The Singularity: Five Technologies That Will Change the World (and One That Won't)

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diamondcutter

e've had a bunch of things such as supersonic jets. I'd just like to be a jerk and point out that the first official supersonic flight was by Chuck Yeager in 1947 using the Bell X-1. Visit W3Schools

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MNC3333

It is the point when Corrupt Monopolizing Corporations can "Reinvent" technology that already exists by bankrupting the original inventors in court and rewriting history to show that "They" are the true inventors worthy of all the fame and fortune associated with their theft It is the point at which History has been so corrupted that your readers believe the tax credit propaganda being fed to them on a daily basis and no longer know their A$$ from a hole in the ground.

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diamondcutter

Visits W3Schools This is the ultimate way to test this out. I would do it

[url=http://example.com]Example[/url]

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joan7334

This was a particularly interesting perspective that opened my eyes to just how much technology has advanced and keeps om marching onward. Reverse Phone

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CircusUgly

The singularity will eventually occur but it'll be much further in the future. Why? Because all of this super wowie new technology - and its prerequisite research and development - is all in the hands of a small collection of global corporations who control how and when its released in order to safely manage demand and scale profits. Bottom-line: Corporations lack vision because they can only envision safe research paths. So they'll surpress risky "what-if" R&D in favor of known, successful products/markets. Additionally, there is an ever-growing shortage of valuable minerals used to produce these new technologies. The law of the minimum tells us that which is in the least amount will control growth. And even if someone in a garage does produce the next "big thing" it'll be sucked into the corporate black box.

And one more thing: now did religion get injected into a conversation about technology? I fail to see how it has any bearing at all on the topic. I wish all of the bleating Christo-fascist evangelicals would just rapture the hell off and leave the rest of us in peace!

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Mr James

The Singularity is about a coming Uber-Intelligence. A mind that will transcend human failings and limitations. I would like to remind readers that we humans haven’t been able to prove some of the simplest mathematical conjectures posed hundreds of years ago ( Ex. Goldbach’s conjecture). Ask, anyone at random, “ What is the P = NP problem and why is it important? “, and you’ll probably get a big fat; ugh? . ( Note: “P” stands for polynomial and NP stands for Non-deterministic polynomial. ) Ask someone how to create a truth machine by tapping into Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorem or what contributions Alan Turing ( my favorite genius ) gave to the world and you’ll probably get more of the same. The point I’m trying to make is simply this. An actual “Singularity” will create more wonders than an average human is aware of and an educated human is capable of ( excuse my bad grammar, please) .

Some quick comments:

The USA has and is spending some 2 trillion dollars to fight ridiculous wars, a space elevator is very affordable, considering that there are literally TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS ( I am being extremely conservative here.) of resources available in outer space. The people who rule this world have small greedy minds, and little vision.

Flying cars are very possible if FULLY automated.

The people who control the flow of money ( how much and to whom are the biggest obstacle to real progress, with some exceptions ). The rich don’t won’t things to change, they don’t want to deal with you.

 

I would like to be more positive about all of this, but we are not ready for this at this point in human history.

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Zoandar

You're mind will be punched on a card And shut away in a little drawer And when they want you to buy something they will tell you And when they want you to die they will let you know - Wendell Berry

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d3v

I guess its ok as long as they let me know.

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Just_Me

People will still be people, even if modified. One feature of society I rarely encounter in SF and which is missing in this article: a justice/court system.

 

History rather clearly shows that those who have want to keep and those who don't have want to get, sometimes any way they can. Plus there are the individuals who either canot or won't control their own behavior and like harming other people. 

 

So--how do we use tech to move from where we are today to dealing with this part of human life?

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MeanSquare

One of the issues with developments in technology is that all technologies don't progress at a mutually benefical rate to each other.  As an example, we are finding ways to extend the human life-span and, as a result, we've discovered Alzheimer's.  That's not a stopper, but it is a consideration.  Some of these developments are predicated on others.  For instance, we really can't trust most human beings with flying cars.  (Look at the trouble we have in only two dimensions.)  So, the flying car is predicated on the development of faster, cheaper, more powerful processing power (number 1 on your list) as well as cheaper, better power sources and engines.

I do agree that the pace of development will probably increase geometrically (If not strickly according to Moore's Law, at least along the same lines.) until we reach a point where human beings are no longer able to process any faster.  As that continues, it will become increasingly important to have better and better search bots and filters to allow us to access the information we need as quickly as possible.

