Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lies From The Singularity

Holy Cow !!! It's the "too cheap to meter" BS all over again:

During a recent Executive Program at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, the institution’s co-founder Peter Diamandis made some confident predictions.

Within the next decade, he said, self-driving cars will eliminate all driving fatalities. Artificial intelligence will soon surpass the skills of the best human doctors and remove all inefficiencies from health care systems. These AIs will invent new pharmaceuticals to cure previously fatal diseases and will 3D print customized medicines based on genetic analysis of individual patients. Perhaps best of all, he said, plummeting production costs and rising prosperity will make such fantastic medical care essentially free.

It’s common for tech industry rhetoric to invoke the ideal of a better world, but since its 2008 inception, Singularity University has articulated an astonishingly ambitious series of goals and projects that use technological progress for philanthropic ends. Medicine is just one of many domains that Diamandis wants to fundamentally change. He and others at Singularity are also working to develop and support initiatives that will provide universal access to high-quality education, restore and protect polluted environments, and transition the economy to entirely sustainable energy sources.

His audience was a group of 98 executives from 44 countries around the world; each had paid $14,000 to attend the weeklong program at Singularity University’s NASA Research Park campus in Mountain View, California. As Diamandis moved through the sectors of the economy that artificial intelligence would soon dominate—medicine, law, finance, academia, engineering—the crowd seemed strangely energized by the prospect of its imminent irrelevance. Singularity University was generating more than $1 million of revenue by telling its prosperous guests that they would soon be surpassed by machines.

But his vision of the future was nonetheless optimistic. Diamandis believes that solar energy will soon satisfy the demands of the entire planet and replace the market for fossil fuels. This will mean fewer wars and cleaner air. Systems for converting atmospheric humidity into clean drinking water will become cheap and ubiquitous. The industrial meat industry will also vanish, replaced by tastier and healthier laboratory-grown products with no environmental downsides. He also predicts that exponential increases in the power of AI would soon render teachers and universities superfluous. The best education in the world will become freely available to anyone.

You can read the rest @

I have no doubt that robots / AI will replace humans in most of the things mentioned above. I find absolutely LUDICROUS any claim that the remaining humans will receive such benefits free of charge. The only way that could happen is if what we mean by "any remaining humans" is the one percent, the rest of We The People having been slaughtered in the aftermath of achieving the singularity.

The original definition of "singularity" goes something like this - "a point at which the derivative of a given function of a complex variable does not exist but every neighborhood of which contains points for which the derivative does exist". In other words, when the singularity occurs no one knows what will happen afterwords. Any predictions are meaningless, because pre-singularity language and mathematics are incapable of predicting what happens at the point of singularity.

But perhaps these two questions may help you understand the possibilities:

1. Are ANY of the greedy rich people working feverishly to bring about this singularity known for their compassion, charity, or humility? (And by this I do NOT mean the phony philanthropy of people like the Zuckerbergs.)

2. Do you really expect them to provide ANYTHING to you for free?

I think not.

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