Re: Big Bang is Bunk

From: Stirling Westrup (
Date: Sun Jul 29 2001 - 10:27:57 MDT

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> The Singularity is defined to occur as soon as any greater-than-human
> intelligence comes into existence - big or small. It has to be genuine,
> hardware transhumanity, not just humans put together in interesting shapes,
> but that's it.

By who's definition? I can agree that the singularity will have occurred
when a sentience is formed that is capable of making substantial
improvements to its own intelligence in such a way as to bootstrap itself
into a Power (and I may be willing to accept even broader definitions).
That definition does not preclude any particular cycle time, nor does it
rule out 'humans put together in interesting shapes'. An off-the-top-of-
the-head list of apparent routes to the singularity are:

1) produce a self-improving seed-ai with sufficient hardware resources, or
the ability to design and fabricate further resources.

2) Join some critical number of humans together into a super-intelligent
hive mind that can redesign humanity via direct genetic modification
(possibly via powerful retrovirii so as to reduce cycle times.)

3) Create a superintelligent cyborgs by melding computers and neural
tissue, and allowing them to design new parts and surgical techniques for

4) Understand human intelligence enough so as to either upload or simulate
large numbers of brains working together on the problem of improving

5) A breakthrough in the understanding of human intelligence such that we
can program nanobots to re-wire brains into more intelligent versions of
themselves, and allow further changes to be dictated by the rewired brains

And of course there are any number of hybrid variations. Frankly, as far
as I can see, any truely self-sustaining positive-feedback loop that acts
upon the knowledge or intelligence of humans is going to lead to a

Of course, some routes may be more preferable that others...

 Stirling Westrup  |  Use of the Internet by this poster       |  is not to be construed as a tacit
                   |  endorsement of Western Technological
                   |  Civilization or its appurtenances.

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