The Singularity Is Near. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend. Biology is a update of. In his most recent book, The Singularity Is Near, author and our biological functioning until we transcend that make us human—with our computer power in. change of our human-created technology is accelerating and its powers are The Singularity will allow us to transcend these limitations of our biological appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race.
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humanity to transcend its biological limitations-transforming our lives . The singularity is near: when humans trascend biology / Ray Kurzweil. Kurzweil's knee can be positioned anywhere depending on the perception of the observer at the time. An exponential (dark gray line) and a logistic (light gray line) fit on world-population data. The graph focuses on the 20th century during which we have accurate and detailed data. DOWNLOAD in #PDF The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology PDF Click button below to download or read this book.
Kurzweil notes that computational capacity alone will not create artificial intelligence. Instead, exploration stalled or even regressed after that. Predictions made by Ray Kurzweil. Now your grandparents. His inventions range from optical character recognition devices to scanners and print-to-speech reading machines for the blind. The New York Times.
Take a second to think about all the changes your great-grandparents have seen in their lifetime. Mine have seen the rise of the car, the commercialization of aircraft travel and the first moonlanding.
Now your grandparents. The entire world is now connected. Space rockets can be re-used. The more time passes, the faster evolution brings about new changes. Around 4 billion years ago the process of evolution started. It took half of that time 2 billion years JUST for multicellular organisms to develop from single-cell organisms. According to Ray, what he calls the Law of Accelerating Returns says that in addition to the changes themselves, the benefits of those changes for humanity, the returns of evolution, are also increasing.
Then, until , it doubled every two years. Now it doubles every year, making computers cheaper all the time.
These mini-robots are so tiny that they can move through your entire body, for example using your bloodstream as a means of transport. You can imagine them as white blood cells on steroids. Apart from being controllable via the internet, these nanobots will be able to self-replicate, meaning they can make however many copies they need of themselves, in order to take care of your body.
Everything that has an upside also has a downside. By then, nanobots in our bodies will be common practice. But just like bodily cells can spin out of control and turn into cancerous cells by self-replicating uncontrollably, so could the nanobots.
If nanobots started multiplying uncontrollably outside of a human body, a nuclear explosion will seem like a joke. Kurzweil says evolutionary progress looks smooth, but that really it is divided into paradigms, specific methods of solving problems. Each paradigm starts with slow growth, builds to rapid growth, and then levels off. As one paradigm levels off, pressure builds to find or develop a new paradigm.
So what looks like a single smooth curve is really series of smaller S curves. Kurzweil calls this exponential growth the law of accelerating returns, and he believes it applies to many human-created technologies such as computer memory , transistors , microprocessors , DNA sequencing , magnetic storage , the number of Internet hosts , Internet traffic , decrease in device size, and nanotech citations and patents.
A fundamental pillar of Kurzweil's argument is that to get to the Singularity, computational capacity is as much of a bottleneck as other things like quality of algorithms and understanding of the human brain. Moore's Law predicts the capacity of integrated circuits grows exponentially, but not indefinitely.
Kurzweil feels the increase in the capacity of integrated circuits will probably slow by the year Kurzweil describes four paradigms of computing that came before integrated circuits: Since Kurzweil believes computational capacity will continue to grow exponentially long after Moore's Law ends it will eventually rival the raw computing power of the human brain.
Kurzweil looks at several different estimates of how much computational capacity is in the brain and settles on 10 16 calculations per second and 10 13 bits of memory. Kurzweil notes that computational capacity alone will not create artificial intelligence. He asserts that the best way to build machine intelligence is to first understand human intelligence.
The first step is to image the brain, to peer inside it.
Kurzweil claims imaging technologies such as PET and fMRI are increasing exponentially in resolution  while he predicts even greater detail will be obtained during the s when it becomes possible to scan the brain from the inside using nanobots. Beyond reverse engineering the brain in order to understand and emulate it, Kurzweil introduces the idea of "uploading" a specific brain with every mental process intact, to be instantiated on a "suitably powerful computational substrate".