One aspect you didn't mention, and one that concerns me a fair bit, is the development of human-enhancing technologies.  Genetic alteration, nanotechnological boosting, and other possibilities will be very tempting (maybe impossible to resist).  The first uses of the technology will be fixing things that are actually broken: repairing damaged nerves; fixing cateracts and then fixing astigmatism and focusing issues; repairing damaged organs, limbs, blood vessels, etc.  At some point, however, people will begin using it cosmetically.  Some people will pay whatever it takes to have self-altering hair or eye color, self-tanning skin, and eventually self-regulating physiques -- regardless of what you eat.  Athletes will have to be tested for it.  Some very bizarre accidents will undoubtedly occur.  (Look at some of the cosmetic surgery mishaps as a current example.)

On the whole, I welcome improvements in technology, but we do need to be careful that what we can do isn't always what we should do.

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Stockislander

"Your shoes will tell you when they need to be re-soled". That's pretty funny! Are you expecting a resurgence of cobblers, or actual repairs of any kind? Anyhow, thanks for the article!

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Marion McCoskey

The scanario you presented views machines as benevolent.  Other writers view them as evil.

 

As machines become more intelligent, they will become contrained by the same information processing limitations that humans face.  Evil behaviour requires more processing power and more communications overhead.  That limits the amount of evil that can exist.

 

If you lie, then you have to remember what lie to told, and to whom.  If your plan is to be fair and honest to your immediate group, but perpetrate crimes on others, then you need to know who is in the group and who is out.  None of this changes because a mechanism gets more processing power.

 

Based on that analysis, it seems the distribution of good and evil will not change.  Most intelligent mechanism will be petty criminals as are most humans.  There will be a few who are hardly criminals at all, and a few that are spectacularly evil.

 

Of course that's all just a guess.  Anything could happen.

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Baer

While I am sure no one will agree with everything in this article and there can be much discussion on it as on anything that predicts the future I found it very interesting reading and I feel that it was well thought out.

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schwit

Flying cars can be realized if there's a new type of lifting propulsion that permits easy hovering. This is showing at the Paris air show.
http://www.gizmag.com/d-dalus-uav-design/18972/

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Bullwinkle J Moose

The "Singularity" of scientific Advancement is the point at which Maximum PC readers can no longer distinguish truth from fiction

It is the point when Corrupt Monopolizing Corporations can "Reinvent" technology that already exists by bankrupting the original inventors in court and rewriting history to show that "They" are the true inventors worthy of all the fame and fortune associated with their theft

It is the point at which History has been so corrupted that your readers believe the propaganda being fed to them on a daily basis and no longer know their A$$ from a hole in the ground

It is the point at which you began to go along with all the lies because it was easier than finding and fighting for the truth

It is the point at which you decided to be a Corporate shill rather than unemployed!

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Zoandar

+100!

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yu119995

+1

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Bayareatransplant

Moores Law applies to transistor count, not the speed of the computer.  Its plainly obvious that cpu speeds have not doubled in the last 2 years and ram speeds have not either.  This is a fundamental error I have seen journalists make time after time.  If you even bother to wiki Moore's Law you will read an excellent explanation of what Moores Law really is.

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TerribleToaster

 

On flying cars:

 

There is a inevitable need for them, or something like them, in the near future (next 100 years or so); the reason being one of urban planning.

We are running out of room. With the advent of MegaCities and coming of MegaStructures population densities are on the rise which will make real estate far more expensive. As these densities increase there is also a corresponding rise in pedestrian traffic. When pedestrian traffic rises and no new land can be acquired the solution is to cannibalize the road system for walkways. This leaves no room for rapid individualized transport on the surface, so they must go up (the underground belongs to mass transit and utilities). On the plus side, at least megastructures make it easy to form a network of "landing hubs" and create a traffic pattern. But flying personalized transportation is inevitable. We need to make use of all of that third dimension.

Luckily, State side this isn't that big an issue. As a relative newcomer to civilization, America is still a vastly undeveloped landscape with a lot of room for expansion horizontally (though eventually, horizontal expansion will be less economical than vertical). But in places like Japan where land is already overdeveloped, expect something like this to come out of their evolving urban landscape. 

Of course there is always the possiblity we find another way to solve this problem that no one has thought of yet.

 

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Fecal Face

"There was a young man from Racine, who invented a screwing machine. Concave or convex, it could serve either sex, entertaining itself in-between."

 

Nice rhyme, that made me laugh :D

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SpaceyJacey

We already have flying cars, they're called airplanes.

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kixofmyg0t

Is it just me or did this article have a certain flow.....and then all of the sudden derail itself?

I mean one minute i'm reading about IPv6....and the next i'm asking my refridgerator where my phone is.....

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Demonspank

Flying cars will never happen in my lifetime.  Never.

