Singularity Summit: Oct 25, San Jose CA

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27 Responses to “Singularity Summit: Oct 25, San Jose CA”

  1. querent says:

    are the singularity people ever bothered by thermodynamics? does that ever come up? i’m just asking…

  2. themiddleroad says:

    If I didn’t have to work on Saturday, I’d be out there in front of the conference protesting their idiocy. Anybody up for carrying a sign that says, “The singularity is BS, ask me why!”? I’ll help you work on sound bites, contact the media, and hopefully you’ll get on the news.

  3. buddy66 says:

    Let me get this right . . . There’s going to be machines that will do what the human brain does, only mucho much faster? Shit, I’ve never heard Kurzweil or any other supergeek describe just what it is the human brain does that makes it so unique. I’ll give you a clue:

    Read Helen Keller’s account of coming into human consciousness, how she remembers it, what it IS.

  4. boingboing ate my name says:

    #7 Well your sort of assuming that everytyhing can be sucessfully simulated, which is hard to argue. Ill have to think a bit about your reductionist argument, it makes alot of sense but seems flawed in some way i cant quite articulate. It seems we agree on the important point, that what is occuring today vis-a-vie computers isnt “intelligence” or even a good aproximation, so the section I quoted is just misleading, IMO.

    #10 “#3 repeats an urban legend usually employed to disparage materialist world views ”

    Im not following you here, the comments that follow seem to agree with me, but this statement sugests does the oppisite. Can you clairify?

  5. Jay Levitt says:

    Interestingly, in an attempt to get ahead of negative publicity, the Singularity itself has scheduled its own summit at the Aspen Institute in late June, 2009.

  6. Takuan says:

    viruses innovate by happenstance. So long as there is meat to convert to more viruses,nothing changes but by accident.

  7. cholling says:

    Sounds good, but my favorite take on the singularity is here.

  8. themiddleroad says:

    The concept of a singularity is complete and utter bullshit. There is an underlying assumption that a computer of sufficient complexity can rewrite it’s own code or create a computer smarter than itself. In my experience, the more complex a system, the more problem prone and unbalanced it becomes. Compare making a decision by yourself to making it via a committee of 5 or 500. A group of 5 may do a better job than 1 person, but will often break down and screw up. 500 will have difficulty coming to any decision at all. The basic assumption that a sufficiently complex system is able to create more complex systems that can do the same is bupkis.

    There’s also the problem of defining intelligence. Run a brain at warp factor six and it still won’t be able to figure out a problem a regular brain cannot. It will simply solve problems it can already grasp, more quickly. That’s why nobody says Deep Blue is smarter than Kasparov.

  9. remember you love you says:

    Once I heard the comment that Singularity is g33k rapture!

    Love the concept… E v e r y o n e – will be there.

    ::))

  10. Takuan says:

    we can already build machines that replicate themselves. We can already write code to direct a machine to undertake all possible action to preserve itself. Who said they had to “think”? Or be “self-aware”? Sure, the first ones wil be shitty, the second not much better but give it a few dozen generations and we WILL have a gadget that makes more gadgets – and takes no notice of what we want or think.

  11. Takuan says:

    self-important? pathologically self-conscious? Yeah, my money is on the machines in the long run.

  12. Takuan says:

    another temporal anomaly

  13. minTphresh says:

    forty-two!

  14. Takuan says:

    but no fish?

  15. boingboing ate my name says:

    #14 Show me a computer, or any machine, that can create the same way Cory creates, then we’ll talk. Who cares that we can make machines that can copy themselves, most machines are made by other machines, they just cant design those machines, they lack creativity. Weather they can “think” or not is in fact the relevant point, if people are going to claim that computers are intelligent then thinking is a defining trait, yes?

    #13 nails it here, nothing about faster computers means smarter computers or more intelligent computers or whatever, its just the same as before, but quicker. “It will simply solve problems it can already grasp, more quickly.” Bingo

  16. boingboing ate my name says:

    “It’s in that future where many people think that machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence.”

    Ugh, computers arent intelligent, they are just machines. Anthropomorphism FTL.

  17. artbot says:

    Ugh. Are they gonna talk about creationism, too?

