Check out this interview of the 1st Apostle of the Singularity, Ray Kurzweil, as he says the event will occur by 2040.Kurzweil Interview on VBS.TV
I think we have to get by the End of the Age Mayan Calendar change-over in 2012 first Ray.
Or is it the Rapture?
I can’t tell which, there’s so many to choose!
Speaking of the Singularity, George Dvorsky of Sentient Developments asks the question, “when (or what for that matter) is a person a person?”
A number of Sentient Developments readers have asked what I mean when I refer to non-human persons and the personhood spectrum. It’s a fair question, and to be honest, I have yet to see a satisfying personhood taxonomy with an attendant list of traits that fully circumscribe the personhood continuum. I consider this an incredibly important issue as we move into a ‘transhuman condition’ and as we work to give non-human animals greater moral consideration. If I ever go back to school I think this will be a likely topic for a thesis.
A big question I would like to answer is, should personhood status be described as a spectrum or as a definitive, fixed state. In other words, are dolphins and bonobos as much persons as a genetically modified and cyborgized transhuman? And is such a distinction even necessary? Should persons, regardless of where they are situated in the personhood spectrum, all have the same moral and legal considerations?
More philosophically, given the space of all possible minds, how can we begin to identify the space of all possible persons within that gigantic spectrum?
I’m assuming since George is a Transhumanist, beings such as uplifted apes and dolphins, and various machine intelligences with “conscious” software should be considered “legal persons”.
This matter is not at all cut and dry.
Given the number of conservative societies we have in the world, the US and most Moslem nations being the most rightist, I foresee a problem getting such beings any kind of civil rights at all.
That will be moot if DARPA’s plan for the Google-Plex to turn hyper-intelligent pans out, then humans will be behind the curve!
As a parting shot at (for?) the Singularity today, Adam Korbitz of Estimate of the Situation sez that “Mind Reading Computers are already here”:
…this year you will be able to buy for about $300 a headset that enables you to use EEG technology to control computers with thought alone.
I know, the computer isn’t reading your mind, humans are the ones doing the controlling.
But for how long?
Mind Reading Computers