If you're not familiar with this topic, I suggest reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

In a nutshell, the singularity is the exponential rise in the sophistication of technology and understanding (if not mastery) of the natural world - physics, chemistry, biology, etc. It is believed that the singularity will be brought on by the increasing power of computation coupled with an array of artificial intelligence capable of simulating and modeling the physical world with extreme resolution.

Some things I'm looking forward to:

1. Self-replicating nano assemblers
2. Fully immersive virtual reality
3. Unlimited energy
4. Terraforming
5. Widespread space travel
6. AI
7. Ending disease
8. Immortality (useful for space exploration)

An example of a recent leap in imaging technology:

Electron microscopy enters the picometer scale
http://www.physorg.com/news136127214.html

Any thoughts on the singularity?

Open for discussion...

Tags: exponential, singularity

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This theory makes the assumption that intelligence is something that can recursively be improved. What evidence is there of this?

This theory seems to me to be a bit of Luddite fear sneaking into the mix. A call to limit ourselves or be on the lookout for our future masters. Too many assumptions within the theory to be true in my reading of it.
AI doesn't necessarily have to be a sentient entity. Evolutionary computation has designed some pretty spiffy technology.

Evolutionary computation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_computation

Evolvable hardware
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolvable_hardware

I'm not sure what 'Luddite fear' you're referring to. Certainly none coming from me.
i am no expert ,but i would like to venture a guess.
Since evolution is responsible for the emergence of intelligence in primates like us ,and since evolution is at the core a repetitive, step by step process that in theory can be simulated by computer technology .The assumption is that in the future we will understand what makes AI truly intelligent and use evolutionary algorithms to increase its effectiveness.Yes you are right it does seem sketchy,and if roger Penrose is proved true,that Intelligence is non-computational then we have nothing to fear.
I for one hope singularity is not in our immediate future, for it does give a sense of a power that seems to dangerous in our infantile hands.
We should eventually be able to use nanotech to construct spaceships, terraform planets, and build cities. There is nothing within the laws of physics that says self assembling nanomachines cannot be constructed. That what we're made of after all.

Spread we will - for better or worse. Maybe atheists will have their own planet one day!
Richardworld.
Maybe war might break out ,as different factions of atheists demand that the planet be named according to their rules (south park style) ,i for one will ally with the otters..they are indeed more logical.
I have one problem with both I. J. Good's and Ray Kurzweil's version of the singularity. Progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been painfully slow - the most intelligent AI has the equivalent IQ of a bee. Not real smart. While we may get there eventually, I believe the road will be longer and harder than anyone imagines and I would love to see it (or have my descendants see it). I also have a problem with immortality. If the latest astronomical observations are correct, the Universe is going to expand forever. Applying the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics then means the Universe will continue until maximum entropy. No usable form of energy will exist and all life will cease (note - in our Universe!).
I'm sure that well before the universe reaches that stage we'll have figured out how to prevent it from ending our lives. If stars can no longer naturally form we could make our own. And the energy required could be taken from the abundant 'dead' material scattered throughout the universe. Or dark matter. Who knows.
Agreed. Look at the rapid progress over the last 100 years. If we can survive to Type I or Type II civilization the possibilities are endless.
Then where is the energy going to come from to power the civilization forever? No energy - no civilization or life. I have read that life can be defined as an uphill struggle against entropy - and I just don't see how any life can exist with no energy inputs. Just my 2 cents :-)
Energy sources: entire stars, galaxies, black holes, higher dimensions maybe. Perhaps a new type of physics will be discovered allowing us to harness energy from other universes. Who knows. But you're right, the current theory says that entropy will cause the universe to 'run down' and grow cold. Hopefully, in the billions of years that it takes for that to happen we will have better technology and science than we do now.
I am good with that ;-)

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