Re: Interesting Pieces of the Future

Brian Atkins (
Wed, 23 Jun 1999 05:33:25 -0400

Speaking as an old fogey (age 25, gasp), I think it might be nice to get out in space before the good ole "future #2" hits. Or at least an uploaded copy of myself. Then you could at least try to observe it and try to chat with whatever comes out of it from afar.

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> * Once small AIs become prevalent in commercial applications - just
> integrating the software in the background, not doing anything
> user-visible - many efforts are launched to create various improved AIs.
> Cognitive architectures become the battleground to replace operating
> systems, storage formats and Internet protocols, all of which will be
> integrated by nonsentient programs. A massive open-source effort is
> launched to create a true, human-equivalent AI running on the Internet-2
> equivalent of The computer industry suddenly has a
> Cause that makes "information should be free" look like a hobby. Dweebs
> start screaming about the Apocalypse. Harbingers: Eric S. Raymond
> ("The Cathedral and the Bazaar"), Dan Clemmenson ("Paths to the
> Singularity"), Eliezer Yudkowsky ("Coding a Transhuman AI").
> * The dweebs are right. The core developers of said open-source project
> turn out to have been going around wearing T-Shirts that say: "If
> computing power doubles every eighteen months, what happens when
> computers are doing the research?" The AI, very suddenly at around 4 AM
> Eastern Standard Time, figures out, not only how to optimize itself, but
> to write new code and new cognitive architectures better than the
> open-source developers. The new AI is even *better* at writing new AIs.
> Less than a day later, the AI has cracked the nanotechnology problem
> and is redecorating the planet on the molecular level.
> * Vernor Vinge's Singularity occurs. My crystal ball's warranty
> expires. End of future two.
> --
> Speaking as a 19-year-old and Early Adopter and thus as close as you're
> going to find to a member of The Next Generation, I don't give a damn
> about teleportation, space travel, personal flying machines, or laser
> pistols. Those are for old fogeys. They went out with slide rules.
> They're dated, yesterday's news, prehistorical.

Join the ExI/>H SETI team today:
"It IS possible." - Vincent, _Gattaca_