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Sci-Fi AI

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

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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  • From the article... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @03:35PM (#47112019)

    "This is what Vinge dubbed the Singularity, a point in our collective future that will be utterly, and unknowably transformed by technologyâ(TM)s rapid pace."

    No requirement for artificial intelligence.

    We are already close to this. Think how utterly and unknowingly society will be transformed when half the working population can't do anything that can't be done better by unintelligent machines and programs.

    Last week at the McD's I saw the new soda machine. It loads up to 8 drinks at a time- automatically- fed from the cash register. The only human intervention is to load cups in a bin once an hour or so. One less job. Combined with ordering kiosks and the new robot hamburger makers, you could see 50% of McD's jobs going away over the next few years.

    And don't even get me started on the implications of robotic cars and trucks on employment.

In practice, failures in system development, like unemployment in Russia, happens a lot despite official propaganda to the contrary. -- Paul Licker

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