The Singularity

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by TC, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. TC

    TC
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    If you have heard of the singularity, what are your thoughts about it? If not, you can go to:

    http://www.kurzweilai.net/index.html?flash=1

    and read about it. I have some thoughts of my own, but I would like to see others thoughts and opinions.
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

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    A *very* strange site, to be sure...

    Looks like a mix of Science Fiction, Humanism, Evolution, and several anti-Christ themes...

    I didn't see an article titled "Singularity" so maybe I missed something...
     
  3. TC

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    It is not an article, but a subject heading (the green bars with the square). If you click on those, you will get a brief statment followed by articles about the subject.

    The basic gist is that 2030 will be when "computer intelligence" and processing power will exceed that of the human brain.

    True, but there are many serious computer scientists working to make that kind of stuff happen.
     
  4. TC

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    A google search brings up 1.5 million webpages on the singularity and narrows it to 274,000 if you use quotes (i.e., "The Singularity").
     
  5. Johnv

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    I think someone's been listening to Art Bell or watching the SciFi Channel too much.
     
  6. SpiritualMadMan

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    Yeah... Too Much Sci-Fi...

    I wonder if Jesus will 'tarry' until 2030?

    Lastly, there is more to 'man' than Raw Computing Power.

    WE are made in the image of God: Spirit; Soul; and Body... Tri-partite...

    Will we ever see a self aware android like 'Data'? I doubt it... More likely an "I, Robot" scenario?

    As a Sci-Fi nut I love the idea of our moving forward... But, without divine calling and direction man inevitably reverts to his basest nature...
     
  7. TC

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    Sorry, I don't watch or read sci-fi. This stuff is being taught in university computer science programs.
     
  8. Johnv

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    I'm a programmer by trade, with several years of computer science classes under my belt. This is the first time I've ever heard of this.
     
  9. TC

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    I'm a fourth year computer science major at UMD in Duluth, MN and it is taught here - especially in any course that deals with future trends in computer science.
     
  10. natters

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    I have heard of it, and although it makes for fascinating discussion and great possibilities for movie plots, I don't think it will happen. I think it's like the limitations of and energy system: you cannot get more energy out of a system than is put into it - output cannot exceed input. You can easily get less out of it than you put in, and with improvements and optimizations you can approach equal input and output, but you can never quite reach singularity, let alone exceed it. It's simply against the natural laws of the universe.
     
  11. Johnv

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    Future technology trends are discussed, yes, but the whole "singularity" thing is hardly close to discussions on future technology trends. It's about as close as saying "the Ark of the Covenant is is a warehouse in Washington DC" is a discussion on OT history.
     
  12. El_Guero

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    TC

    So, what is your question?

    Do you mean what do I think about singularities?

    Or do you mean what do I think about the hypothosis that borrows the name from a theoretical Singularity?

    And why is it important?
     
  13. superdave

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    This is from the website linked in the first post. There is a section of articles under the heading "The Singularity" Primarily concerned with technological evolution.

    I work for a tech company that is involved in enabling technologies that will make some of these so called advances possible. It really is not so much about the technology itself, it really is about the adoption of the technology, and the willingness of people to adopt them. That is the significant change I think I see in the current generation of working adults. These guys on this site like to talk about the Matrix and how feasible it is, but I wouldn't put much stock in that. The Matrix is merely another possible explanation for the emptiness that unregenerate man feels because of his lack of a relationship with a God that he knows exists.

    However, if you look at movies that were fictional in nature, but intended to be based on possible outcomes, you get a better picture of the technology of the near future, and it indeed looks like exponential growth, but in reality is possible with minor improvements to today's technology (hardware) and different applications of the technology. I have several of these moments a week, I refer to them as Minority Report moments. Like when I went to the webpage for AT&T Wireless, and it customized the main page based on the fact that my DNS information indicated the company I work for, and they have special pricing and programs for employees of my company.

    The missing link in the Exponential advance of technology is Software development. The hardware currently made by my company and others cannot be effectively utilized by many applications because they are filled with linear processes and bottlenecks. The next generation of hardware companies like Sun, IBM, Fujitsu, etc are developing are not Dual Core (a technology that Intel has yet to master) but contain multiple CPU cores on a single silicon chip. This allows for light-speed interconnects, very fast cache and memory access, and massive parallelism for network based architechtures, something that is not feasible given the overhead of current CPU technology. There is no easily forseen way for application development to keep up with the hardware that is coming out, and the possible applications are mind-blowing. A new server using Sun's upcoming Niagra 32 core processors will basically have the power of a E15K (72 processor) Monster server that is the size of a fridge, but will fit in a 6 inch chassis that you can put on your desk.

    The next generation of self-generating applications is the only future I see that would allow for exponetial growth of technology.

    And I agree in one sense, the ability to forsee what will result from the near term advances in technology is impossible, but I can say that Moore's Law will be broken in the near future, and that will be the start of exponential technological advancement, at least in CPU technology.
     

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