Bill Gates v.s. the Singularity

Charlie Stross (
Fri, 16 Oct 1998 10:25:08 +0100

As a not-entirely-serious aside, I was idly pondering various issues surrounding a singularity event when it occured to me that if global causality violation is physically possible, we're likely to see it employed by a strongly superhuman AI -- pace Hans Moravec's arguments about the computational implications of time travel. It then occured to me to wonder what the non-superhuman intelligences then living would make of such a technology.

Suddenly I realised: they're living among us today!

The truth can be revealed at last: Bill Gates is a self-sacrificing altruist, a time-traveller from the far side of the singularity. His mission is nothing less than to single-handedly delay the onset of the singularity, by setting back the development of computing in general and AI in particular twenty or thirty years. (Talking paper-clips do not a posthuman experience make.)

Of course, the denizens of the Beyond haven't taken this lying down. They've sent their own emmisary back to us:

Linus Torvalds is The Terminator.