[FoRK] Singularity / fear (for Ken)

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Fri Nov 13 16:30:39 PST 2009

Ken asks:

> If I understand the implications of the "singularity" correctly as  
> it relates to AI or machine intelligence, would this not be one good  
> reason to fear it?

Fearing a technological Singularity is certainly a rational response  
given certain priors.

I'm not sure particular that fear can be productive or do any good,  
though. IMHO, the best thing we can hope for is to engineer some  
sustainable symbiosis. Barring that, some acceptable and identity- 
kernel-preserving assimilation process.  Something that makes the  
"human" part of posthuman meaningful, and "transhuman" something other  
than an oxymoron.

As previously mentioned, I suspect that the very concept of FAI, as  
its usually batted around, is a non-logical and unrealistic idea.

To the specific point, though, automating the "programming" process to  
ever-higher levels of abstraction is just part of the change curve ---  
one we're falling behind on, IMHO. I don't think automating away the  
details or enabling ever-greater "programming in the large" (as in,  
determining what needs to be orchestrated to get something done,  
accomplished, built, some action taken, etc.) actually *reduces* the  
aesthetic or creative aspect; indeed it may empower it. But that's a  
debate for artists, or craftsman, akin to an argument about whether a  
dresser made with hand tools or power tools is "better."  It may be an  
interesting debate for some, but you're damn sure not going to build a  
skyscraper with hand tools...


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