Fiction | Technological Singularity: Pros and Cons




Fiction | Technological Singularity: Pros and Cons

Not so long ago we wrote about the running now in Google futurologist Ray Kurzweil. He is of the optimistic views on mankind and its destiny in the next few decades. Unlike Stephen Hawking , Kurzweil does not believe that earthlings must move to tear the claws in the space to other planets. He believes that we will become immortal. And here is born a lot of questions, chief of which is that technological singularity.

Many of you believe that life will be quite uncertain due to advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology and nature in the very near future, people’s lives, and even more of their mortality, and gives meaning to existence. There will come a technological singularity – and we are soluble in nonsense lack of natural life cycles and generational change. Immortality, they say, takes us to the relevance of the aspirations and life for the sake of results. Existential crisis, if you like. But is this really true?

It should shed some light on these dubious sentiments that show more fear than thoughtful arguments. They demonstrate the flaw, which boasts a generation. This view of the future will be the same as the past, as with the process and with individual personal standpoint. The reason is simple. We are evolutionarily programmed to observe the world. Compare data to predict trends and events, search for the meaning of life. At work, in relationships, all we are trying to rationalize their actions, if you do not like – you have to get to work on the hated work. These strict limits keep your mind on the flight of thought, you are sacrificing comfort, but get certainty. Such short-sightedness in a few ways (remember the notorious pyramid of Maslow) has developed evolutionarily, because our bodies need food, water, warmth of another body, and the person does not think about the life of a few days ahead. As poignantly noted Bulgakov Voland, the problem of man is that he is “sudden death” and therefore can not know in advance the life or predict how it will be then. The evolution did not prepare us for culture, cities, technology, and to a sedentary lifestyle.


Russian project “Avatar.” Russia 2045.

Let’s start with the history of life expectancy. 2000 years ago, she was 23. 200 years ago – 37 years. 100 years ago is under 50. Today, in some places, it reaches 80 years of age, the person designated to life.

The worker house and garden, who lived 2,000 years ago, probably lived a life more than any of us today. Woke up at dawn, dusk was falling asleep on the day-to-day, constantly perform backbreaking work, trying not to throw light clock. He was more likely to lose because of the disease in children, a wife. His complete ignorance of science, morality, agricultural and technological spheres frightened him terribly. Therefore, his life ran the gods (or God), himself a farmer of control over their lives refused.

Now, of course, we can say that the modern environment – a paradise for those lazy people like us. Those who do not, and lived thirty years, hardly imagine that this is eternal life. But this view is not tenable paradigm today. We can not know for sure how to relate to the next generation of eternity. And who knows, maybe people living 500 years ago, asked the same question – and might not have thought that they would live up to 80 years. The question of the difference between those who lived to be twenty, and those who lived to be a hundred. The difference in understanding the world of the future. With each passing day the world of the future is becoming less attainable.

Imagine the life of a poor octogenarian exhausted the harsh fate of the farmer. Life is cruel to shoot the breeze of his frail vessel, rarely giving a feeling of comfort. If he threw a back-breaking labor, he would have died of hunger. Now imagine such a long life of the average Muscovite, or the New Yorker, which, in principle, it is free to live, work, are educated and have the freedom of choice. Once in our world, there is another successful entrepreneur, he immediately acquires relationships and opportunities unspent hundreds of hours and millions of unspent money. If someone is seriously out of luck with life, bunk with relatives, he finds himself exactly.

In the first case, life is lived every day, and every corner hides illness and death. In the latter proceeds relatively carefree life, “MacDonald stroking your face”, Internet, TV, movies, books, people. There is a clear difference between living a hard life and living freely (and not only from a materialistic point of view). It is obvious that our poor farmer will talk about living up to eighty years in the same way as we speak of a thousand. Within the thinking of each of our characters do not fit on the ordeal of life, which is always, as we discovered, is relative.

But even today, our lives just look at the background carefree lives of our ancestors, when the industrial revolution was just beginning. To live up to forty then it was pride. And today we are suffering from disease, lack of resources and wasteful distribution of crime, death, poverty and other factors. One billion people hungry bear to sleep (10.9 million children die of hunger every year), three billion people live on less than a couple of dollars a day, while spending a few billion within ten dollars a day. In the developed world – obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases that kill millions every year. Many of us, in the words of Tyler Durden in “Fight Club”, go to work, who hate, and buy things that we do not need. But this picture of our changing for the better, and technology contribute to this in the first place.

Now let’s take a look into the future and shake his hand to Ray Kurzweil, is accused opponents of the idea of ​​immortality in myopia.

Город солнца

The future growth of technologies will be accompanied by an increase in power and decrease in cost. This curve, we are already seeing the example of Moore’s Law , and we are in the middle of the path. A striking example is the iPhone. It is a million times cheaper and a million times smaller and a thousand times more powerful supercomputer $ 60 million, which impresses with its size 40 years ago. In 20 years, computers are forecast Kurzweil will be a billion times more powerful in the hundreds of thousands of times smaller – and who knows how much cheaper. Software and artificial intelligence that will fill this machine, too, will be on top. All that will change the nature of human relationships, as it once did the Internet .

Economist Jeffrey Sachs said that the mobile phone – it’s the most powerful tool that lifts people out of poverty. Conclusions were based on observations of 14 isolated and poorest cities in Africa, which were equipped with mobile technologies. 10% of involvement in the mobile communications provide a 0.6-percent GDP growth. In 2000, Kenya has sold 17,000 mobile phones, by 2010 this number reached 18 million. In the country, new industries, new jobs, new information and ways of the people. A study conducted by the United Nations, confirmed that mobile phones have become the most effective “tablet from poverty” in the history of technology.

