The Accelerating Change conference is coming up this weekend. Mark has given a Technological Acceleration – A Hidden Law of Nature? about the conference before so I’ll dispense with that. As part of the conference participants have been asked to give statements on topics related to the event. I finished mine today and as at least some of this relates to a The Singularity? of mine (and I’ve turned them in to late to get them online) I’ve decided to share them below.
Acceleraing Change Participant Statement
1. Passions and Futures
I’m interested in processes that will facilitate the emergence of artificial inteligence and questions around consciousness in artificial and human minds. I believe that a fertile field for this sort of emergence is present in networked communities such as the blogsphere, especially in the use of loosely defined protocols that build on top of semantic web concepts. Jaron Lanier’s theory of phenotropics is likely to become important in the coming decades as protocol definitions become more loosely defined and implemented. I believe the most immediate applications are in the realm of amplifying human intelligence through improved agent and user interface technologies.
I’m skeptical that we are actually aproaching a singularity in the next few decades. The next few decades will be more about the symbiosis of human and machine intelligence rather than the emergence of machine conciousness. I also have objections to the term itself as I prefer to think in terms of a phase transition that may take decades to play out. I think it is important to think on alternate compresed time scales like this. What would a singularity or phase transition occuring over centuries viewed as a point in time consist of? If the current notion of “the singularity” could be the seen as the start of such an event, what is the output?
Humans are definitely living longer in general and exponential increases in life span are going to be possible within the next thirty years with deep societal implications. I do not believe enough people are questioning the possibilities of the emergence of a gerontocratic rule and what the implications of that are even though we see foreshadowing of this in today’s electoral process. Personally I’m becoming a lot more politically motivated recently as I see the importance of thinking of what the world around me will look like due to govermental influence 30+ years out.
I currently work on web service protocols professionally. I monitor developments in the semantic web and bloging worlds and am looking for areas there to apply myself in some personal projects.
3. Resources to Recommend
I would recommend Emergence, Linked and Holy Fire as recent inspiring reads. I would also recommend P. D. Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous” for an unorthodox thoughts on how our world is constructed.
Given my interests above I would be remiss to not point to my own blog, though honestly I’m almost always off topic there.