RE: Singularity: Just Say No!

Billy Brown (
Mon, 18 Jan 1999 09:06:01 -0600

Chris Wolcomb wrote:
> However, that is a far cry from the rhetoric on this list in
> regards to the Singularity as it is often proposed and
> proselytized. The more rabid Singulatarians seem to take
> pride in their Singularities delightful ability to render
> everything that we are irrelevant. Rather than the a future
> where we are enhanced into more comprehensive minds, using
> your reptillian/mammalian metaphor, we are just as likely to
> be fully *erased* or *deleted* in the Singularities path to
> greateness..

IMO, an 'instant singularity' precipitated by the sudden appearance of an SI is not very likely. However, the factors that determine whether it will happen are not under human control. It depends on the answers to a number of questions about natural law (like: How hard is it to increase human intelligence?). If the answers turn out to be the wrong ones, the first AI to pass a certain minimal intelligence threshold rapidly becomes an SI. If they don't, we have nothing to fear. The only thing we can do that makes much difference is to make sure our seed AIs are sane, in case one of them actually works.

I'm currently writing a more detailed analysis of the whole issue, in hopes of outlining what all of the critical questions are.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I