Let’s go back to the Internet. In 2012, the world’s two billion people connected to the web. By 2020 the number will reach 5 billion. Over the past fifty years, according to Mckinsey & Co, the Internet has increased the GDP “Big Eight” by 15%, and in Jordan, for example, for every 10% penetration of web-to-GDP added 2.1%.

“Poverty is almost equated with isolation in many places around the world. Poverty leads to a lack of access to markets, to emergency health care, education, the possibility of government services, etc. “, – says Sachs. – “What has made the mobile phone – and information technology in general – is to prevent a similar exclusion in its many variations.”

Parallel to this is developing robotics and artificial intelligence. A short time left before the time when together they will maintain and repair jobs in factories. In the short term, it will affect the financial prosperity, and in the long term – will get rid of the “rat race”, which will begin with a deflationary economy, because the technology reduces the cost of resources and increases in volumes (history stretches back to the scientific and technological revolution.)

Each year, information technologies become twice as powerful without an increase in price. In ten years they will be in five – a hundred thousand times more powerful than today.
Self-propelled vehicles

Google Street View

Another project of Google «on Wheels» – Street View.

One of the most advanced technologies on the horizon are self-governing cars from Google . These magical machines will replace the taxi drivers, drivers, truck drivers, service delivery, and would negate the need for a second or third car in a big family, when one does not fit all. Blow to the economy – it’s the first thing that comes to mind for most people, and policies, and the skeptics will use this argument. But look at it this way. Similar cars will save an incredible amount of oil and gas, increasing the efficiency of driving, reduce the time spent on the road and deliver us from the traffic jams and congestion, pollution and could be reduced significantly, accidents, injuries and deaths from car virtually disappear.

Every year, car crashes killed 1.3 million people. In 90% of people are to blame. By 2020, the number of deaths will increase to 1.9 million, according to estimates. Self-guided cars will save a million lives each year, saving billions of dollars and more. Of course, in the short term, the economy is seriously hurt, but is it not worth it?

Increasingly intelligent software, combined with the machinery of flexible, cope with challenges on the implementation of which, as a rule, are only capable people. Here, for example, a quote from the magazine NY Times, which predicts more working robots than humans:

“Fast, cheap computers and incredibly intelligent software allow machines capabilities that were once considered the hallmark of a man: understanding speech, translating from one language to another, pattern recognition. Automation comes. ” – Steve Lohr.

Food of the future

Agriculture gradually go under the ground, in the city, homes, thanks to hydroponics, aeroponics and akvaponike. Each of these systems uses at least 90% less water than agriculture (costs which account for 70% of water use, and projected that by 2050 will rise to 90%). Food supply will cease to depend on the location, will be less expensive, food prices fall, the products themselves will be cleaner. These technologies can provide all the country: on African farm can grow their own food without the need for imports. In vitro meat production completely eliminate the need for livestock farms.

There is a clear progress. Technology is the only area of ​​human activity where past trends reflect the future. Just try to imagine the life of a future where all of our problems is practically non-existent and knowledge infinitely more than we have today. In 2050, 90% of what we know today, will be open for several years. A special role in this all play online. Since 1995, the Internet grows in size every year twice, with no end in sight. Soon it will become an integral part of everyday life. Points from Google – GoogleGlass – a great example of what will happen tomorrow.

This awkward existential crisis, in response to a futuristic research, are no different from many of those that have been in the past and none have failed. Socrates, in his time, was worried that the thoughts written on paper, will lead to atrophy of the brain, because no one needs to remember what is written. Despite the wisdom of Socrates, in this respect he was shortsighted. Looking back, we realize that they have become smarter since begun to register events that are reflected in the sands of time.

It helped those who could not meet because of the distance in time. Participatory processes, both in trade and in the knowledge-crossed, crossed and drove the evolution of the way that we are constantly increasing their knowledge base. Of these, a host of inventions and flashes of insight that solved many of our problems, up to their elimination. Of course, were born and new challenges. Today we do not know what to do with the climate, the degradation of the biosphere, food and fresh water. But the scientific and technical processes are such that we will inevitably face problems of earthly life (and try to solve them). Up until the moment when we will be able to leave the Earth and humanity to spread through the universe. And the next.

The universe is almost infinite. Our planet – less than a tiny speck of dust in the solar system, orbiting the sun in a small ordinary galaxy with 400 billion stars in the sea of ​​100 billion galaxies. The future inevitably will push us beyond the solar system, but most of the time we will overcome the challenges of our bodies, physiology and ethics. Mechanisms will be countless, the products will be healthier, and everything we do – will be absolutely beneficial to our physical and mental health.

All our biological limitations will be overcome, thanks to biotechnology. With the accumulation of technology, their sum will be more accurately determine our full and purposeful life, despite the predictions of skeptics. The paradigm of today had never sustained a head of time and its validation.

It is not surprising that over the past four years, human culture is experiencing a strong surge thanks to technology. From Da Vinci to Thomas Edison – all progress is a strong strand twists.

Do you think it will stop in the future? No, alas and cheer.
Back a couple of billion years ago the Earth was stinking like rotten eggs
Tags: Google , Future , Future Technology , Technological Singularity .

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