Speaker: Eliezer Yudkowsky

Eliezer Yudkowsky, a researcher attempting to create “Friendly” AI, spoke about the three major schools of thought regarding the Technological Singularity:

  • Accelerating Change – technology trends follow exponential growth
  • Event Horizon – minds that are smarter than humans, including human brain enhancement, interfaces, and even AGI
  • Intelligence Explosion – improving intelligence using technology in a positive feedback cycle

These schools of thoughts can at times contradict each other, even suggesting alternative outcomes. For example, if the Event Horizon theory is correct, then predicting the future may be impossible. Accelerating Change proponents, such as Ray Kurzweil, suggest that the future might actually be predictable, because we can plot progress on an exponential graph with time as one of the axis.

However, these schools of thought can support each other’s core or bold claims. Today, these seem to be merged together into an idea of the Technological Singularity.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype and is forthcoming from The Laurel Review. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.

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