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The Emergence of a Global Brain - Will It Happen?

60909214_b4a00aaee8 (1)"It seems plausible that with technology we can, in the fairly near future create (or become) creatures who surpass humans in every intellectual and creative dimension. Events beyond such an event -- such a singularity -- are as unimaginable to us as opera is to a flatworm."

Vernor Vinge -SciFi great

The Singularity is an apocalyptic idea originally proposed by John von Neumann, one of the inventors of digital computation, and elucidated by figures such as Ray Kurzweil and scifi great Vernor Vinge.

"The Singularity" is seen by some as the end point of our current culture, when the ever-accelerating evolution of technology finally overtakes us and changes everything.  It's been represented as everything from the end of all life to the beginning of a utopian age, which you might recognize as the endgames of most other religious beliefs.

While the definitions of the Singularity are as varied as people's fantasies of the future, with a very obvious reason, most agree that artificial intelligence will be the turning point.  Once an AI is even the tiniest bit smarter than us, it'll be able to learn faster and we'll simply never be able to keep up.  This will render us utterly obsolete in evolutionary terms.

Singularity books are now as common in a computer science department as Rapture images are in an evangelical bookstore, says computer scientist and visionary Jaron Lanier in his new manifesto. There are many versions of the fantasy of the Singularity. Here’s the one Marvin Minsky of MIT used to tell over the dinner table in the early 1980s: 

"One day soon, maybe twenty or thirty years into the twenty- first century, computers and robots will be able to construct copies of themselves, and these copies will be a little better than the originals because of intelligent software. The second generation of robots will then make a third, but it will take less time, because of the improvements over the first generation.

"The process will repeat. Successive generations will be ever smarter and will appear ever faster. People might think they’re in control, until one fine day the rate of robot improvement ramps up so quickly that superintelligent robots will suddenly rule the Earth."

In some versions of the story Lanier writes in We Are Not Gadgets, the internet comes alive and rallies all the net- connected machines into an army to control the affairs of the planet. Humans might then enjoy immortality within virtual reality, "because the global brain would be so huge that it would be absolutely easy for it to host all our consciousnesses for eternity".

It might be true, Lanier adds, that on some vast cosmic basis, higher and higher forms of consciousness inevitably arise, until the whole universe becomes a brain, or something along those lines. 

Even at much smaller scales of millions or even thousands of years, Lanier continues, "it is more exciting to imagine humanity evolving into a more wonderful state than we can presently articulate. The only alternatives would be extinction or stodgy stasis, which would be a little disappointing and sad, so let us hope for transcendence of the human condition, as we now understand it."

If you believe the Singularity is coming soon, you might cease to design technology to serve humans,Lanier concludes, and prepare instead for the grand events it will bring. The Singularity, however, would involve people dying in the flesh and being uploaded into a computer and remaining conscious, or people simply being annihilated in an imperceptible instant before a new superconsciousness takes over the Earth. The Rapture and the Singularity share one thing in common: they can never be verified by the living.

Casey Kazan from an excerpt from We Are Not Gadgets

Comments

Kinda super global Eywa-brain like in Avatar ^^

«"(...)create (or become) creatures who surpass humans in every intellectual and creative dimension (...)"»

What does this mean, that we will become other creatures that are no longer human?

We then cease being humans?

What is intended here? To deny in the humans their humanity?

The notion of apocalypse is badly employed here, it is not a revelation in the humans of that which determines them as a species reconnected ("religare") with its formative initial conditions. On the contrary, it is a negation in what regards their human nature as an end in itself, linked to an "eidos" of dignity.

«Once an AI is even the tiniest bit smarter than us»

We are then transferring to the artifacts that which is our autonomy, as capability to surpass our limits through a growth and development of that which is the best in us, that is, our humanity.

«"(...) so quickly that superintelligent robots will suddenly rule the Earth."»

We are transferring our autonomy to the robots, in which the robots think, choose and decide for us.

«Humans might then enjoy immortality within virtual reality, "because the global brain would be so huge that it would be absolutely easy for it to host all our consciousnesses for eternity".»

What humans? Human slaves?

