Technological singularity around the corner?

By on June 22, 2013 3:18:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums External Link

Timmaigh

Join Date 05/2009
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Is this actually for real? I mean do they really have working 512-qubit quantum computer and its possible to use it for some serious computing?

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June 22, 2013 3:29:05 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

512-qubit quantum computer and its possible to use it for some serious computing
Well, it does seem like a bit much for just Facebook and email.

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June 22, 2013 4:12:00 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Maybe now's a good time to brush up on assimilation. Resistance is futile

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June 22, 2013 4:38:18 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I for one do not welcome our new robot overlords.

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June 23, 2013 1:59:49 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I am Dyslexic of Borg.  Yo Ass is Malted ...

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June 25, 2013 6:14:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Does anyone actually know anything about quantum computing? I sure don't. You can hit up wikipedia for something like "quantum algorithm" and get some voodoo that every problem of exponential complexity suddenly has an at worst linear complexity. This is because of quantum mumbo jumbo of the qubit being both on and off, superimposed with each other so that N qubits is essentially 2^N bits. That is great if nature cooperates, but I have read that recent attempts have had large amounts of errors on very simple problems. 

http://phys.org/news/2013-06-quantum-algorithm-linear-equations.html

So here we have "proof" of the quantum future by the computer almost getting an 8th grader's homework problem right. I am skeptical they can rein in the quantum universe any time soon.

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June 26, 2013 10:19:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

Is this actually for real? I mean do they really have working 512-qubit quantum computer and its possible to use it for some serious computing?

We're not there yet.  I think around 2030 it'll start to become apparent.

I highly recommend reading Kurzweil's books.  He talks about the law of accelerating returns.  Basically, at some point in the next decade and a half, the technology we'll personally have access to will seem practically magic to what we have today just as what we have today would seem crazy to someone in 1993.

Things are progressing exponentially now. To imagine the difference between 2013 and 2023 you can't look at 10 years ago. You have to go 20 to 30 years ago.  Similarly, the progress from 2008 to today seems insane (cloud computing, iPhone/Android, gains in voice recognition).

If it involves computing (as opposed to mechanical) the tech is going crazy.

Pretty soon we'll have some sort of Aug glasses. Then we'll have some device that feeds into our neocortex. Then we'll have an Aug chair or something. Then we'll have a Metaverse where we do most of our "stuff" rather than running around in our meat bodies. Then we'll start to off-load more and more of our neocortex components into "the cloud" and then we'll just think of the "meat" as an interface for dealing with the physical world.

Humans (as meat) will never go to Mars. In 25 years, it'll seem hilarious that we ever wanted to send humans to the moon or other planets (we'll certainly go to other planets but it'll be through our constructs, not through sending fragile water-carbon based meat bags <g>).

We'll never have robots in the sense that people imagined. We'll never have an R2D2 type thing. We'll never bother with hypersonic travel (again, meat).

Right now, everything I wrote above probably sounds crazy or extreme.  In 10 years, it'll be patently obvious I think.  In 10 to 20 years, the only reason we'll still want to "see" things with "our own eyes" will be cultural lag. If it weren't for cultural lag, the idea of humans needing to experience everything via their biological sensor array (i.e. our own nerves) would be absurd in 10 years.

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June 27, 2013 1:11:03 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Going to have to disagree with you Frogboy. I think technology is heading more and more towards what we see in Star Trek TNG.

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June 27, 2013 1:43:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I haven't read any of Kurzweil's books. I just picked up and read How To Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed for a while at a Barnes and Nobles, and it seemed like the kind of wild claims you make to sell a lot of books, which he does very well. No one is even close to understanding the title content, and it seems like a backward way of looking at what AI technology is. We try to understand our minds through creating algorithms and the effort expands our minds, but never in any way contains them. The jeopardy machine will only ever play jeopardy, but the ideas that come from the effort increase our intelligence to build better ideas, and we are forever flexible in ways that the ideas we solidify (machines and the programs they run) are not.

The biological machine integration, such as plugging jacks in to our brains like the matrix, seem like flying cars to me. There doesn't seem to be much of any progress with that whatsoever right now, and the brain is as mystifying as ever. The leap from tech to biological tech is a big stretch to me, and I think it stems from a misunderstanding of what tech is. Technology seems like devices and things we see, touch and hear, but really the exponential growth has been in human ideas, education, and knowledge sharing. A device to one person is a connection of concepts to its creators, and the people who understand the creation. It is diagrams, chunking and boxing of tasks and concepts, and the steps to make the parts and put the whole together. The devices execute ideas, and the structure of the devices are ideas, and devices pass between us but they are more like a better manifestation of paper than things which will take off with intelligence of their own. I think the best way to think of it is: Technology is ultimately the human mind, of it and for it but also the manifestation of it. The iPhone is our mind jacking the universe in to us, and the other way may never be possible.

