THE TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY

Right I think it’s time to talk about the singularity. 

Just make sure you’ve got a firm hold on your hats because shit is getting REAL. 

The rate of technological advancement is increasing, exponentially. For those of you as mathematically inept as I am, just look at the pretty picture. See how the long goes *jooooooooop* …that’s the point in question.

singularity

The problem with all of us plebs is that we are thinking linear, we see the future of things moving at the same pace as they have done… a nice comfortable gait. It’s not going to stay that way. Kurzweil calls it the law of accelerating returns, which is a nicer way of saying watch your fucking back pal because it’s alllll coming for you. All of it. On its way. In a hurry. 

So the current thinking in AI is to develop a computer that can learn, and motivate it’s own advancement. And once that can be done, theoretically, the machine would be able to set itself on a course to increase its own intelligence. Following that, our comparatively gnat-like brains lose all control over their progression. We are sidelined while these super-intelligent beings, now entirely autonomous, just do their super-intelligent thing. 

Here’s where it gets crazy. All these people, these genius people that are talking about it, what they’re saying is after this goes down they just don’t fucking know. Could be that the machines decide that humans, being what we are (life sucking leaches with a tendency for the depraved) are a threat to their environment. And maybe they just go about exterminating us. Could be that our new overlords are wonderfully benevolent and they do the Johnny Depp-in-that-AI-movie-thing, fix the environment, sort the hunger and the disease and the rest of it and everyone’s lives are infinitely improved. There may even be a middle ground between those two highly melodramatic scenarios. 

The kicker, really, is that they’re all just shrugging their shoulders going iiiunoooo. While we hurtle towards this tipping point where things become entirely out of our control and everyone’s just like iiunnnnooooo….. Have your eyes bugged out of your head yet? Push em back in then… and hear this. Kurzweil predicts that this will happen around 2040. TWENTY FUCKING FORTY. And he rarely gets it wrong. But some are saying earlier. I’ll hold the vomit bucket while you lose your lunch. 

Welcome to the future. 

Sleep well never. 

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Autonomous Cars … At least it starts with those

Ok so the assignment is over. And I promise I’ll stop soon. But this whole thing has become oddly addictive. And everyone knows they call it cold turkey because a carcass becomes cold after death. Everyone knows that. 

So while I’m supposed to be writing essays for other assignments I’ve been thinking about autonomous cars. The people that know things say that they’ll drastically reduce the incidence of traffic accidents. That is, once they stop doing this…

And they will stop. Because Elon “saviour of mankind” Musk is on the case. And once these clever chaps get it right, car accidents will become a thing of the past. Good thing, yes. But when you extrapolate out from that you realise that what will eventuate is a ban on non-autonomous vehicles. That sits slightly less well. 

All this to say I realise it’s irrational. I know that of all people I should definitely not be in control of a vehicle. It would be better for everyone if I wasn’t performing solo rock concerts while manning a car. It’d be better for everyone if I wasn’t performing solo rock concerts full stop, but that’s just out of the question. That elation that comes from flying down a highway, it’s probably just a social construct. It’s probably just because we’ve watched too many road movies. And by the time the ban is in place it’ll be a younger generation dealing with the consequences. And maybe for them that feeling wouldn’t be the same. 

But here’s another thing I’ve been thinking. And let me preface this by saying I’m not sure whether I actually think it or if its just a thing I’m thinking about, if that makes sense. My question is this, are we moving towards a moment in time where everything is too safe? Isn’t there something significant about getting in a car and just at the back of your mind being aware that you could theoretically die before you reach your destination? Maybe that little voice in the back of your head that says that.. maybe it wakes you up. Stops you from becoming apathetic. In my mind there’s a sort of vertical line. And that line represents high chance of death. And maybe the closer you get to the line the more you’re aware of your life. I may disagree with myself completely in an hour because, like I said, i don’t know if I really think any of what I’m thinking. And I was voicing a case for immortality just last week so… very little consistency here. 

It’s in a similar vein to what Carlin says about being offended, about political correctness. We’re all so careful and so concerned about saying the right thing that a lot of our interactions have become vacant, meaningless. I mean, has the incidence of bullying in the playground increased or are kids just so coddled these days that they can’t deal with it anymore? That might be harsh. I think I’m just in a mood. I’m not sure how we got here. 

I really hope the prof is done going through this site because this has just gone way off the rails.