There needs to be so many redundant systems as well as the actual inability for any human to pilot them before they are possible on an even medium scale.  There is no way we'll suffer people dropping out of the sky into whatever because they are drunk, or don't maintain the vehicle, or X or Y or Z.  While the scenario is similar to current private pilots (not a large group to begin with), take away the required maintenance, traffic control and oversight that airports provide, and you have yourself a heck of a fire-from-the-skies scenario.  To the point of the article, even your above-average public does not have the discipline or responsibility to be ever vigilant around all aspects of flight.

These flying car companies make me laugh every time I see them on Discovery.  Just a few years away, everyone!  Just wait, you'll have one soon!  

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draconis123

Loved the article but there was just one thing. In the first portion you mention that since 1951 we've had a bunch of things such as supersonic jets. I'd just like to be a jerk and point out that the first official supersonic flight was by Chuck Yeager in 1947 using the Bell X-1.

Just wanted to point that out cause I'm an internet user and we love when we can tell people how wrong they are.

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Caboose

THat was the first supersonic flight. But when was the first massproduced supersonic jet produced?

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I Jedi

The truth is that information is getting so fast now, that humans are having trouble keeping up with all the relevant data even now. Colleges are literally always a few years behind current research and development of new technology, science, and mathematics because the boundaries keep getting pushed further and further. In order to correct this issue, humans will one day, as you pointed out, be implanted with chips, even in the brain, to where we will be able to learn new concepts and ideas very fast, very simply.

In our life time, most of us will see new and amazing things happen around us. I'm not just talking about seeing world peace or something, which will never happen, no. I am talking about, as the author mentioned, seeing many diseases that affect us today wiped out, world hunger possibly being solved very soon. In fact, a Japanese company recently turned shit... yes, shit, into actual edible steak by extracting the nutrients from the pile of poop!

The one thing that I wished you would have mentioned more clearly, David, is that there will be a higher intelligence to humans: Artificial intelligence. I'm not referring to robots, I'm referring to a self-aware, self-acting A.I., that will help in solving world issues in new and amazing ways, that we humans cannot yet see how to fix or don't know exist.

Lastly, my generation, or the Y generation, may be the very first generation to not have to experience death as a part of life. It may be possible to one day reverse the aging process, and this has already been done successfully in mice. It's not a matter of if it will happen but when it will.

The future is a strange, new world.

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w2ed

While I agree on a few principals brought up (namely, the lack of discipline from other humans), I believe a practical, mass-production flying vehicle could easily be done while fitting in the space of a normal car today.  We already have jets (yes, I could mention helicopters as well) that can land and take off vertically, and I think it's a matter of time before we have engines capable of spping on fuel instead of guzzling it.  The biggest problem I see is making them idiot-proof enough that the average person that can drive a car safely can operate the flying car as easily.  (Just like regular vehicles, however, just because you can idiot-proof it, it won't stop the idiots from being idiots.)

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dgrmouse

I'd really like to see some sources for some of the claims this article makes. 

*First of all, a flying car is not cost-effective.

*A flying vehicle has to do a lot of work just to stay aloft. What kind of gas mileage are you going to get with a flying car?

*Second? It’s impractical.

I'm pretty sure that you can build a "hella" fast autogyro with a motorcycle engine.  I'm also pretty sure that if you were to consider building a transportation infrastructure from scratch, such a vehicle might seem a lot more practical than building a car, building roads and signage everywhere that you might wish to travel and maintaining said roads.

2^128

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Biceps

I do believe the author was already fairly clear about the fate of those who mess with motorcycles.  I will be happy to present you with evidence, once I return from the future.  First, I have to return this nightshirt, though.

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matthewrhoden1

Great, just what I need. Every possible aspect of my life monitored so companys can find even more ways to force advertiseing into my face, stalkers can more easily stalk us, etc. As technology evolves sure things will be very convenient for us. However, as our privacy and security continue to diminish, as it's completely reliant on that same technology to protect us, our future looks grim to me. I'm not usually this pessimistic, but lately I keep feeling let down by software companies.

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Biceps

Look at the bright side.  At the rate our privacy is being degraded and technology is evolving, in 15 years, people won't even expect you to put on clothes before you leave the house.  Why should they, when they've already seen it all.  See? There is always a silver lining.

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Matt_Rapp

Sign me up for a hellaflop processor lol!

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hk1777

Hmmm Flying cars...Its called a plane. Does Basicly what we want in a flying car.

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Kinetic

I agree. Not to mention the fact that people can't even figure out a four-way stop 90% of the time, which is only on a two dimensional plane; it scares me to think of what would happen if you threw anything else at them.

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Marthian

I hope I don't live to see universal smart technology, sounds super expensive...

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Kinetic

"Other scientists have layered multiple graphene sheets into a paper-like form that is six times lighter than steel, two times harder, has 10 times higher tensile strength and 13 times higher bending rigidity"

Dear lord, they've created Rearden Metal.

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Zallomallo

lol

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