Re: professors and the Singularity (Glenn Reynolds/Instapundit)

From: Neil H. (
Date: Wed Jul 19 2006 - 14:58:14 MDT

I'm not sure how prominent you would consider him to be outside the
blogosphere, but the Instapundit Glenn Reynolds (who also happens to be a
law Professor at the University of Tennessee ) is quite interested in
Singularity ideas, having mentioned it several times at

Here's an email interview he had with Ray Kurzweil:

Also, an podcast interview with Vernor Vinge:

>From the description:

I'm interested in the Singularity, and I'm a big fan of Vernor Vinge's. He's
> got a new book out next week called Rainbows End, set in 2025, and as I've
> mentioned before it's pretty much an Army of Davids kind of world. He's also
> the author of such previous classics as A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness
> in the Sky.
> We talk to him about the Singularity -- and how it may come from the
> superhuman "ensemble behavior" of ordinary humans with powerful computers
> linked via the Internet rather than through the development of superhuman
> artificial intelligence -- about signposts indicating how we're doing, about
> humanity's prospects for utopia or extinction, and related minor issues. We
> also discussed writing science fiction (the secret, he says, is "brain
> parasitism," taking advantage of readers' smarts), whether college is
> becoming obsolete, mind uploading, and the joys (or lack thereof) of
> virtual-reality sex, a question that perplexes Helen.

On 7/12/06, Joshua Fox <> wrote:
> > Singularitarians already have the conceptual endorsement of several of
> > the smartest scientist polymaths not explicitly associated with the
> > singularity. Obviously Feynman, with respect to MNT, but also Von
> > Neumann with respect to self-replication and GAI.
> Thanks, Michael. I have great respect for the opinions of those two,
> in addition it would be good to have a number of living endorsers, who can
> engage in ongoing discourse.
> If SIAI, or even the Singularitarian philosophy in general, could get a
> strong endorsement from Hawking, Pinker, Dawkins, Dennett, Minsky,
> any Nobel Prize winner in physics or other relevant areas, or just a
> of leading professors from top universities in a number of fields, it
> probably bring some supporters and donors on board.
> In response to the question "Why should someone fund the Institute's AI
> instead of other AI work?" Eliezer gives an answer, but adds that "to
> appreciate this answer on its own terms requires AI and cognitive science
> expertise." Most people do not have this expertise and must rely on people
> they trust.
> Joshua

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