Image via Wikipedia
Science Fiction author Charlie Stross offers three arguments against the Singularity, which are worth exploring. I’d like to comment on this as well as some of the backlash against Stross’s arguments. The three arguments revolve around human-level artificial intelligence, the ability to upload the mind into a computer and the ability to live in a simulation. For this post, I’ll focus on human-level intelligence. Over the next two days, I’ll cover the other two.
Before I begin, though, I’m going to repeat Stross’ caveat:
I’m going to take it as read that you’ve read Vernor Vinge’s essay on the coming technological singularity (1993), are familiar with Hans Moravec’s concept of mind uploading, and know about Nick Bostrom’s Simulation argument. If not, stop right now and read them before you continue with this piece. Otherwise you’re missing out on the fertilizer in which the whole field of singularitarian SF, not to mention posthuman thought, is rooted. It’s probably a good idea to also be familiar with Extropianism and to have read the posthumanism FAQ, because if you haven’t you’ll have missed out on the salient social point that posthumanism has a posse.
The first point that Stross makes is simple: one of the necessary steps for the Singularity to happen is the creation of human-level artificial intelligence, which he sees as unlikely.