Documenting the Coming Singularity

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quando, quando quando? - When Will Computers Be Smarter Than Us?

Editor's note: I am always fascinated by what people like Nick have to say. First, because it's always damned interesting. Second, because I think it behooves me to have an idea where the world is headed. Some may find it more comforting to play the head-burial game. If that floats you, fine, but I see the ability and willingness to adapt to a changing environment as the best way to proceed.

In this article Nick gives a plausible argument for cognitive enhancement, i.e. radically improving human intelligence through merging our brains with technology, as well as exploring the varied means by which intelligence can, and probably will, dramatically multiply on the earth and beyond. - June 22, 2009, by Nick Bostrom

Intelligence is a big deal. Humanity owes its dominant position on Earth not to any special strength of our muscles, nor any unusual sharpness of our teeth, but to the unique ingenuity of our brains. It is our brains that are responsible for the complex social organization and the accumulation of technical, economic and scientific advances that, for better and worse, undergird modern civilization.

Perhaps the smartest and wisest thing the human species could do would be to work on making itself smarter and wiser. In the longer run, however, biological human brains might cease to be the predominant nexus of earthly intelligence.

All our technological inventions, philosophical ideas and scientific theories have gone through the birth canal of the human intellect. Arguably, human brain power is the chief limiting factor in the development of human civilization.

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