Re: Paths to the Singularity

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sat Feb 12 2000 - 00:21:45 MST

Zero Powers wrote:
> >From: "Alexander McLin" <>
> >-So far, hundreds of topics are discussed in this mailing list, among the
> >most important is obviously the concept of Singularity. I know there are
> >several possible paths to the singularity, such as stemming from the
> >creation of AI systems which then suppresses their creators. Or the
> >singularity will be initiated by the human merging with the technology and
> >evolve into greater than human intellects.
> >
> >-What other possible paths are there? Which one do you think is the most
> >likely outcome?
> Personally, I think the most likely outcome is a convergence of
> independently developing technologies. I don't know (obviously) which will
> come to fruition first, but it is fairly obvious that once we have (1)
> sufficiently workable nanotech, or (2) powerful and flexible AI, or (3)
> extremely fast, small and powerful computers with extremely large storage
> capacity, the other two will follow shortly. That, my friend, will be
> called Singularity. My own personal (unscientific) belief is that once
> those three areas of technology are developed, they will, of their own
> "volition," converge on the internet (or its descendant) to turn the
> global/orbital communications network into a huge, semi-sentient, virtual
> brain. I for one, can't wait!!

My own opinion, as long time list members know, is that bio-electronic
interface technologies, which are developing fast, will within ten years
allow significant bandwidth communications between electronic systems
and human minds. Current research shows that when such circuits are
hooked up to neurons, humans percieve the additional capability not as
something separate, but as part of their own mind, their own self
awareness (see optical and auditory implants). I see this as excellent
news. I beleive that as the technology develops, the first 'uploaded'
persons will be those people who have lost large parts of their brains
to accident or disease, and medical researchers augment their minds with
electronics. Eventually one of these individuals will augment their
minds sufficiently that when they die, the mind does not notice because
so much of the mind is now on the artificial systems. This is what is
called a 'soft' upload. Once this phenomenon happens, and becomes
public, you will see a large percentage of the aging baby boomers
clamoring to upload their minds so they don't die.

Mike Lorrey

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