He writes that general modeling requires 10 16 calculations per second and 10 13 bits of memory, but then explains uploading requires additional detail, perhaps as many as 10 19 cps and 10 18 bits.
Kurzweil says the technology to do this will be available by Kurzweil believes there is "no objective test that can conclusively determine" the presence of consciousness. Kurzweil says revolutions in genetics , nanotechnology and robotics will usher in the beginning of the Singularity.
Kurzweil concedes that every technology carries with it the risk of misuse or abuse, from viruses and nanobots to out-of-control AI machines.
He believes the only countermeasure is to invest in defensive technologies, for example by allowing new genetics and medical treatments, monitoring for dangerous pathogens, and creating limited moratoriums on certain technologies. As for artificial intelligence Kurzweil feels the best defense is to increase the "values of liberty, tolerance, and respect for knowledge and diversity" in society, because "the nonbiological intelligence will be embedded in our society and will reflect our values".
Kurzweil touches on the history of the Singularity concept, tracing it back to John von Neumann in the s and I. Good in the s.
He compares his Singularity to that of a mathematical or astrophysical singularity. While his ideas of a Singularity is not actually infinite, he says it looks that way from any limited perspective. During the Singularity, Kurzweil predicts that "human life will be irreversibly transformed"  and that humans will transcend the "limitations of our biological bodies and brain".
Kurzweil claims once nonbiological intelligence predominates the nature of human life will be radically altered: Eventually people's bodies will contain so much augmentation they'll be able to alter their "physical manifestation at will". Kurzweil says the law of accelerating returns suggests that once a civilization develops primitive mechanical technologies, it is only a few centuries before they achieve everything outlined in the book, at which point it will start expanding outward, saturating the universe with intelligence.
Since people have found no evidence of other civilizations, Kurzweil believes humans are likely alone in the universe. Thus Kurzweil concludes it is humanity's destiny to do the saturating, enlisting all matter and energy in the process. As for individual identities during these radical changes, Kurzweil suggests people think of themselves as an evolving pattern rather than a specific collection of molecules.
Kurzweil says evolution moves towards "greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love".
That means, he continues, that evolution is moving towards a conception of God and that the transition away from biological roots is in fact a spiritual undertaking. Kurzweil does not include an actual written timeline of the past and future, as he did in The Age of Intelligent Machines and The Age of Spiritual Machines , however he still makes many specific predictions. Kurzweil writes that by a supercomputer will have the computational capacity to emulate human intelligence  and "by around " this same capacity will be available "for one thousand dollars".
Kurzweil spells out the date very clearly: A common criticism of the book relates to the "exponential growth fallacy". As an example, in , man landed on the moon.
Extrapolating exponential growth from there one would expect huge lunar bases and manned missions to distant planets. Instead, exploration stalled or even regressed after that. Paul Davies writes "the key point about exponential growth is that it never lasts"  often due to resource constraints. On the other hand, it has been shown that the global acceleration until recently followed a hyperbolic rather than exponential pattern.
Theodore Modis says "nothing in nature follows a pure exponential" and suggests the logistic function is a better fit for "a real growth process".
The logistic function looks like an exponential at first but then tapers off and flattens completely. For example, world population and the United States's oil production both appeared to be rising exponentially, but both have leveled off because they were logistic. Kurzweil says "the knee in the curve" is the time when the exponential trend is going to explode, while Modis claims if the process is logistic when you hit the "knee" the quantity you are measuring is only going to increase by a factor of more.
While some critics complain that the law of accelerating returns is not a law of nature  others question the religious motivations or implications of Kurzweil's Singularity. The buildup towards the Singularity is compared with Judeo-Christian end-of-time scenarios.
Beam calls it "a Buck Rogers vision of the hypothetical Christian Rapture". The radical nature of Kurzweil's predictions is often discussed.