Documenting the Coming Singularity

Friday, January 23, 2009

How might a super-intelligence emerge?

This novelette by Ted Chiang if a fascinating exploration of what it might be like if/when an enhanced human intelligence arises.

a novelette by Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang writes...

The initial impulse to write "Understand" arose from an offhand remark made by my roommate in college; he was reading Sartre's Nausea at the time, whose protagonist finds only meaninglessness in everything he sees. But what would it be like, my roommate wondered, to find meaning and order in everything you saw? To me that suggested a kind of heightened perception, which in turn suggested superintelligence. I started thinking about the point at which quantitative improvements -- better memory, faster pattern recognition -- turn into a qualitative difference, a fundamentally different mode of cognition.

Read the novelette>>

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