HEY, LET'S SPEND $400 BILLION RESEARCHING "THE SINGULARITY"

[ Thu. Jan. 24. 2013 ]

As a perennial skeptic of most ideas that involve "uploading our consciousness" or "superhuman artificial intelligence," I'm more than a little doubtful. Author Bruce Sterling, who writes sci-fi and authored the nonfiction classic The Hacker Crackdown, is with me. "It's just not happening," Sterling wrote in his own Edge.org commentary. "All the symptoms are absent. Computer hardware is not accelerating on any exponential runway beyond all hope of control. We're no closer to 'self-aware' machines than we were in the remote 1960s. Modern wireless devices in a modern Cloud are an entirely different cyber-paradigm than imaginary 1990s 'minds on nonbiological substrates' that might allegedly have the 'computational power of a human brain.' A Singularity has no business model, no major power group in our society is interested in provoking one, nobody who matters sees any reason to create one, there's no there there."