Singularity: Something which could or has run out of control of the capabilities of humans

Simulation: The imitation or virtualisation of the world’s processes or systems

AI: Intelligence exhibited by machines and software which allows for interaction and thinking processes to be acted upon.

Neurotransmitters: Chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body

Trans human: a being that resembles a human in most respects but who has powers and abilities beyond those of standard humans

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The Coming Technological Singularity:

How to Survive in the Post-Human Era

  • The most spectacular thing would be to create a mind which was more intelligent than the human brain.
  • This would change the thing which is the top creative element in technological progress.
  • The unknown of what would happen after these superhuman intelligence were created
  • The singularity:
    • Creation of the wheel, printing press, fire
    • Unpredictable of a discovery/invention/creation
    • Something which could or has run out of control of the capabilities of humans
  • The way in which technology is heading seems to provoke the idea of independent thinking and acting on behalf of technology
  • Vernor Vinge suggest that because of the large increase in hardware development, that superhuman intelligence will arrive in 30 years. (by 2023[9 years from now])
  • Vinge creates an analogy; animals can adapt to certain situations, but only as fast as natural selection happens. Humans on the other hand, can develop and adapt within a tiny fraction of an animal’s capabilities.
  • He suggests that singularity is creeping up on the human race, and from that point onwards, no human would be able to stop the technology created by them.
  • Machines could create more and better machines, which would create even better, and better machines. Leading to a vicious non-stop development of artificial intelligence.
  • Machines would also reach a point in development where they would learn from humans, and develop the next generation of machines as well as their own ‘minds’.
  • Vinge states that automation will be replacing higher level jobs, therefore will have a say in government decisions.
  • Singularity cannot be avoided; organisation and companies would not retreat on new innovations and inventions which could potentially affect the company positively, just because some people have suggested that singularity will occur.
  • AI will take over at some point, even if it is put off for a longer period of time.

Are we living in a computer simulation?

Propositions which could occur:

  1. Almost all civilisation will go extinct before we reach technological maturity
  2. There is a very strong convergence among all technological immature civilisations. In that all they all loose interest in creating detailed simulations
  3. We are living in a Computer simulation

Nick Bostrom (the author of the paper) believes that proposition number 1 is most likely to be the way in which we live in.

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Questions:

  1. The creation of simulators has been a large part in the development of many industries, aiding in the virtualisation and visualisation of certain aspects of life. Simulations on the human brain, the homes people live in and many others are examples of simulations being applied. Not only are simulations seen in industries, but also in leisure such as gaming. All games are to a certain extent a simulator, whether it be first person shooters, or driving a bus. The arguments which both article discuss is hard to take into consideration because there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that we may be part of a simulation.
  1. At some point in human and technological evolution, there will be systems which will be able to think independently and would take higher roles is for example the government. This would/could potentially put the power into humanoid/AI systems. This has been depicted in many Hollywood films as ‘The machines taking over’.
  1. Although many people have their opinions on artificial intelligence, and whether it is a good or bad thing that the development is so rapid, there factors which both contradict and agree with the idea of a simulation. The development of such systems would be illogical if we were to place ourselves in a simulation, as a simulation would be created inside a simulation. This would turn out to be a never ending line of simulations within simulations.
  1. Artificial intelligence could be defined as a system compromised of both hardware and software, which uses sensors to visualise and analyse the environment, and would have the ability to take measured and logical decisions/actions to interact in a certain scenario in their environment.
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