Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stross whiffs on the Singularity

Charlie Stross has been heads down writing for a while, but he must have his books in the bag because his blog is aflame again.

Naturally, knowing we crave red raw meat, he started with an attack on geek theology. He beat up on the Singularity.

Go read the essay. Here's my quick digest of his three arguments:

  1. We won't build super-intelligent sentient computers because .... well ... we just won't ... because .... we're not that stupid and it wouldn't serve any obvious purpose.
  2. Uploading consciousnesses won't work because we didn't evolve to be uploaded and religious sorts will object.
  3. We aren't living in a Simulation because ... well, we might be ... but it's not falsifiable so ...

Charlie! What happened? This is your most muddled essay in years.

Not to worry too much though. Charlie followed up with three excellent posts. I think he was just rusty.

See also:

PS. Where am I on all things Skynet? I think we'll create artificial sentience and it will be the end of us. Unlike Charlie, I think there will be great economic advantages to push the limits of AI towards sentience, and we won't resist that. I'm very much hoping that is still 80 years away, but I'm afraid I might see it before I die. I think brain uploading is a hopeless dream. As for us living in a Simulation -- it does explain the Fermi Paradox ...


Charlie Stross said...

It's not that I'm not busy, it's just that I've got a book coming out next week and I'm trying to drive traffic.

Although you might find today's posting about transhumanism interesting ...

JGF said...

Yeah, I read it and It was superb. Your traffic
Must be going mad.

I am so looking forward to my copy of rule.

For amusements sake, two mire simulation "proofs" fitting your recent posts:

1. Despite all 1945 logic, we haven't had an all out nuclear war.

2. Despite all 2011 logic, we wont create artificial sentience.