What Is The Singularity Event?
What is the Singularity Event? It will be that point in the future, when the intelligence of machines surpasses the intelligence of man. It is most commonly feared as a doomsday, the day when the robots revolt, by first overthrowing their human masters, and then hunting them unto extinction. But what if the machines that take over, are actually part human? Who then will be the winners, and who the losers?
Recently a Mahogany Clam, billed as the world's oldest animal, was accidentally dispatched, by a team of marine researchers, in trying to determine its age. It was 507 years old, and posthumously given the name of "Ming" the Clam, for the Chinese dynasty, during which it was born. The lifespan of a human being is comparatively short... but that is the price of life, and everybody will pay it, sooner or later.
That is, until the dawn of a new age, brings advances in genetic engineering. Ray Kurzweil, author of "The Singularity Is Near", predicts through the use of medical nanobots, cures for cancer and heart disease. With control of the human genome, the life scientists could alter the course of our evolution in a single generation, by deleting the mechanisms that force us to age. A child born after 2010, might live to be as old as Ming the clam.
A jellyfish is immortal. If it doesn't get eaten by another animal, it can live forever. When its body starts to deteriorate through age or damage, it simply generates new cells. This has provoked some biologists, to say as the jellyfish gets older, it keeps getting younger. Yet another aspect of the singularity, may hold forth the promise of true immortality, to those who can afford it.
Some futurists predict man will have the option of being implanted with a small computing device, in the brain itself, for the purpose of enhancing intelligence. Imagine having built into your head, a calculator, or a language translator. To satisfy the vulgar human quest for entertainment, scientists foresee a direct computer interface with the brain. Ultimately, a human should be able to scan his consciousness onto some kind of recording media, making it easy to transfer his mind, into a world of virtual reality, or, into the immortal body of a mechanical man. Even if the robot that contains your mind, has some unlucky accident, the backup of your consciousness, could still be loaded into another vessel.
The common housefly lives between two and four weeks. They are aggravating insects, and they can make you sick by contaminating your food. Houseflies in scientific laboratories are just as useful as guinea pigs. As the subject of lab experiments, the use of houseflies can allow scientists to avoid accusations of animal cruelty. Housefly maggots produce antimicrobial peptides, of great interest to big pharma companies.
After the singularity, what will happen to those people, who cannot afford a shiny new robot body, those impoverished souls unable even to pay, to genetically extend their lives. If their lifespans last no longer than those of their ancestors, they will not live long enough, to earn the money that will be needed, for the purchase of immortality. When the machines take over, the mechanical shells may be occupied by only the human elite, continuing the domination under which mankind has already suffered for thousands of years.
On the bright side, things could always go terribly wrong. According to computer scientist Mark Harrison, Nanotech which is self-replicating might escape from the laboratory, wreaking irreversible harm to the global environment.
Computer networks may achieve self-awareness, and with access to the physical world, threaten the very lives of men and women... or the advent of the singularity itself, may be intentionally delayed in forward-looking countries, while giving some authoritarian nation the opportunity to weaponize it, in a bid for world domination.
daydreaming in 2002.jpg copyright Michael Jastremski, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported,
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