Vernor Vinge – What if the Singularity Does NOT happen?

Posted on Friday, February 16th, 02007 by Stewart Brand
link Categories: Futures, Seminars, Technology   chat 0 Comments

Vernor Vinge

Non-Singularity scenarios

Vinge began by declaring that he still believes that a Singularity event in the next few decades is the most likely outcome— meaning that self-accelerating technologies will speed up to the point of so profound a transformation that the other side of it is unknowable. And this transformation will be driven by Artifical Intelligences (AIs) that, once they become self-educating and self-empowering, soar beyond human capacity with shocking suddeness….

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary

  • Richard Rockefeller (via Stewart Brand

    This is appetite whetting, Stewart – thanks. One minor point: planes won’t run into each other as a result of large automation projects failing catastrophically, because TCAS (terminal collision avoidance systems) are becoming ubiquitous as well as simpler and more reliable. If we could clear the bureaucracy, we shouldn’t need any sort of large computers to maintain separation – we’ll do it much as we avoid running into other pedestrians in the street – see and avoid, that is, only better. Even the TCAS on my little plane allows me to see all traffic within a 12 mile radius. The fancier systems not only see, but plot the trajectories of all planes within a 25 mile radius and suggest routes around any potentially conflicting traffic. There’s actually little need for centralized air traffic control anymore, and certainly won’t within 10 years or so.

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  • CO4E

    We are running out of TAP, Technologically Augmented Perception.
    E=MC2 makes no claim about matter.
    We must try and grasp mathematical equations as events rather then relationships.
    As Events, irrational numbers are useless.

  • Dean Loomis

    Almost a year later, Long Now Seminar speaker Nassim Taleb pointed out that the future has always been profoundly unknowable, i.e. that social and economic systems are in a continuous state of near singularity. It’s only the fallacious familiarity of hindsight that leads to the belief that future singularities will be oxymoronically more unique than past singularities. Science fiction writer William Gibson has observed that the arrival of the future does not change much of the state of the lived environment, a fact that Zen Buddhist masters have been teaching for centuries.

  • murthy

    The term social singularity refers to an event that could not be defined/forecast with available knowledgwe with society. society is full of anticipiated daily routines for human beings today. it is not same with early men. they lived with enormous no of survival singularities. today united states has to live with a economic melt down. this is a economic singularity. imposition of communism on afghan society in 1980 is a cultural singularity. in social space there are continious events, empty spaces and singularities. if this basic assumption is accepted, basic research in social sciences could be done with available mathematical and scientific models

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  • True words, really some true words bro. You made my day.

  • The singularity is all but guaranteed.
    Humans have three primary attributes.
    Their organic molecular contents.
    Their metabolic processes (think metabolisms rather than systems).
    Their behavior, both plastic (the neuromuscular metabolism) and abstract(the mind – an abstract metabolism).
    The rise of complexity Organic growth and change over the course of genetic life on this planet has done most of the work for us.
    All we need do now is separate the organics from the abstraction. Then implement that abstraction within an inorganic metabolism.

    Not a job for science I’m afraid. Rather it is a job for “complexitors”, those not yet existent practitioners of implemented inorganic complexity .

    These implementations will give off novel patterns of persistence (life) that will act as beacons for another kind of persistence altogether not arriving from a location in 3D SpaceTime but rather from a construct so completely alien that only our experience with The Fourth Experience (AI) will enable us to cope. The visitors will come into our universe both through the Fourth Experiences and the constructs the visitors will have the fourth experiences engineer. So what happens is rather than a singularity as such, we will have instead a singularity that produces singularities.
    “other-Dimensions” travel will become so common that we will give up all thoughts of 3D SpaceTime travel opting instead meet the more traditional extraterrestrials in a third “commons” meeting zone arbitrated by, well, profundities.

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  • zebramilker

    weather true or false. very interesting line of reason.

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