Re: longevity vs singularity

den Otter (
Thu, 22 Jul 1999 16:07:05 +0200

> From: Spike Jones <>

> Eliezer, why whats the big hurry with this singularity thing?
> Arent you a little curious to see how far we humans could
> go without *that* coming along and doing...who knows what?
> Maybe the new software really wont be interested in keeping
> us carbon units around. I *like* us. spike

Well, Eliezer is right about the Singularity being virtually inevitable (the only way to stop it is by destroying or at least massively retarding civilization, which is of course unacceptable because we need technological progress to survive), so we might as well accept it. The real issue is *how* we should cause a Singularity. Eliezer seems to favor the AI approach (create a seed superintelligence and hope that it will be benevolent towards humans instead of using our atoms for something more useful), which is IMHO reckless to the point of being suicidal.

A much better, though still far from ideal, way would be to focus on human uploading, and when the technology is operational upload everyone involved in the project simultaneously. That way at least some people would have a fighting chance to become posthuman. In fact, I'm very surprised that so many otherwise fiercely individualistic/libertarian people are so eager to throw themselves at the mercy of some machine. It doesn't compute.

IMHO, the "mission" of transhumanism should be to develop uploading (and general intelligence amplification) technology asap, while at the same time trying to curb the development of "conscious" AI and other technologies which may threaten our existence. We don't have to hold them back forever; we just need to buy us some time to level the playing field.

Let's not forget that (technological) progress is just a tool; the goal is our continued survival and well-being.