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Sci-Fi AI

The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative 339

Posted by Soulskill
from the omnipotent-god-computers-will-not-run-your-life dept.
malachiorion writes: "Is machine sentience not only possible, but inevitable? Of course not. But don't tell that to devotees of the Singularity, a theory that sounds like science, but is really just science fiction repackaged as secular prophecy. I'm not simply arguing that the Singularity is stupid — people much smarter than me have covered that territory. But as part of my series of stories for Popular Science about the major myths of robotics, I try to point out the Singularity's inescapable sci-fi roots. It was popularized by a SF writer, in a paper that cites SF stories as examples of its potential impact, and, ultimately, it only makes sense when you apply copious amounts of SF handwavery. The article explains why SF has trained us to believe that artificial general intelligence (and everything that follows) is our destiny, but we shouldn't confuse an end-times fantasy with anything resembling science."
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The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

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  • by thedonger (1317951) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @03:34PM (#47112851)

    The singularity, of course, is defined as the point where the function and all its derivatives approach infinity. There is another way to think of a singularity. If you are extrapolating a function based on a power series around a point, you can only expand that power series as far as the closest singularity ("pole") in the complex plane (the "radius of convergence"). You can't extrapolate further than that with a simple power series, even if you aren't trying to solve for the function at the pole itself.

    So, thinking science fictionally, we can't extrapolate the future based on the present any further than the distance to the singularity, even if our actual future doesn't in fact pass through the singularity.

    So, don't think of the technological singularity as a time when life for humans ends, and robots/artificial intelligences/transcended humans take over. Think of it as time scale beyond which we can't extrapolate the future based on what we know now.

    So you're saying I won't be able to fuck a sexbot by 2035?

  • by chronoglass (1353185) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @05:37PM (#47114169)

    i'll just leave this here... http://autoblow2.com/ [autoblow2.com]

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @06:30PM (#47114829) Homepage Journal
    Ugh! Who would make a machine out of meat?! Do you know how hard it is to make another one of those things? No mass production and it takes FOREVER to load it up with the data necessary to do its job! Plus you don't even KNOW what it's going to do when you make a new one! And then they hardly last any time at all before they go past their expiration date and you have to just throw them away! The whole thing, frankly, is ridiculous!

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

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