Re: The Singularity

Eugene Leitl (
Thu, 16 Jul 1998 17:45:30 +0400 (MSD)

Dan Clemmensen writes:
> My personal favorite scenario is that the SI results from a hunman/computer
> collaboration. Thus, the SI starts in symbiosis with at least one human.

Yes, mine too. Provided it will not instantly radiate explosively, and go into limbcrushing juggernaut mode.

> I don't know what happens shortly thereafter. The most likely scenario IMO

Aye, that's the rub.

> Is an explosive growth phase based on adding computer capacity (via the net)
> without adding additional humans. Note that this is SI singular, not SI

Yes, perhaps we should should start writing blightlets for the global networks of now and the near future -- this should steel our networks against spontaneously emerged and deliberately constructed perversion attacks, and make people aware of what might be coming. Human tiger teams, so to speak. Of course we should take care not to trigger the Big One by mistake. Little danger for it just now....

> plural, even if multiple humans are involved. At some point, the SI may

I think the emergence of SI is always singular, because it overruns the existing substrate dish so rapidly leaving no chance to its spontaneously emerged competitor. Though we don't now how first autoreplicators emerged in the prebiological ursoup, I think they might have spread as fulminantly after nucleation.

> choose to add more humans, either volunteers or draftees, and grant some

It could grow way more rapidly by autoreplication. There is little variation between human specimens, so just a small sample would seem to suffice, and entire world knowledge will be online by then. (Not that I think a mere cubic meter of quantum dots will be ever prone to a bit of artistic crisis).

> level of autonomous identity, less than, equal to, or greater than we have
> now. However, it's IMO impossible to assign a probability to any action the
> SI may choose to take that isn't precluded by the laws of physics. That's
> why I'm very interested in prognostications up to the advent of the SI, and
> relatively uninterested in the post-SI era.

Yes, it's a glass darkly. But speculation is fun!