Friday, July 07, 2006

more on the robots...

so I've been reading the book (see previous post)and checking out references about the singularity. here are some notables:
singularity summit 2006 podcasts
Vernor Vinge
Utility Fog: The Stuff that Dreams Are Made Of

apparently this thing is snowballing. get with it people!

Kurzweil talks a lot about how mankind will become more and more dependent on nanotech and robotic assistance and intelligence. I get how we will be better off with these developments. but carrying it forward, I'm thinking, we'll still reproduce in pretty much the same manner (even if it involves artificial wombs and such, the end result would still be a basic human baby). but at some point this last vestige of homo sapiens would be antiquated, right? and then what? what I've figured (but not read yet) is that homo sapiens won't be needed anymore.
that's a scary thought, but may be necessary for the advance of evolution. consider our advance in nature so far, from simple cellular organisms, to the dinosaurs, to the current period. I read some alarmist fund raising material that said a thousand species go extinct every day. they don't mention that most of those are probably mutating bacteria that nobody will miss, but you get the point. extinction happens. and we won't like no longer being best suited for the environs, but hopefully our creations will thrive.

as I. J. Good wrote:

"the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control. . . . It is more probable than not that, within the twentieth century, an ultraintelligent machine will be built and that it will be the last invention that man need make."

in other words, at that point the superhuman machines make machines on their own. make better machines than themselves. there is nothing artificial about this intelligence. we will create it. and evolution marches on.
something to think about, eh?

will it really happen? as computer scientist Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut said once, "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."

oh and by the way, Thomas S. Yannios, who I challenged to produce something of substance the other day, has in fact done pretty good... his book on heart disease "The Heart Disease Breakthrough: The 10-Step Program That Can Save Your Life" sounds very interesting. for those of use with hearts :) check it out!