slogani, primeri i ideje vezane za singularitet.
Sa druge strane, ima dosta biografskih detalja koji daju bar neku vrednost ovom dokumentarcu.
Preporuka, svakako.
Sum, ergo cogito, ergo dubito.

дејан

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #4 on: 26-07-2011, 15:41:11 »
...пише горе за лење
...barcode never lies
FLA

Gaff

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Sum, ergo cogito, ergo dubito.

Meho Krljic

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #6 on: 13-10-2012, 09:40:38 »
Rej Krcvejl je poznat po tome što se pali na singularitet i čak religiozno guta vitamine da bi ga doživeo. Elem, on misli da će klaud storidž poboljšati i kapacitete ljudskoga mozga:
 
The Cloud Will Expand Human Brain Capacity: Kurzweil
 
Quote

 Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that the cloud will help expand the capacity of the human brain beyond its current limitations. 
Futurist and author Ray Kurzweil predicts the cloud will eventually do more than store our emails or feed us streaming movies on demand: it’s going to help expand our brain capacity beyond its current limits.
In a question-and-answer session following a speech to the DEMO technology conference in Santa Clara, California last week, Kurzweil described the human brain as impressive but limited in its capacity to hold information. “By the time we’re even 20, we’ve filled it up,” he said, adding that the only way to add information after that point is to “repurpose our neocortex to learn something new.” (Computerworld has posted up the full video of the talk.)
The solution to overcoming the brain’s limitations, he added, involves “basically expanding our brains into the cloud.”
Kurzweil is one of the more prominent advocates of the technological Singularity, or the idea that computers will become super-intelligent and self-replicating, essentially reducing human progress to a sideshow. He is an optimist in this scenario, arguing in talks and books that the Singularity will effectively make humanity immortal by allowing us to transfer our consciousness into non-organic systems. (An interesting Wired piece from 2008 describes Kurzweil’s health regimen, including the literally hundreds of vitamin pills and supplements he takes every day, in an effort to live long enough to see the Singularity in action.)
Even if we don’t yet possess the ability to upload and download memories to a data-center like so many song and video files, Kurzweil still views technology as instrumental in boosting the brain’s capacity. Search engines and online repositories such as Wikipedia allow for knowledge expansion, he added, “even if it’s not physically inside my body and brain.”
The next stage is the creation of synthetic systems that can mimic the brain’s pattern-recognition abilities, which will carry that expansion to a whole new level: “When we’ve expanded it again, which I think we will do, we can’t even describe what that next qualitative leap will be.”
Whatever form it takes, he emphasized, that stage will take place “in the cloud because that’s where all the interesting things happen.”
In his talk, Kurzweil also touched on natural language technology, a key focus of his research for years. “Big Data is not just numerical tables or alphanumeric tables,” he said. “What I think we will have over the next few years is the ability to get meaningful information from natural language documents.” While some IT vendors claim their software can draw insights from those documents, Kurzweil suggested that those systems rely more on tricks than actual, near-human understanding of what’s on the page.

Karl Rosman

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #7 on: 13-10-2012, 11:24:16 »
Simpatican apgrejd memorije. Sad nam trebaju samo brzi mozgovi... : xrotaeye
"On really romantic evenings of self, I go salsa dancing with my confusion."
"Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won over it"

Lord Kufer

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #8 on: 13-10-2012, 11:34:56 »
Filip Dik je gutao vitamine kako bi doživeo obraćanje bića iz prošlosti ili kosmosa (anđela).

zakk

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Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

zakk

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Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

hidden

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #11 on: 26-06-2013, 08:06:46 »
Čini mi se da nije postovano,

How Ray Kurzweil Will Help Google Make the Ultimate AI Brain

Google has always been an artificial intelligence company, so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that Ray Kurzweil, one of the leading scientists in the field, joined the search giant late last year. Nonetheless, the hiring raised some eyebrows, since Kurzweil is perhaps the most prominent proselytizer of “hard AI,” which argues that it is possible to create consciousness in an artificial being. Add to this Google’s revelation that it is using techniques of deep learning to produce an artificial brain, and a subsequent hiring of the godfather of computer neural nets Geoffrey Hinton, and it would seem that Google is becoming the most daring developer of AI, a fact that some may consider thrilling and others deeply unsettling. Or both.

ostatak

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/04/kurzweil-google-ai/

Lord Kufer

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #12 on: 07-01-2014, 07:34:22 »
То они праве Борга.

Dzorig FSB

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Re: Singularitet
« Reply #13 on: 06-02-2014, 12:27:11 »
Nekako mi pominjanje singulariteta u kontekstu LJUDSKE (i samo ljudske) tehnologije deluje kao...
No, prethodno, možda neki ne znaju šta je inače singularitet - ja ga "staromodno" vezujem za fiziku, crne rupe, veliki prasak... tek možda u prenosnom značenju svaka nauka ima oblasti gde ne važe zakoni, singularitete, ali svaka nauka.
Dakle(m), spram toga, ovaj "posthumanizam" i njegove tlapnje deluju mi koliko je "kvantni skok" bio primerena metafora (ili alegorija?) za neki skup domaćih "magova" ekonomije & finansija, ili koliko rijaliti Veliki Brat ima veze s Orvelom (a JK Diva reče da itekako ima).
Dakle, mrsomuđenje, zloupotreba zanimljivog pojma, što na kraju može odvesti do zgađivanja nad "staromodnim" singularitetom - dakle starom dobrom fizikom, ako je neko mlogo kontaminiran ovim "singularitetom"...
A glede posthumanizma, Niče lepo reče "Sva bića stvorila su nešto više od sebe, zašto da čovek bude oseka te velike plime"
Samo što mi ovo deluje nekako subhumano.