Link: Who Is Afraid Of The Singularity (NPR)

by Eneasz1 min read23rd Mar 20118 comments


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A standard pop-news article on the singularity, focus on Kurzweil

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I haven't been an LW user or a transhumanist for very long, in the grand scheme of things. Would somebody who has care to answer: Are there more of these articles now than there were 5 or 10 years ago? Is singularitarianism gaining traction in the mainstream, or does it just look like that to me because I didn't get links in the past?

I got interested in transhumanism around 1997, began following Kurzweil around the time he published The age of spiritual machines (before he started using the "singularity brand" coined by Vinge and turned into a movement by Eliezer), and have been following Eliezer since 2002-ish, and I agree that there has been much more than normal on the subject in the mainstream media in the last three to six months.

If there was a watershed moment, I'd suggest Watson winning at Jeopardy, but it appeared to be happening prior to that as well. My guess is that the causality runs partly from SI's ongoing education and recruitment activities, partly from LW beginning to project a "cultural shadow" (like I've met philosophy grad students who are aware that people who are into Bayesian statistics tend to also be into the Many Worlds hypothesis but don't understand how or why these hang together) and partly because of paid PR efforts to promote Kurzweil's new movie.

Thank you. This helped.

"Enough computational complexity will create an emergent ultra-smart machine"

This statement is simultaneously hilarious and horrifying.

Has Less Wrong had a debate about whether Kurzweil is helping or hindering the cause of saving the world? It sounds like a tricky topic where people could flex their rationalist analytical muscles, but perhaps it's too cultishly counter-cultishly counter-cultish.

ETA: Not that Kurzweil said the thing that Nesov is quoting.

"If we are able to reprogram cell-death at the genetic level, quite possibly novel kinds of immortal diseases will also spring forth."

I do not understand why this post is here. Do you want some kind of feedback? is there a topic to be discussed, did you possible think it was "cool" and simply throw it on this board? Explain the reason of post please....

More of a "this is what people who probably haven't ever heard of the concept before are thinking of it". Also chance to interact with a fair number of people in the public comments section, if wanted.