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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coffee break #4: The age of technological singularity

This is a series of emails written by me, inviting fellow colleagues in the Department of Civil Engineering, UTP for the weekly coffee break. Attendee - lecturers, technicians and postgraduate students.
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Dear colleagues,

A technological singularity is a hypothetical event occurring when technological progress becomes so rapid and the growth of artificial intelligence is so great that the future after the singularity becomes qualitatively different and harder to predict.

Ray Kurzweil, in an article published in TIME magazine explained that there will be a time when technology will surpass the human intelligence. At that point, there will be a major shift in how we interact with technology. Consequently, everything else will be shifting – the economy, politics hence the human relationship as well. The argument is simple: As the highest in intelligence, human creates and innovates the lower intelligence (technology). But when the technology becomes more intelligent –surpassing the intelligence of mankind, arguably, humans eventually can no longer innovates the technology.

Science-fiction? Probably not, since the research on this is taken seriously by NASA by establishing Singularity University (http://singularityu.org  - right next door to Google). The main research is on how to face the technological singularity (the US agencies are naming it as humanity’s Grand Challenge), as Kurzweil has predicted, is nearing very soon. His method of prediction is using the Moore’s Theory. Applying the theory, Kurzweil foresaw the explosive growth in worldwide Internet use that began in the 1990s; at the time of the publication of The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990), there were only 2.6 million internet users in the world, now close to 2 billion users. He then predicted that the first machine to exhibit real intelligent behavior (equivalent to human) by 2029. But not to worry, he is also predicting that by 2040, human intelligence will multiply a billion-fold.

The new horror is no longer ghost and ghouls but technology. Dr Shark should start doing a script on this new horror for his theater.

Why not come down and have a chat? Cakes & biscuits are always welcomed ;)

Day: Every Wednesday (starting 6th April 2011)
Time: 10:10 -10:40am (official time but you can come/leave as you wish in between)
Venue: 13.02.09
What to do?: Bring your own cup of coffee/tea

p/s: Ray Kurzweil is so famous in this area of research that a documentary has been made on him titled Transcendent Man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendent_man)

Thanks.
 


1 comment:

bofoyengfeng said...

hmm...but human being is god's greatest creation.