Vernor Vinge says Singularity by 2030 Still Believable

October 25 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Other   Year: Beyond   Rating: 2

In the first talk of the day, Hugo Award-winning Science Fiction Author Vernor Vinge opens up by stating that achieving the Singularity by 2030 is still going to happen.

His conviction is very impressive. He states that the Singularity is still on track because Moore’s Law is still working. If technology continues to exponentially increase, 2030 is his best date.

What’s very interesting is that he made the statement that humans don’t create tools, we outsource our intellect into our environment. He goes on to explain that biometric modifications in a person will get to the point where our own intellect will barely be visible, only a “hand on a tiller” in the vast sea of humanity.

A running start to a long day.

Comment Thread (3 Responses)

  1. I don’t really understand that completely..

    humans don’t create tools, we outsource our intellect into our environment. He goes on to explain that biometric modifications in a person will get to the point where our own intellect will barely be visible, only a “hand on a tiller” in the vast sea of humanity. A running start to a long day.

    In other words, tools were always there in our minds, ergo, they existed. Then that means from the inception of “tools” computers were an eventuality?? I suppose… The Singularity seems to have been almost “destined” since intelligence first arised in us.. Fascinating. I can believe it.

    Posted by: Covus   October 25, 2008
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  2. @ Covus – Exactly. More of the big Singularity thinkers are coming at it form the perspective of a potentially “rigged” universe in which technological emergence is inevitable and natural.

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   October 25, 2008
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  3. @ Alvis and Covus

    I don’t think that “destiny” or “rigged” quite captures the concept. Think of entropy and potential instead (we need Garry Goldin in on this, I think).

    Entropy posits that all energy in the universe is in the process of attaining a static state as a result of continued change (energy can’t be destroyed, only changed). The concept of electrical potential posits that energy exists as potential until some application permits it to achieve some other state (expressed as Work or Power or Watts or the like).

    The Singularity posits that all human creation exists as a sort of potential that is inherant to the human condition. Evolution is the concept developed to describe the process whereby human potential seeks entropic unity. The singularity further posits that there is a point in that as-yet unrealised entropic progression beyond which our present state of potential realisation cannot predict.

    When Vinge says “humans don’t create tools, we outsource our intellect into our environment”, he’s refering to the potential to imagine, and then create as a physical object, a concept that existed in potential as a result of human evolutionary development (or creation, if you prefer, it’s immaterial to the point being made). The “tool” was always there, simply awaiting the entropic cycle to transition it from one energy state to another.

    I’m going to leap right off the limb of speculation and into philosophic space and suggest that the “big bang” is a cyclic energy change that results from entropy being universally achieved with that state being inherantly unstable in some unknown fashion. If that be true than God is both inherant to the process and entirely superfilous as well. The Cosmic Dice aren’t loaded pace Einstein, they’re just triggered for the next throw by an infinate muzak loop of energetic potential.

    Posted by: Will   October 26, 2008
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