The singularity - Will it happen? And when?

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posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 03:19 AM
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Hi folks!

It´s been a while since I opened a topic on ATS, and I thought today is as good as any other to change that.

What has been on my mind lately is the rapid technological development that we all have witnessed over the last years and decades, and the path that this eventually leads us to.

I am wondering specifically about the speed of progression. I think we can all agree that the world (or rather humanity) has changed more between for example 1980 and 2000 than it has between 1780 and 1800.

What we have perceived in the last decades is not a steady progression of development, but rather huge leaps that have themselves accelerated things again.

Meaning that our technological progression is accelerating as we speak and will only get faster and faster!

Take the PC for example, that basically was nonexistent in the public mind before the 60ies/70ies, and has been in public hands since the mid 80ies. A few decades later we have progressed from very simple programs, to mind blowing simulations and entertainment applications.

That in turn helped us to progress in other fields more rapidly. Computers have helped in countless areas of research, like physics, biology, chemistry or astronomy to name only a few.

Research projects that may have taken weeks or month in the past, can now be completes in hours or even minutes.

Global communication has done a lot to speed up the process as well. People can work together everyday without ever meeting each other.

Are we even able to predict what the world will look like in 10 years from now? The smart phone for example was nonexistent in 2003. Now look around when you´re in the city, or on the bus or anywhere. People can´t live without them anymore.

We have become faster and faster in adapting to new technologies. The TV took a much, MUCH longer time until it was in the majority of households. Yet today, novelties like the smart phone merely take a couple of years until the are in the hands of the majority of the population.

Now, what is all this leading to? And that is my basic question.

People theorized that this rapid progression will result in a so called Singularity, meaning an event or invention that will connect humans and technology on a more elemental level.

People speak of technical development in evolutionary terms.

Some even say that we might get immortal once we fuse with computers and are able to decode and "upload" our consciousness on servers for example.

I think all this is a very fascinating process that deserves our attention. I am only 32 years old, but the world has changes so dramatically within this relatively short period that I do not even know how to guess what it´ll be like in another 32 years.

So my questions to you, fellow ATS´ers, are these.

1: Do you experience an accelerated development like I do, or do you think it is a more or less steady development.

2: What do you think it will lead to? Will we ever get the brain-computer interface? Will we ever be able to bypass our nervous system and plug ourselves into virtual worlds?


Thanks for your answers. I am not really looking for groundbreaking ideas here, just for likeminded souls who ponder the same questions I do. Maybe we´ll get a healthy discussion out of this.




posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 03:32 AM
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Nightaudit
So my questions to you, fellow ATS´ers, are these.

1: Do you experience an accelerated development like I do, or do you think it is a more or less steady development.

2: What do you think it will lead to? Will we ever get the brain-computer interface? Will we ever be able to bypass our nervous system and plug ourselves into virtual worlds?


1. Steady progression with some surges and plateaus. There have been some pretty neat inventions and innovations for the last 2000+ years that led to other ideas and innovations (and I imagine some slow periods as well). Maybe not linear - perhaps some kind of logarithmic curve... Oh, I suppose that would be accelerated development wouldn't it? I change my answer then.


2. It seems inevitable, but I could not guess when.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 03:40 AM
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Nightaudit
Will we ever get the brain-computer interface? Will we ever be able to bypass our nervous system and plug ourselves into virtual worlds?

This is a virtual world. And tonight when you think sleeping should be happening - you will see another virtual world when dreaming.

The world is not as real as that which dreams it.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 03:44 AM
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reply to post by Nightaudit
 

Can the dream appear separate from the dreamer?
Or are they one? The singularity?



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 04:00 AM
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Itisnowagain
reply to post by Nightaudit
 

Can the dream appear separate from the dreamer?
Or are they one? The singularity?


Although I tend to ignore this half philosophical half nonsensical phrases, let me take a stab at it.

Your first post mentioned that this world is actually not real but already virtual. By which you managed to completely miss the point of this thread. Instead you chose to vaguely hint at the possibility that we all already live in the matrix. What a fresh idea!

But seriously now. The dream as we know it, is a product of our individual consciousness and sub consciousness and therefore cannot exist without the individual.

Or in other words, a fart cannot exist without a butt.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 04:01 AM
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reply to post by Elton
 


Thanks for your reply! It is nice to see that you see the singularity as inevitable. I kinda do as well when I think about it. Not a single soul on this planet could stop research and progress, that will not happen.

Let´s see where it leads us!



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 04:06 AM
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Nightaudit

1: Do you experience an accelerated development like I do, or do you think it is a more or less steady development.

2: What do you think it will lead to? Will we ever get the brain-computer interface? Will we ever be able to bypass our nervous system and plug ourselves into virtual worlds?


Thanks for your answers. I am not really looking for groundbreaking ideas here, just for likeminded souls who ponder the same questions I do. Maybe we´ll get a healthy discussion out of this.


It really depends on the field you're in, I think.
At one time we thought we could measure technical level of advancement by the proliferation of computers one could see in a room.
Now, it's more akin to measuring technical level of advancement by the amount of processing power and bandwidth in use NOT SEEN in the room.

Phones, for instance; each of these, even the cheap/free/"disposable" phones carry more processing power than the entire NASA Moon program from start to finish, or even from the inception of NASA up to the Space Shuttle all combined.
The amount of processing power in just a phone is just astounding compared to anything even pre-2000.
And we use it to launch birds at naughty monkeys and pigs.


Sure, "smarter" computing is on the way, especially so in assisting a growing a demographic enabled by technological conveniences that are bogglingly incapable of finding things out on their own or doing anything for themselves.
We see it here on ATS where people start threads asking a Google question when they could just use Google?

