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ChuckBaggett1488303079

Ray Kurzweil on words and A.I.

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He is certainly an interesting and thought provoking character. It's difficult for me to separate Kurzweil's great ideas from his rubbish. Still, very intriguing. I would encourage a holistic approach to these topics - there are a lot of interesting and divergant viewpoints. One perspetive I enjoy is Jaron Lanier's - http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lanier/lanier_p1.html

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I find Ray Kurzweil's ideas and the concept of the Singularity to be quite totalitarian in nature.

http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2009/07/why-singularism-is-fascism.html


Jay Lanier is a genius and a breath of fresh air among all these tekkie collectivists. I heard him speak in real life last year, wonderfully inspiring.

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For those not familiar with the term, Ray uses 'the singularity' to refer to the point in time past which we can no longer predict the future with any degree of accuracy because intelligent computers accelerate the rate of change beyond current human understanding.

I read your post Prok. I think you're attributing a lot of motivation and malice to poor old Ray when it's just not there. Ray has a theory of what will happen someday when machines become smarter than humans.  He does the lifestyle he does (with all the nutritional stuff) because he wants to live to be a part of that world. You call him a fascist for espousing the idea that the singularity will create a superior race. While within the human race  there's not such thing, the life forms that emerge after the singularity will not be entirely human, and will therefore be either inferior or superior to unaltered humans.

You fault him for charging $25k for lecturing on the subject, but his words are his product and there are willing buyers. That's capitalism, not fascism.

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mm, not quite.  Singularity is the point in the future where something -- could be many things from tech to alien invasion -- it becomes impossible to even play the What If game that keeps all fiction writers fed.  I personally don't agree with the premise though.  While it may be impossible to accurately calculate what would happen, nothing stops anyone from imaginng the most far out scenarios past singularity.  Worrying about Singularity is a concern only for people who see themselves as walking in the shoes of Wells.  People writing for entertainment breeze right past it with their imaginations like it's not there, just as they have to do with the speed of light, distances between suns, ability to communicate with alien species the first minute you discover them, etc. 

 

A favorite topic of Singularity proponents is Grey Goo.  Create a machine that can replicate itself as often as it wants and consumes all matter around it, and watch it devour the planet.  Overlooking the problems in such a scenario and playing along, what you CAN see past the singularity of an entire world made of grey goo is that the machines will start devouring each other for as long as they have power to do so.  Eventually that power will be exhausted and you'll have a mass of cold grey machines the size of a planet.  At which point aliens looking for minerals will find a planet's worth in easy to retrieve form.  Tada, I just looked past the singularity...

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