There is not much original material in this section of the Site. As in many other pages of this site, most of the originality you can find is my personal way to select, file and organize related info available in the web. I always link to the site where I found the material or to the site where it was originally published, if I've been able to localize it and the material is not very spread.
BASICS AND DEFINITIONS - WHY THIS SECTION IN THIS SITE?
This is a section about The Singularity, that is, about Human Enhancement & Machine Consciousness: legal & ethical issues, with a glimpse of Bio&Nano Technologies.
As Ray Kurzweil
explains, mathematicians use the word Singularity
denote a value that transcends any finite limitation. Consider y=1/x.
This function never actually achieves an infinite value, since dividing
by zero is mathematically impossible to calculate (undefined), but the
value of y exceeds any possible limit (approaches infinity) as x
Astrophysics call black holes Singularities. One
theory speculates that the universe itself began with such a
As an event capable of rupturing the fabric of human
history, which is the focus of this page, the expression Singularity first appears in John von Neumann
(1950) and later in I.J. Good
(1960s), Vernor Vinge
(author of the 1993 seminal paper The Comming Technological Singularity)
and Hans Moravec
(Mind Children: the future of robot and human intelligence
En 1957, Stan Ulam
, matemático compañero de Von Neumann
, cita a éste diciendo a comienzos de 1950:
"El cada vez más acelerado progreso de la tecnología y los cambios en los modos de la vida humana parece aproximarse algún tipo de singularidad esencial en la historia de la raza [humana] más allá de la cual los asuntos humanos, tal y como los conocemos, no podrían continuar."
Esta es la primera vez conocida en que se usa el término Singularidad con tal significado.
the culmination of the merger of our biological thinking and existence
with our technology, resulting in a world that is still human but that
transcends our biological roots. There will be no distinction
post-Singularity between human and machine or between physical and
virtual reality." The Singularity "[i]s a merger between human intelligence and
machine intelligence that is going to create something bigger than
itself. It's the cutting edge of evolution on our planet."
According to Kurzweil
, the Singularity
, that will happen around 2045, means that technology will allow humans "to transcend our biological bodies and brains ... (
and live well forever)
of the salient implications of the Singularity will be a change in the
nature of our ability to understand. We will become vastly smarter as
we merge with our technology...
key observation regarding the Singularity is that information processes
-computation- will ultimately drive everything that is important.
- [I]n the aftermath of the Singularity,
intelligence, derived from its biological origins in human brains and
its technological origins in human ingenuity, will begin to saturate
the matter and energy in its midst... [B]y reorganizing matter and
energy to provide an optimal level of computation to spread out from
its origin on Earth... In any event, the 'dumb' matter and mechanisms
of the universe will be transformed into exquisitely sublimes forms of
the entire universe will become saturated with our intelligence. This
is the destiny of the universe. We will determine our own fate rather
than have it determined by the current 'dumb', simple, machinelike
forces that rule celestial mechanisms. ...
intelligence that will emerge will continue to represent the human
civilization, which is already a humane-machine civilization. In other
words, future machines will be human, even if they are not biological.
... Our civilization will remain human... although our understanding of
the term will move beyond its biological origins.
This means that we will have (in fact, we already have) to deal with AI (Accelerating/Artificial Intelligence), GNR (Genetics,
Nanotechnology, Robotics), cps, respirocites, intelligence enhancement and brain reverse
engineering, modeling and simulation (looks like functional simulation
will be completed by the 2020s... and by the early 2030s will be
feasible to upload a human brain with a 1,000$ laptop; functional
simulation of human intelligence will be passing the Touring test
by 2029 - will your uploaded brain be really you?), cellular-automaton computers, Drexler
's molecular assemblers (no fat and sticky fingers, no, no, no, Mr. Smalley
), self-replicating molecular nanobots, self-assembly in carbon-nanotube circuits ("one cubic inch of nanotube circuitry, once fully developed, would be up to 100 million times more powerful than the human brain
", explains Kurzweil
), computing with DNA, quantum dots and qubits, spintronics, foglet reality, pico- (10-12
) and femto- (10-15
) technologies, Markov
models, genetic algorithms, attoseconds (10-18
), stochastic (random within carefully controlled constraints) and chaotic (random and unpredictable) processes, Hebbian
response of neural learning, ... and many other ultra fascinating notions and achievements.
And this, together with my already old interest
in the legal and ethical implications of biotechnology, is the reason for this section. If we want to organize legally this coming world we need to have an idea of what we are talking about, of what's at stake.