Singularity, Big Brother, The Matrix and AI

January 7, 2009

Remember back in the 70s when Captain Kirk had that neat ‘communicator’? Now we all have them. How about in 80s,when Pac-man thrilled us all? Compare the poor little gobbling screen blip of then to the realistic cyber games of today.

Then there was ‘1984’ by George Orwell; I never suspected we would come close to that scenario yet here we are in the new age of surveillance. But the scariest movie I have seen in some time is The Matrix where a robot race takes over its creators, the human race. After doing a bit of research on this plot, it looks as though we are definitely headed that way. Even Stephen Hawking predicts we will come to a bad end in our quest for Artificial Intelligence.

Another quite interesting film which falls now into Sci-Fi category, but is quickly approaching reality is AI, Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant film finished by Stephen Speilberg.

With this in mind, I have assembled below a selection of relevant readings on the subject. As with many subjects of fascination, the related urls are endless in these articles and can lead to who knows where. My only comment is this: Be afraid, be very afraid (unless you would just rather not think about it). And if you believe the Mayan calendar prediction, you need not worry about it at all – because we won’t be here.

All three movies, The Matrix, 1984 and AI are multi-dimensional stories allowing metaphors on many levels. The level explained in the following articles is purely one of literal possibility.

Dawn of the robots

Joy warns of tech Armageddon

Hawking warns of AI world takeover

Quotes from the Singularity Summit 2007
It’s haughty of us to think we’re the end product of evolution. All of us are a part of producing whatever is coming next. We’re at an exciting time. We’re close to the singularity. Go back to that litany of chemistry leading to single–celled organisms, leading to intelligence. The first step took a billion years, the next step took a hundred million, and so on. We’re at a stage where things change on the order of decades, and it seems to be speeding up. Technology has the autocatalytic effect of fast computers, which let us design better and faster computers faster. We’re heading toward something which is going to happen very soon – in our lifetimes – and which is fundamentally different from anything that’s happened in human history before.
-Dr W Daniel Hillis

Economics Of The Singularity

Technological singularity
The technological singularity is a theoretical future point of unprecedented technological progress, caused in part by the ability of machines to improve themselves using artificial intelligence. Much information here as well as links.


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