Re: Genetic transition to posthumanism

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 21:04:08 MDT wrote:
> On April 27, 2001 Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> >Genetics is too slow to have any impact, and receives little or no mention
> >among knowledgeable transhumanists.
> I would say that it is a little naive to claim that genetics will not have an
> impact on the future evolutionary path of humanity. Maybe it is due to a
> limited education that some people would claim this. I fully believe in the
> potential of science, including nanotechnology and AI, but it seems like some
> people on this list live in a fantasy land.

Have you done the math? Let's say amazingly enough that by 2015 they
have figured out enough about intelligence genes to be able to engineer
a significantly smarter-than-human human (not just gimmicks). And let's
assume that magically the government has deigned to allow such an abomination
to be born. So by 2040! you might have a few scattered people on the planet
contributing to tech that are somewhat smarter than Einstein or whoever.

Do you think AI and/or nanotech will not have already been developed by
then? If not, why not, and if yes then how do you expect these kiddies to
have any effect since the Singularity will likely have already occurred
long before 2040?

I just don't see a scenario where slow-moving genetic technology has any
significant effect on the timing of the Singularity, unless AI/nano just
turns out to incredibly more difficult than we currently think it will.

Brian Atkins
Director, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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