Re: Singularity: A Straw Poll

den Otter (
Tue, 8 Dec 1998 11:00:31 +0100

> From: Andrew Ducker <>

> Having been eaves-dropping on the various Singularity conversations, it
> appears that different people have differing ideas on what the singularity
> is.
> Could we get a poll on what people actually think the singularity is, what's
> going to cause it and why it's a good thing?

To me, the Singularity is the point at which superintelligence (be it fully artificial, enhanced human or a hybrid) is born, and the era of homo sapiens effectively ends. IMO, nanotech and AI research are the most likely to make SI possible. If one field makes major advances, the other is soon to follow. Except for the emerging SI, the Singularity isn't necessarily a "good" thing (there's a considerable chance that most people will be killed), but rather an unavoidable byproduct of progress. Progress is good because, apart from making life more enjoyable, it is necessary to eliminate death. So, we have no choice but to move forwards, and hope for the best. As we'd otherwise die anyway, there's nothing to lose. It goes without saying that the truly rational thing to do would be to try to cause the Singularity oneself (or, more probably, with a like-minded group) by uploading and becoming a SI, as this is the only way that one can get something of a grip on this event.