  18. Jesse M. says:

    #3: Unless you believe in some supernatural soul-stuff, humans are machines too, “machines made of meat”. And probably the most likely route to designing computer-based intelligence is not trying to make one from scratch, but instead just figuring out how to simulate individual neurons and then slavishly copying all the neurons and neural connections from a real human brain into a giant computer simulation, the idea known as mind uploading.

  19. Derek C. F. Pegritz says:

    Hmmm. Why does the logo use the exact same font that John McCain and the Republican Party are using for their present campaign? I don’t even want to *think* about the concept of Republican Machine Intelligences.

  20. MaximusNYC says:

    Keynotes will include Ray Kurzweil, updating his predictions in The Singularity is Near

    Yeah, end-times preachers often have to “update their predictions” when the Rapture doesn’t happen on schedule…

  21. Anonymous says:

    Super excited to hear about this, but it’s way too limited in the scope of attendance. How ever is the common man to be exposed? YouTube clips just aren’t going to cut it. I just got a friend’s old HDD-designer dad interested, and he’s gorging himself on the graphs in The Singularity is Near. Can’t Ray give a talk for the rest of us? Comon Ray, you’re the greatest mind alive, get out there and start filling stadiums . . . nobody delivers it as brilliantly as you do! My favorite: “By 2045, $1,000 buys you a computer a billion times more intelligent than every human being living today combined.”

  22. boingboing ate my name says:

    #4 While technically correct, your playing the same sort of word games as the “computers are intelligent” crowd. If you use a broad enough definition of machine (or intelligence) then yes, humans are machines (or computers are intelligent). However, from a practical standpoint, humans are unlike any machine that has ever been created and are capable of things that are tough to even explain, let alone copy. The broad definition of “machines” and “humans” tip toes past this huge practical gap.

    Let me put it a different way; using a broad definition of “creative” we can say that a computer compiler is creative. After all, it takes source code and creates a usable binary. Because something is created, the compiler is creative in a sense. However, trying to compare a compiler to, say, Cory Doctorow is silly, even though they both have the creative attribute. Drilling down on the definition just a bit we see that Cory adds the new element, creative in the sense that he has a good imagination, whereas the compiler creates using a mechanical process, creative in that a new thing is created. From a macro sense, Cory and a compiler are the same, but in any usable or practical way they are uncomparable. The same is true of “people are machines” or “computers are intelligent”, true in a macro sense, but false in a practical or useful way. My opinion, anyway.

  23. Jesse M. says:

    #4 While technically correct, your playing the same sort of word games as the “computers are intelligent” crowd. If you use a broad enough definition of machine (or intelligence) then yes, humans are machines (or computers are intelligent). However, from a practical standpoint, humans are unlike any machine that has ever been created and are capable of things that are tough to even explain, let alone copy. The broad definition of “machines” and “humans” tip toes past this huge practical gap.

    But I wasn’t claiming that humans bear any resemblance to modern machines (including computers), or that modern computers have “intelligence” according to any useful definition of the word. My main point was that if you reject supernatural explanations and accept scientific reductionism, then any physical system should be possible to *simulate* arbitrarily accurately on a sufficiently powerful computer, and the human brain is no exception (no one would say that protein molecules or large-scale atmospheric dynamics resemble ‘machines’ but we can simulate each of these pretty well on modern supercomputers, using the reductionist method of breaking them down into simpler parts and simulating the interactions between all these parts). So it’s mostly just a question of whether Moore’s law holds for long enough for computers to become “sufficiently powerful”, IMO.

  24. Takuan says:

    there’s a bunch of Berserkers hanging around the Oort Cloud monitoring all this and snickering.

  25. Faustus says:

    More like the Cyberdyne Summit.

  26. Burz says:

    #3 repeats an urban legend usually employed to disparage materialist world views (but lately used to justify transhumanist disfigurement and Sigularity worship): i.e. materialists say people are nothing more than ‘robots’.

    Machines aren’t adapted to their environment, don’t have reproductive or self-defense drives, and generally fall apart unless they are looked after for their service lives.

    Lastly, a machine is a tool and no more. People can be used as tools, but they are much more even in the most oppressive environment.

    ‘Organism’ and ‘machine’ may overlap to a certain extent, but they’re very distinct in meaning.

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