I am not a skeptic of radical changes through technology, but I think R2D2 will have a bigger role than microchip brain enhancements. We build Turing machine after Turing machine for each task, put them together to do multiple tasks, and build on the repertoire to better think about problems. Time is what we all want more of, and the less labor we have to do the more time we have, so I think building incrementally the tasks necessary for labor robots will be where the biggest incentive is. 

 

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June 27, 2013 2:21:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Right now we do seem to be on a collision course for the singularity, but there is no factor of history that we have to take into account...the only constant is change.

 

We have been on an exponential technology pace for a good long while now, so of course our predictions assume that will continue to happen. Well in many cases the actual future shows us that those trends don't last forever. It is very possible we hit a hard roadblock in computing and the singularity doesn't come about or is greatly delayed.

 

Or maybe it will, all we know is that humans are pretty lousy at predicting the future beyond a few year timeframe.

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June 27, 2013 5:30:47 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'm not smart enough to comment on this topic, but I will say this: It's 2013, where's my freaking Hovercar????!!!! 

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June 27, 2013 6:06:58 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

It's not street legal.

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June 27, 2013 9:15:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoXXi,

I'm not smart enough to comment on this topic, but I will say this: It's 2013, where's my freaking Hovercar????!!!! 

 

Not to mention, Nuclear Fusion reactor? (been 50 years away for 50 years now...)

 

Personally, I believe the biggest advances in the coming 15 years will be in biotech (stem cell technology and such).

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June 27, 2013 10:29:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think much of kurzweil, his stuff is either trivial or confused (he doesn't even get the questions re brains and computers let alone the answers).

The previous poster has it right. Any 'phase change' in our society will come as our technology approaches biological efficiency. When we get to the point where we can replace the biosphere: what do we keep and how do we make these decisions.

We're going to need better ideas. I know frogboy is a libertarian of some color but that kind of thinking (willful ignorance & self deceit of the hayekian kind) will be obvious nonsense to pretty much everyone.

 

 

 

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June 27, 2013 11:54:23 AM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

 I know frogboy is a libertarian of some color but that kind of thinking (willful ignorance & self deceit of the hayekian kind) will be obvious nonsense to pretty much everyone.

What "willful ignorance" are you referring to?

Kurzweil's made his fortune by predicting what would be technologically possible at the right time and creating it.  Millions of people use his creations every day (the voice recognition at the heart of Siri was invented by him for instance).

@Burress, we're no more going to put "jacks" and "microchips" into our brains than we have steam powered horseless buggies.

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June 27, 2013 12:58:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Maybe highly elegant means for brain-computer interface will be found. I just think our investigations of the human brain and body have increased exponentially, but the results on those efforts aren't nearly on the same track (there is no accelerating returns on biology, maybe logarithmic returns). Biology is a huge hurdle, and assuming that the brain works like our technology, or even that the success of our technology proves that the brain must be like our machines, is something I am going to have to see to believe.

To put our minds in to machines seems crazy to me. I look at my kitchen, or a city street, and everywhere I see the human mind, ideas and impulse, creativity and will shaped all over the face of earth. We see it every day, so it is easy to miss, but practically every detail of our physical surroundings is the will of the human mind, ideas and design that were once just abstractions are now everything concrete. They are part of a living changing world, the human mind pulsing with life, but each artifact is in isolation dead and static until the mind reshapes the physicality of it again for another purpose. I think the idea that the mind is not a Turing machine is something that should be more seriously considered.

Emily Dickinson wrote the brain is wider than the sky, just the weight of God, but I think she was confusing the brain with the mind. The brain is a very sensitive object of the mind, but it is directly the mind that does all these thing, contains the world and you, and the brain too.

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June 27, 2013 1:06:42 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

If we can simulate a human brain, down to the very atom (and we most certainly will be able to do that in coming years), I don't see any reason why we won't be able to simulate a mind soon after.

I suspect we'll be able to replicate a mind long before we can understand the mind.

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June 27, 2013 1:36:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, ok, that was unfair on kurzweil plus I was being hyperbolic (seemed to be the tone). Now that I refresh my memory realize I was responding more to the verner vinge stuff I read and was unimpressed by around the same time (a while back). Kurzweil is a lot less dogmatic than vinge.

To be specific I think kurzweil is being overoptimistic predicting that current technology (integrated circuits) is going to be be sufficient for human level cognition. i.e. his back of envelope calc is misleading. Plus I think he gets lost when he goes metaphysical talking about "information" and "patterns".

