Re: Singularity: Human AI to superhuman

Hal Finney (
Sat, 12 Sep 1998 07:38:53 -0700

Robin writes:

> Right now, though, I'd really rather
> draw folks' attention to Vinge's concept and analysis. So I haven't
> responded to Nick Bostrom's nanotech/upload analysis, since Vinge
> explicitly disavows it.

I first learned of Vinge's Singularity concept in his novel Marooned in Realtime. This novel deals with survivors who were in stasis and missed the Singularity, which left the world mysteriously absent of human life.

>From the information in the novel given by the character who lived closest
to the Singularity, it does not appear to have been caused by advanced AI. Instead, it is a matter of technology allowing for telepathy-like powers which create a group mind. It appears that Earth was on its way to binding everyone together into a super-intelligence which would have powers far beyond the individuals involved.

I don't know if Vinge advances this hypothesis seriously in his nonfiction writings but it does appear that he originally conceived of a Singularity through other paths than AI.