Reshared post from James Pearn

I was really digging on the +Jason Silva videos that were going around, but the video linked in the post below rubbed me the wrong way. I started aruing against it in +James Pearn's thread below, and let out a rant against the singularity view. Pasting it here for posterity. Comments in either thread are welcome.

Computation isn't "based on" matter. There's nothing mysterious about the process.

The singularity crowd is fundamentally a scientifically oriented crowd, but this mystical obsession with consciousness is so completely counterproductive to any genuinely scientific aims that it discredits the whole approach. We already have experienced an unprecedented explosion of intelligent machines, and the abundance of these devices have already broken our world in profoundly unexpected and nightmarish ways, far outstripping our capacity to keep up and understand them, much less control them. Yet the singularity theorists worry about the possibility of artificial entities that far outstrip the power and dynamic complexity of a single human brain.

The very idea is so absurd I can hardly contain myself. We've known that artificial entities that are more powerful than any human being already exist, and moreover we know that they currently they have control of our lives and our governments, and they are literally destroying the planet. They are called corporations, and they are currently the most powerful, intelligent, cunning, sophisticated, and adaptively successful entities that have ever existed in the history of this planet. They are artificial entities, and they comprise the intelligence of at times thousands of brains and possibly millions of CPUs, all acting in tandem for unified goals of maximizing profits in a hostile environment. Corporations are artificial intelligences, made of swarms of biomechanical systems operating in unison for inhumane ends.

Oh oh, you don't mean that kind of AI, right? Why not? What possible horrors could outstrip the current havok and devastation of the artificial entities that already inhabit the planet? Why must we indulge in the fantasy and immature mysticism that surrounds the possibility of future AI systems, when we already have so many problems with the AI that already exists today? What possible future scenario could be more confusing and fast-paced and overwhelmingly difficult to comprehend than this?

That one's speculative imagination of artificial entities could blind one to the artificial entities that already surrounds us I find staggering. The complete ignorance and naivete that surrounds the basic philosophical foundations of the singularity's bogus presumption is depressing. But the plot to mystify consciousness and intelligence, and indeed to mystify the technological nature of our machines, this is simply unconscionable.

James Pearn originally shared this post:

The Transcension Hypothesis
When post-humans leave the visible universe

We've not yet managed to reverse engineer the brain and build artificially intelligent replicants, but it's only a matter of time. And once we do, an intelligence explosion will follow. Imagine building an artificial brain that is just as sentient as a human, but operates at a million times the speed and memory capacity?

These replicants will be our post-human descendants. With superintelligence they'll figure out a deeper understanding of the laws of physics. They'll then build technology to manipulate spacetime and disappear into whatever dimensions lie beyond. That's transcension.

Great new video from Jason Silva:
The Transcension Hypothesis – What comes after the singularity?

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