From: H C (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Dec 04 2005 - 17:57:59 MST
>From: Giu1i0 Pri5c0 <email@example.com>
>To: firstname.lastname@example.org, ExI chat list
><email@example.com>, World Transhumanist Association
>Discussion List <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
>Subject: Why the Spike did not happen
>Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 07:28:05 +0100
>Interesting story on the Singularity. In 2104, an historian explain what
>"Singularity" meant and why it did not happen in the previous century. The
>main argument is that the complexity of the *interesting* problems to be
>solved increase exponentially with the capacity to solve them, thus the
>of progress stay linear. For example, even with computers with more
>processing capacity than the human brain, they don't have yet anything
>resembling a human intelligence embodied in a machine. The Searle argument
>I am not sure if I buy this argument, but I also suspect that the "gentle
>hill of progress" will continue as such, at least from the point of view of
>those who are climbing it.
>Ambient Irony <http://ai.mu.nu/archives/2104/01/forever_in_a_dr.php>: "And
>that's what killed the Spike. The Technological Singularity relied on the
>assumption that we would have ever-increasing computational resources to
>address the problem of, well, increasing our computational resources, but
>that the problems we would have to solve would not increase at the same
>rate. When it turned out that the complexity of the problems increased as
>fast as - or even faster than - our ability to solve them, the inevitable
>Spike turned into the gentle hill of progress. And instead of the
>era, we ended up with a very human era indeed".
...But from a more even-handed standpoint, I somehow find this a very
I mean come on.
"BlueGene/P will have faster processors and could ultimately reach petaflops
speeds-- quadrillions of calculations per second. "We're planning on a very
long-term effort," notes Markram. "We're creating a unique facility for
researchers worldwide." Adds Charles Peck, the IBM researcher who leads the
Blue Brain effort at IBM's research division in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.:
"There's now a tremendous opportunity to do some science that up to this
point just hasn't been possible."
"Since the neocortical column was first discovered 40 years ago, researchers
have been painstakingly unraveling how it helps perform the miracles of
thought that enable humans to be creative, inventive, philosophical
creatures. "That's been my passion, my mission for 10 years," says Markram.
"Now, we know how information is transferred form one neuron to another. We
know how they behave -- what they do and whom they talk to. We've actually
mapped that out."
Next, that knowledge will be transferred into a torridly fast silicon
simulator. Blue Brain promises a fantastic acceleration in brain research.
It could be as dramatic as the leap from chiseling numbers in Sumerian clay
tablets 2,500 years ago to crunching them in modern computers. And the Blue
Brain Project just might culminate in a new breed of supersmart computers
that will make even BlueGene/L seem like a piker. "
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