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SCIFI. COM chat transcript: Singularity with Venor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil

ChatMod: Tonight we’re pleased to welcome science fiction writer Venor Vinge, and author, innovator, and inventor Ray Kurzweil – the founder of Kurzweil Technologies. Tonight’s topic is Singularity. The term “singularity” refers to the geometric rate of the growth of technology and the idea that this growth will lead to a superhuman machine that will far exceed the human intellect. (…)

RayKurzweil: the event horizon of the Singularity can be compared to the concept of Singularity in physics. As one gets near a black hole, what appears to be an event horizon from outside the black hole appears differently from inside. The same will be true of this historical Singularity. (…)

vv: When dealing with “superhumans” it is not the same thing as comparing – say – our tech civ with a pretech human civ. The analogies shouldb with the animal kindgom and even more pershaps with things enve further away and more primitive (…)

RayKurzweil: The Singularity emerges from many thousands of smaller advances on many fronts: three-dimensional molecular computing, brain research (brain reverse engineering), software techniques, communication technologies, and many others. There’s no single Singularity studies. It’s the result of many intersecting revolutions. (…)

ChatMod: For both guests – will we notice the Singularity when it happens, or will life seem routine until we suddenly wake up and realize we’re on the other side?

RayKurzweil: Life will appear progressively more exciting. Doesn’t it seem that way already. I mean we’re just getting started, but there’s already a palpable acceleration.

vv: Yes, I know some people who half-seriously suggest it has already happened (…)

RayKurzweil: I do think that the entire Universe will be changed from “dumb matter” to smart matter, which is the ultimate answer to the cosmological questions.

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