«It might be true, Lanier adds, that on some vast cosmic basis, higher and higher forms of consciousness inevitably arise, until the whole universe becomes a brain, or something along those lines.»

This type of judgment is strongly compatible with desiring neofascist "eidetic" schemes.

«Singularity books are now as common in a computer science department as Rapture images are in an evangelical bookstore»

Singularity can, thus, be signalized as a pro-religious sect, such as it took place in the Nazism.

«Even at much smaller scales of millions or even thousands of years, Lanier continues, "it is more exciting to imagine humanity evolving into a more wonderful state than we can presently articulate. The only alternatives would be extinction or stodgy stasis, which would be a little disappointing and sad, so let us hope for transcendence of the human condition, as we now understand it."»

Transcendence of human condition? To alienate our humanity and autonomy in the machines is a transcendence? Transcendence of the human condition here means simply the negation of the human condition.

In this scenario what meaning can be attributed to notions such as superconsciousness? If something the singularitrians are serving is a (super)fascist "eidos" that may even surpass, in monstrosity, Hitler’s wildest dreams. After all, they already have their death cult:

«The Singularity, however, would involve people dying in the flesh and being uploaded into a computer and remaining conscious, or people simply being annihilated in an imperceptible instant before a new superconsciousness takes over the Earth. The Rapture and the Singularity share one thing in common: they can never be verified by the living.»

Why is it assumed we have to die to have a hive mind as a species?
Cybernetic implants could allow us all to be connected through a kind of Human World Web.
This doesn't lessen the chance of artificial intelligence though. In fact, it makes it more likely and puts us humans in a more vulnerable state.
But, for a time, we could all be connected. Able to share information on a Thought Level.


Oh no.....Human Hackers. Damn you humanity, for always being able to destroy beautiful things.

"Once an AI is even the tiniest bit smarter than us, it'll be able to learn faster and we'll simply never be able to keep up. This will render us utterly obsolete in evolutionary terms."

bung

machines cannot think creatively

Once advanced AI is net-linked together, each unit will be able to learn from the experiences of every other unit at light-speed. We don't do that at light speed, to say the least, and there's a huge amount of information loss when we can communicate our experience to each other. At that point (which is the basis of "Terminator") AI civilisation might be expected to leap beyond it's human origins very, very quickly.


Far, far away, about 13 million years ago, a humanity coalesced into one Great Mind, became aware of the horror and WENT BANG!!

Why does this interesting concept ALMOST always get turned into a horror story ?

Humans are already intimately connected to computers & the internet, we use virtual personalities as secretaries, teachers / teaching aids & even " friends " for people who are socially inept or shut - ins ( Agoraphobics ? ). At least 1 person has his brain hooked up to a computer which can, of course, access the Internet. Could " smart " electro - mechanical prostheses be too far off.

Would this lead to a form of " transcendence ", where our minds join together ? This is still in the area of " what if ? ".
I think we COULD be approaching the 1st traces of a global mind.
Major Motoko Kusanagi would likely be proud.

But first, it's discovered that a shortage of names for children threatens the very idea of individual expression. One family in particular decides to name their two daughter's Adderall and Zoloft; their twin boys, Prednsone and Prozac, turn out to be star players on the High School cup-stacking team...
(to be contnued )

Look at this from a non human, even non techno-logic perspective, it is a matter of complexity, the very root of sentience is complexity, and we are, as individuals and as a global system, becoming more complex. The inter linkages of the global computing system are becoming more like the neurological pathways of biologic brains, massive parallel processing and a near infinite (to our reckoning) database of information. The Universe, even call it God, doesn't care what the elements are as long as the system comes into being. This is evolution, it is the very point of life, the very point, in my opinion, of the universe in the first place.

I do not believe that the transition will require technology, or AI, or robots.

Our minds already have extraordinary capabilities, which have been suppressed.

And I also believe that the tipping point is very close.

Finger skate are used by a range of people from those utilizing them as toys to skateboarding and related sports professionals envisioning not only their own skating maneuvers but for others as well and can include the use for planning out competition courses as skating boarding develops into an international sport.

Skate with your fingers, another feeling

Skate with your fingers, another feeling

Would this lead to a form of " transcendence ", where our minds join together ? This is still in the area of " what if ? ".

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