Head over to the long now foundation for a very interesting summary of Vernor Vinge’s views on 3 non singularity scenarios.


It is somewhat fitting that I make a post about the 2008 Singularity Summit my initial one. Reading (and re-reading) Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near after all was what largely got me hooked on the idea about accelerating change towards an Event Horizon.

Therefore, to get the most interesting minds all in one location to give an update on the current state of the technological singularity, the Singularity Summit looks like a good place to get going. Of course Kurzweil was there, and Vernor Vinge and a hole range of other luminaries.

Read an excellent summary on Singularity Hub:

Here are the Hub’s major takeaways from the event:

1. When people become believers in a near term singularity (a
singularity that may come in their lifetimes) they radically change
their behavior in terms of risk tolerance, eating habits, and
investment horizon. If large numbers of people begin to believe in a
near term singularity this poses the possibility of enormous and
potentially dangerous upheavals for society.

2. Even if a true singularity is not reached within our lifetimes
the singularity summit reinforces the vision that tremendous
technological change beyond our imagining is coming in the next 40
years. In the next 5 years an explosion in interest about the
singularity and the pace of accelerating technology may occur.

3. According to Ray Kurzweil, solar energy is an information
technology that is experiencing exponential growth. Solar energy
production has doubled every year for the last 20 years and is now only
8 doublings away (that is about 10 years!) from providing nearly all of
the world’s energy needs. The implications of this trend are huge and
warrant careful consideration for the environment, investment,
politics, etc.

4. Peter Diamandis announced that the Singularity University (SU)
will be launched in the near future. The Hub’s Keith Kleiner will be a
founding member of SU and we will have much more to say about SU soon!

5. According to Intel CTO Justin Rattner Intel has a solid roadmap
that will ensure that Moore’s law will continue for at least another 10
years, by which time computers will be at least 1,000 times more
powerful than today’s computers

6. Virtual worlds will continue to gain traction and functionality
as people continue to recognize and leverage the unique advantages that
these worlds offer versus the physical world.

7. Computers may be able to beat humans at chess and air hockey, but
they are still a long way off from emulating human emotion and social
behavior. Demonstrations today of the cutting edge in computer
emulation of emotion and social ability were downright pitiful. Of
course it is possible that we will make big leaps in the coming years,
but today’s demonstrations were not encouraging.

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