Yes, there will be smarter computers for more stupid(er) people.

At the same time too, we'll have innovations in prosthetics, and eventually we'll even have innovations in cognitive prosthetics to assist with patients who may suffer from brain function loss due injury or disease.
Eventually this medical prosthetic could become an augmentation if found to assist people in remembering/processing more, faster. In any business market, if there's means by which to get workers performance up, and it can turn a profit in doing so, then, certainly there will be more office buildings seeing more workers plugging into augment systems to perform their jobs more efficiently.

On the pure machine front, once we get practical AI capable of even marginally outperforming a human being on a consistent and reliable basis, humans will by necessity have to self augment just to keep tabs on our own AI "children".
We can give AIs all sorts of responsibilities from managing our market portfolios to even dealing with eliminating huge swaths of Government and business Bureaucracy as well as attending to many of the mindless jobs occupied by so many people.

The problem with that, however, is oversight and accountability. If the AIs are 'smarter', even just marginally so, they'll need some kind of supervision, and for that to effectively occur, people would need augment to keep up.

The whole question is the sort that can't be adequately tackled, talked about, argued and debated by any one branch of science either. The implications of AI itself can affect the whole planet on near every level, especially if there's AI proliferation which could lead to self guided runaway evolution without benefitting the progenitor human species.

It's fun to think about, but, humorously enough, we probably lack the facility in clock speeds and bandwidth to adequately discuss this at any level of merit it requires.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by AliceBleachWhite
 


Hey there Alice, thanks for your post. And I agree that it is pretty much a matter of perspective. I also agree that there will be completely new challenges to overcome when it comes to AI for example.

The point is that we tend to think within our actual frame of reference. We think about how the known hardware will develop over the next decade or so.

What we simply cannot foresee are the jumps to new technologies. What will augmented reality bring for the world (google glass)? What will virtual reality bring for the world (oculus rift)? How will nanotech change the potential of computing?

There are certain gamechangers that dramatically change the speed of development (the printing press, the telegraph, the telephon, the first network, the computer, the internet) that are hard to predict but once they are there change everything!

So, let´s see what the next gamechangers will be and where they lead us!



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 04:49 AM
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Nightaudit
Or in other words, a fart cannot exist without a butt.

God is smelling his own fart.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 04:51 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Everybody does from time to time. Don´t judge him



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 05:01 AM
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reply to post by Nightaudit
 


The singularity is God - he is alone smelling his own fart.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 05:30 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Yeah, it stopped being funny already.

If you actually are serious about god being the singularity then I´m afraid you have missed the point.

Plus, it´s another of those vague "look at what I know" phrases, that do not mean a thing.

It is more about technical evolution so to speak than a theological issue anyway.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 05:51 AM
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Nightaudit
Some even say that we might get immortal once we fuse with computers and are able to decode and "upload" our consciousness on servers for example.

I think all this is a very fascinating process that deserves our attention. I am only 32 years old, but the world has changes so dramatically within this relatively short period that I do not even know how to guess what it´ll be like in another 32 years.


Things are always changing. That which is appearing is in constant motion and change. Look down and see that 32 year old body and see that it is very different than it was 30 years ago.
All is changing in presence.

Presence is eternal (immortal) - it just looks/appears different continually.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 06:51 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Whatever. I can´t talk to you on that level (the lala land level).

Sure everything is changing (kind of, there are enough exemptions of the rule), but what does that add to the discussion?

And I hear myself again trying to rationally answer your .. well points.

It´s hard to not sound like a dick here, but I am kind of tired of discussing these things with people who argue like you do. There is no substance, just babbling. (mostly) Nonsensical babbling. Sorry, but that is what it is.
edit on 25-12-2013 by Nightaudit because: spelling



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 07:02 AM
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Nightaudit
Sure everything is changing (kind of, there are enough exemptions of the rule)

Can you even hold onto a thought? Or a sensation? Can you make anything stay?
What is it that never changes?

All is passing.
edit on 25-12-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 07:07 AM
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The more things change the more they stay the same.

This will always be this, however this will always appear different.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 07:27 AM
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Itisnowagain
The more things change the more they stay the same.


You just quoted Bon Jovi



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 07:50 AM
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reply to post by Nightaudit
 


Bon Jovi were not the first to say the phrase.



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 10:14 AM
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Basically, either machines will be humanized, or humans will be mechanized.



posted on Dec, 26 2013 @ 11:08 AM
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I understand it as some point in time where technology and science are advancing so fast that it kinda folds in on itself and the changes start bounding to where the change in reality becomes palpable - technological singularity - right? Personally I "believe" there is a human and Earth component to it as well - related to sociological and climate strangeness. When Terence McKenna was alive he spoke on both of those aspects of the singularity, I thought, when he addressed "a transcendental point at the end of time" when detailing his opinions on the Eschaton.

I'm not sure if we'll be able to perceive it suddenly like that - some moment when everything is happening at once and computers become sentient and start becoming citizens of the Earth BAM and we're all "Here it is here it is!" I'm not sure our brains can process information that quickly. I think we may feel effects of it though - time seemingly going faster, humans going faster, acting weirder, culture changes (and/or problems), social changes (and/or problems), weather, GPUs and CPUs so fast but a year later they seem slow, etc. lol.

I think humans are such an intrinsic part of what I think the singularity is that, again, I'm not positive we will be able to stay "above" such a thing as to be entirely aware of it to label it as soon as it happens like in the future we'll crack open a history book and turn to a specific page and say "That's when it happened".
edit on 26-12-2013 by Floydshayvious because: boop





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