Ivor O’Connor

December 1, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:25 am

I’m watching http://www.hulu.com/watch/421574 with Vernor Vinge talking about a Singularity. I keep hearing about this “Singularity Event” everywhere I look. I’m thinking perhaps Battlestar Galactica and Terminator got this movement started. Though Vernor has been talking about this singularity subject since 1982. Applying Moore’s Law only gives computers a magnitude of improvement every seven to eight years. Considering the fastest supercomputer runs at 17.6 petaflops. Four magnitudes faster than Intel’s fastest x86 chip running at a teraflop. And supercomputers are not anywhere close to a singulariy event. Contrary to Vinge’s claim of singulartiy happening between 2013 and 2019 I dont think it will happen until perhaps 2113 to 2119. 100 years is about 12 magnitudes of computer improvement. At that point the future becomes unclear. Maybe at that point computers will be able to do their own R&D, design, and fabrication. Maybe at that point we’ll be able to send them out to the Moon, Mars, and beyond to prepare the solar system for us?

Currently we have chess programs that play chess better than any human. However these are “one-trick” computers. In a hundred years we’ll probably be able to tie together many of these one-trick computers to make excellent “multi-trick” computers. These multi-trick computers will however be just as dumb as the current one-trick computers. They’ll be very very useful just like the modernization of everything else. However they’ll just be carrying out their programming. Whether it be killing people in some third world who stand in the way of corporate profits or finding a solution to some mind-boggling complex problem.

Perhaps the scariest part will be making sure there are back-doors so when we discover the machines/computers are doing something unexpectedly wrong we can stop them and recover.


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