justanoldfashiontumblog asked:

Going to have to ask for you to be immortal. Not sure of the path forward for that request other than Singularity, but it's a strong hope.

Thank you. …

[ For those not familiar: A Q & A page is available on the topic of human singularity by the author of the book The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil. An example would be being able to upload human consciousness through supercomputing integrated into an artificial body. ]


‘Tomorrowland’: A City Within Reach? Ft. Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson | Fiction Fast Forward | GE

Sally Le Page embarks upon a quest to find Tomorrowland: city of the future. On her journey she meets with experts, including Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson, to discuss how invention and technology shape the world around us. But if invention inspires invention, will technology one day surpass human potential? Her travels take her from Walt Disney’s spirit of optimism to Ray Kurzweil’s Theory of Singularity, as she explores the possibilities in director Brad Bird’s vision of the tomorrow.

Photo by Sheri Hausey (http://sherihausey.com)
Regina Spektor opening up for The Dresden Dolls
The Space - Portland, ME - February 6, 2005

Throwback Thursday: because sometimes you really need to see a picture of Regina Spektor playing Amanda Palmer’s signature “Kurt Weill” decked out Kurzweil keyboard with Brian Viglione’s Dresden Dolls clock bass drum cover in the foreground.


After the Singularity, We’ll All Be Robots 

Although we have the illusion of receiving high-resolution images from our eyes, what the optic nerve actually sends to the brain is just outlines and clues about points of interest in our visual field. We then essentially hallucinate the world from cortical memories that interpret a series of extremely low-resolution movies that arrive in parallel channels.
—  Ray Kurzweil in The Singularity is Near, referencing Roska and Werblin’s article in Nature ‘Vertical Interactions Across Ten Parallel, Stacked Representations in the Mammalian Retina’ (March 29, 2001)

Becoming One (The increasing approximation of something more complex.)

The Pace Of Progress

Over a decade ago, Ray Kurzweil argued that Singularity - the melding of mind with machine - was just around the corner. He also coined the “Law of Accelerating Returns”:

So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. 

Paul Allen and Mark Greaves counter with their idea of the “complexity brake”:

The closer we look at the brain, the greater the degree of neural variation we find. Understanding the neural structure of the human brain is getting harder as we learn more. Put another way, the more we learn, the more we realize there is to know, and the more we have to go back and revise our earlier understandings. We believe that one day this steady increase in complexity will end—the brain is, after all, a finite set of neurons and operates according to physical principles. But for the foreseeable future, it is the complexity brake and arrival of powerful new theories, rather than the Law of Accelerating Returns, that will govern the pace of scientific progress required to achieve the singularity.

[via the Dish]

So if computers are getting so much faster, so incredibly fast, there might conceivably come a moment when they are capable of something comparable to human intelligence. Artificial intelligence. All that horsepower could be put in the service of emulating whatever it is our brains are doing when they create consciousness — not just doing arithmetic very quickly or composing piano music but also driving cars, writing books, making ethical decisions, appreciating fancy paintings, making witty observations at cocktail parties.

It’s impossible to predict the behavior of these smarter-than-human intelligences with which (with whom?) we might one day share the planet, because if you could, you’d be as smart as they would be. But there are a lot of theories about it. Maybe we’ll merge with them to become super-intelligent cyborgs, using computers to extend our intellectual abilities the same way that cars and planes extend our physical abilities. Maybe the artificial intelligences will help us treat the effects of old age and prolong our life spans indefinitely. Maybe we’ll scan our consciousnesses into computers and live inside them as software, forever, virtually. Maybe the computers will turn on humanity and annihilate us. The one thing all these theories have in common is the transformation of our species into something that is no longer recognizable as such to humanity circa 2011. This transformation has a name: the Singularity.

Raspberry Pi: A computer for $25.  Inspiring.

Ephemeralization, a term coined by R. Buckminster Fuller, is the ability of technological advancement to do “more and more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing”.

Kurzweil proposed “The Law of Accelerating Returns”, according to which the rate of change in a wide variety of evolutionary systems (including the growth of technologies) tends to increase exponentially.