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Saturday, June 21, 2014

You Need A Singularity Like You Need A Black Hole In Your Head

Singularitarians have a black hole where their brains should be.

More Futurological Brickbats here. There are a number of critiques of the notion of "The Singularity" collected in The Superlative Summary, among them this early one, "The Singularity Won't Save Your Ass."


jimf said...

Dale, you've just failed the Turing Test.

Dale Carrico said...

Yeah, I saw that. Of course, it is no surprise for me to see the leap (even as a "joke" -- hey, soopergeniuses, jokes are supposed to be funny) from applying the conceit of the Turing Test not as the aspiration to mis-attribute intelligence to a non-intelligent computer but as a way to mis-attribute non-intelligence to an intelligent human. Those who follow the link to my futurological brackbats will find the following aphoristic critique to such a line in bs:

XXIV. Whenever a software coder fancies that his trade renders him a philosopher, an economist, a poet, or, bless his heart, a biologist you can expect no end of foolishness and mischief from him.

LXIII. Far from endowing our artifacts with intelligence, we are mistaking for such endowment the process by which we are becoming ever more superficial and uncritical through our mediation and consumption of unintelligent artifacts.

LXIV. The Turing Test only tests us.

LXXII. How do you know you're not conversing online with a bot? If you're really not sure, then you've become little better than a bot yourself so it doesn't much matter. Turing's Test was never really a measure of the arrival of artificial intelligence in nonhumans, but of the arrival in humans, through their involvement with idiotic implements, of artificial imbecillence.

XCV. "Artificial Intelligence" is always an essentially fetishistic misrecognition of computer-mediated relations among intelligent humans.

XCIX. "Artificial Intelligence" is an unintelligent description of unintelligent artifacts by unintelligent people.

CIII. Transhumanism is an effort to pretend confusing humans for robots and mistreating humans as robots is a science of humans becoming robots.

CXV. The singularity happens when we are all reduced to artificial imbecillence by autocorrect.

CXLVI. AI discourse is mostly an hilarious effort to mansplain intelligence to an indifferent reality.

jimf said...

Did you notice the disclaimer at the beginning of the article?

"[T]his article represents the always controversial
views of its author. Both Ben Goertzel and I [Peter Rothman,
editor of H+ Magazine, presumably] have expressed our views on the
Turing Test results elsewhere."

This "Singularity Utopia" is, presumably, none other than
the blazing prophet who keyed this gem:
(via )
Singularity Denial should be a criminal offence: worse than Holocaust denial.
by Singularity Utopia

I am in the process of writing a short essay regarding Singularity Deniers.

The basic premise is that Deniers are potentially causing enormous
loss of life because their denial could easily delay the Singularity.

Approximately 150,000 people die each day therefore when we reach
the Singularity (immortality) almost all these deaths will be prevented.

Singularity deniers are therefore potentially complicit in the deaths
of thousands or millions of people.

Guilt will be determined retrospectively via supremely intelligent AIs.
I would like a international law to be created to criminalize Singularity-Denial.

The definition of Singularity Denial is where a person or persons
deny the Singularity will occur by year 2045 (at the latest) and
they deny the Singularity will create utopia.

Dale wrote:

> [I]t is no surprise for me to see the leap. . . from applying the
> conceit of the Turing Test not as the aspiration to mis-attribute
> intelligence to a non-intelligent computer but as a way to mis-attribute
> non-intelligence to an intelligent human.

Note also that it's "dismissals of the Singularity" rather than belief
in the Singularity that's "quasi-religious":

"I promise you, people such as George Dvorsky, Ramez Na[a]m, and Erik Sofge
will look very silly over the coming years. Their quasi-religious dismissals
of the Singularity will come back to bite them. Go on critics, wave your hands
regarding your pseudo-futurism!"

This is soopergenius cleverness, folks: "Naa, naa, I'm rubber and you're
glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you."
Fundamentalist Christians get a lot of mileage from the same tactic:
You wanna teach science? Well, Intelligent Design is a field of
science. You want freedom of religion? Well, laws protecting LGBT folks
will abridge **our** freedom of religion.

The evidence, if you care to look, shows clear AI progress. The Singularity
is not science fiction or a quasi-religious view."

And now George Dvorsky is a "Singularity critic"? Oh well,
The old order changeth yielding place to new And God fulfills
himself in many ways Lest one good custom should corrupt the world...

"If they want to become more entrenched in their opposition they should
go for it, but they should be aware it's their reputations at risk.
I for one would welcome their buffoonery for posterity.

Over the next 31 years rudimentary AIs will be refined. The next 31 years
will be very substantial if we consider how progress is accelerating in 2014.
We only need to observe how rapidly technology progressed from the
first mobile phone in 1983 to smartphones in 2014. Yes it took a while
to invent Watson, but now we've made the breakthrough we will begin to
progress rapidly.

The writing was on the wall before Erik Sofge published his Singularity critique.
If not now then in the near future computers passing the Turing Test is
inescapable. Better Turing Test pass rates are also inevitable during subsequent
years. AIs will progress from teenagers to adults. We will also develop better
tests than the Turing Test."

Like an AI inventing an immortality pill, I suppose. Well,
mark your calendars, folks.

Dale Carrico said...

A drunk in a pee stained overcoat declares the Moon to be made of green cheese. Controversial!