I totally agree with you that just as we aren't going to get the traditional scifi "high energy" future with stompy robots and starships neither are we going to get the cyberpunk future with those "jacks" and brain chips. And my point was we're never going to see that scifi libertarian (in the current usage of the word) future either and for the same reasons.

By "willful ignorance" I meant the kind of mental shell game that gets played using the term "information" in very different senses and jumping back and forth between them to hide the gaps in the argument even from yourself.

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June 27, 2013 2:27:09 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
@Burress, we're no more going to put "jacks" and "microchips" into our brains than we have steam powered horseless buggies.

Really?

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/07/tech/brain-memory-implants-humans

Not far off at all. 

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June 27, 2013 3:13:42 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If Frogboy's predictions are correct, I shall enjoy my limited life in meatspace.  On the other hand, I probably won't be using the meat I was born with.

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July 6, 2013 2:00:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Over time, more and more of what we think of as "ourselves" won't be contained in our "meat" or processed via our neocortex. It'll happen so gradually that we won't think anything of it.

there are some great books by Bill Bryson that make it obvious how we take radical change for granted. People a century ago lived radically different lives than today.

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July 6, 2013 9:24:59 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Over time, more and more of what we think of as "ourselves" won't be contained in our "meat" or processed via our neocortex. It'll happen so gradually that we won't think anything of it.

Not logical. Will never happen. 

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July 6, 2013 10:13:47 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

The universe is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense. All of the ponderings in this thread will eventually be swept aside as one idea with its basic core, but with a radically different form emerges to take everyone by surprise.

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July 6, 2013 10:25:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting kona0197,


Quoting Frogboy, reply 20Over time, more and more of what we think of as "ourselves" won't be contained in our "meat" or processed via our neocortex. It'll happen so gradually that we won't think anything of it.

Not logical. Will never happen. 

logic. It doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.

otherwise, only time will tell.

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July 6, 2013 11:30:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think we'll see the singularity before the next century. The purpose of life (on a grand scale) is to grow and progress.  It's only logical that any conscious entity with the ability would progress toward extending its own life to continue to progress.  

At first I thought it would be impossible to leave our bodies.  But the more I think about it, I think humans thought the same about sailing the oceans and reaching the moon.  I think the hard part will be how to transport a unique consciousness from a brain to a machine.  How can we ensure there is no loss in mass?  Even energy has mass and if some of that energy is lost is that lost consciousness or memories?  Would we be "reborn" and not be aware of this transport (just like we don't recall being born from our mothers?).     

It'll start with our perception becoming digitized to the virtual world--- so far we have sight and sound...but the next step are the other 3 senses--smell, taste, touch.  Think of it as digitizing our central nervous system.  Full Perceptual VR.  We'll live in one body (our own) but experience life in another.  Once we do that, the next step will be digitizing the rest of our mental functions and leaving our bodies for good. Heck I think that tech would make a better brain---because we wouldn't need to replicate the parts that deal with regulating our organs and muscles, etc.  Only the higher order consciousness. 

I for one am excited. I hope I'll be alive to see this happen.  It will surely make video games more exciting.  

 

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July 7, 2013 12:02:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, it is true, more or less.. Quantum computing is on the rise finally. Though last I heard they weren't very powerful as of yet, nor practical for the most part. Though they seem to have been making quite the progress! Which is good news. Kurzweil said around 2028-2030 we will witness AI being born. It is exciting! I do hope I get to see it. . . and not in the Terminator-ish kinda way... or the animatrix.

We'll still be going to Mars, Frogboy, if I could I'd shake on it right now with you and call it a bet. We'll always have different sects of our population that want to do different things. You'll still have people who want to go out and climb a mountain, go exploring in the deep oceans - in person - or wanting to go to Mars and beyond, and those that want to live off the grid. While the option to "jack in" to the future will be present, and tempting, not everyone will do it as often as some of us will. That is a beauty of we humans, diversity. Also, Kurzweil is a damned genius. I don't need to say more on that.

Far into the future, if it doesn't turn into Blade Runner dreaming of electric sheep kinda thing, humanity will likely mimic The United Federation of Planets. I know, I know. COMMUNISM! But.. The good kind. In that all basic needs are taken care of so you can go and self-actualize.. or jack into the matrix (holodeck) and call it a day. Me? I'll take the Starship thanks, the holodeck will be there when I'm ready for a little adventure in the Trekkie-verse.. Yeah, I'm gonna program that thing to put me into Star Wars, right after A New Hope, gonna fly my Galileo class shuttle right at an Imperial Star Destroyer and show it what's up. Why only a Galileo class you say? Well, I figured I'd at least give them a chance. The Captain's yacht would be me just being a bully! If things do get out of hand, it's cool.. I'd have Ash and Duke Nukem as crewmen. Whatever happens, we got this. Hail to the Kings baby.

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