December 16, 2005


It has been said that the future has arrived but it isn't evenly distributed. There are certainly aspects of my life which, based on the prophetic fiction of my youth, constitute living in the future. It is of course obligatory to ask at this point, "Where's my flying car?"

One definition of the Singularity is that it will be that moment when the future is evenly distributed, but that is unlikely to ever happen. There are some groups of people, most noticeably the Amish, who have arranged their lives so as to minimize the arrival of the present, and others who are perfectly use the tools of the future, but only to drag the world back at least as far as the 15th Century.

A narrower definition of the Singularity is that it will be the moment when computers attain human-like intelligence. We aren't that far from there with regards to processor power, but ever since I made a brave attempt at reading The Origin Of Conscousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind I have assumed that self-awareness would require multiprocessor systems. Thus it is interesting to note that the 20Q game, the acquisition of which by the Insta-Daughter is seen by her father as a sign of the Singularity's approach, is, according to the 20Q play-online page, built on a neural net, an architecture based on that assumption.

Posted by triticale at December 16, 2005 02:40 PM | TrackBack

Wow! Someone else read that book.

Posted by: mrsizer at December 20, 2005 08:14 PM
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