lp, as long post on singularity

clever

 

sometimes i wish i lived among robots. the stupidity of humans as a collective or as of an individual is often so overwhelming that it leaves one speechless. but then again, as an artist i find our stupidity to be very inspiring. i wonder what kind of art would i create if i would be living among robotic ‘gods’. would they perceive it at all cause it’s made by a plain human being – weak, prone to illness and death, the inferior one? i also wonder, would those ‘gods’ at least laugh at monty pythons’ jokes that mock our human behavior? or, would they even laugh at all?

Jon Stewart / Samantha Bee, Comedy Central, sketch with Ray Kurzweil

SB – …so we’ll have miniature robots in our bodies?

RK – That’s right.

SB – We’re gonna become perfect.

RK – Well, how would you define perfection?

SB – The ability to blowjob with your eyes.

RK – ?…

 

i’ve reread the book by ray kurzweil ‘the age of spiritual machines’ published in 1999. first time i read it i was inclined to the notion of ‘spiritual’ robots cause it went in line with my all time favorite movie blade runner. however, in 15 years since its publication the rapid exponential growth of information technology and the arrival of new technologies made me very skeptical towards A.I. i cannot help asking  myself is artificial intelligence going to turn us into zombies and lead us to the greatest catastrophe a human has ever experienced?

mr. kurzweil and rest of A.I. supporters talk about eventually transcending humanity. they view singularity as the point at which machine’s intelligence begins to amend itself, improve itself: 

Anyone who is gonna be resisting this progress forward is gonna be resisting evolution and fundamentally they’ll die out.” Peter Diamandis

non worshipers of A.I. state the following:

“Machine’s intelligence improves, improves, improves until we get to a point where, well, it assumes controlThe singularity is the point where humans lose control. ” Kevin Warwick, professor of cybernetics, University of Reading

A.I. fans refuse to accept the ‘imperfection’of our physical bodies. ray calls it ‘the tragedy of illness and death‘ and considers mortality to be a sickness:

“I have no great respect for biological body.”…“There’s nothing in our biological bodies or brain that we won’t be able to recreate and in fact enhance. We’ll create A.I. that are real people.”

 

ray’s book is provocatively backed up with scientific facts and poses a challenge to debate him.  few scientist made excellent remarks concerning this issue:

Dr. William B. Hurlbut, neuroscience professor, Stansford University

“There are no bad genes good genes, there is a balance in genetics. We can do a lot of foolish things, trying to alter human begins to improve them. Then the result of that might be tragedy. Ray is a very interesting person, entertaining, a kind of a visionary. He’s not biologist however. And, I think working as a biologist he would be more moderate in his extinctions of extrapolations  of the uses of our technology. Engineering a better human being is going to be a daunting task. We’ve had 5 millions years of field testing and that has filtered down the existence of an organism that is attuned to range of environments and range of talents and range of possibilities. To upset that balance by exaggerating some feature is going to cost us something too. We shouldn’t just arrogantly think we’ve transcended the wisdom of thousands of years of human experience. 

“Death is not conquered by physical. Death is conquered spirituality.”

 

Hugo de Garis, Professor, Xiamen University, China

“Where am I critical on Ray’s point of view? Well, I think he’s a bit naive in a sense that he doesn’t give enough consideration to the possible negative consequences of these developments. …his reason for living is to create inventions that help humanity. His reasons deft, so for him to hear somebody like me saying these inventions may end up causing the worst war the humanity has ever had, freaks him out. He doesn’t want to hear such things.

“I’m known for the concept of ARTILECT (artificial intellect).

ARTILECT WAR theory: These machines might for ever reason wipe out humanity. There’s always that risk. Consider the analogy of the way we as humans beings look toward ants or mosquitoes as pests. We killed them and we don’t give a damn. Because we feel we’re so superior to them, they are so inferior to us. So, who’s to say that the ARTILECT which than becomes trillions of trillions above of human capacities may look upon us in the same way. We could never be sure. I predict there will be a major war in late 21. century between two human groups…The one way to assure that the risk is zero is that they never build one in the first place…But the second group for them it’ll be a sort of religion to build these things cause they’ll be God like. So you got here the source of a bitter conflict between these two human groups. Then with late 21. century weapons, you’re talking about major war that will not kill millions of people but billions. As a brain builder myself, am I prepared to risk the extinction of the human species for the sake of building an ARTILECT? Because that’s what is coming down to. Yup.

 

Dean Kamen, inventor

“I think the biggest implications of the singularity is that we don’t know the implications of the singularity”… When and if we reach the place where machine’s are more capable of things we call thinking, the consequences of that is, who is leading the world and which way it will be taken and how do we relate to that is hard to really understand.”

 

i was writing this post on singularity for several weeks now and yesterday ran into text that perfectly summarizes everything i was writing about. the author of the text is none other than ‘(im)perfect’ human brain –  mr. stephen hawking.

mr. hawking, whose life relies on technology, states:  

“A.I. could be our worst mistake in history”. part of the text is here.

 

Human beings are champions in clinging, worshiping and repeating the same mistakes. Einstein described that kind of behavior as insanity. Tesla also made a great remark: “One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”

sane or insane, we should not be playing with the fire unless we first master it and know how to distinguish it.

 

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h, as human

I was about to tell a funny story, but I run into a quote and changed my mind. I’ll tell the funny story next time. It’s all about postponing pleasure.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”   M. Twain

“Fear is the best trick ever created.”   M. Gulan

“Man is an enemy to man. Wolf is a wolf to wolf.”   M. Gulan

From young age I understood people’s behavior, its triggers and (re)actions. At first, I’ve noticed that people carry a bunch of little secrets. Then, I’ve witnessed people laying a lot and with ease.  At last, I saw a lot of pain and fear in most people I’ve encountered.

My understanding is that evolution of humans is exclusively driven by fear. The ‘species’ that do survive are not the strongest ones, but often the ones that are scared the most. Fear makes one very stiff, alert and cunning. But fear also leaves one shallow, lifeless and dead serious.

Long, long time ago, a human was placed in a battle to conquer fear of dark, undefinable dreams, strange inexplicable noises or phenomena such as earthquake, thunder, storm and so on. During that battle, the human started to communicate and think. The first settlements were build, rituals emerged, various gods worshiped, ‘paintings’ painted satisfying animal spirits or gratifying natural forces…Yet, the human (similar to Sisyphus) saw that as soon as one fear would be diminished, or seemingly erased from its existence, a new fear would take its place. However, in a very short time, the scared cunning human understood that ‘fear’ is a very powerful tool. Much more powerful than any known magic. And if you (ab)use it, one might become powerful as a thunder or earthquake, making others to fear you far, far more.

Short, short time ago, from the downs of the humans let’s land into 21.century. On cosmic watch a very little time has passed. The technology is a bit better but the human is still very frightened and shut behind death bars. The human today fears no fire, god’s anger or plague. The human in 21.century is very afraid, more than any other human in previous centuries and there’re justifiable reasons for it. Germs and bacteria in the kitchen for example.

What went wrong?

Technology  that was suppose to help the human, turned into the worst enemy. The ‘new’ technologies are creating fake-life atmospheres. That kind of living affects the human and creates favorable train of thoughts. Media and social groups force continuous comparison and competition thus creating frustrations. Still, they kindly offer a possibility for everybody to share everything about nothing. The human can fake and beat the loneliness at the expense of lack of intimacy. And if the human needs sex, there’re channels where you can easily handily click and click and click…

Death in 21.century is perceived as sickness. Scientists are diligently working on developing methods to stop that madness (video: transhumanism). I ask myself “does Earth needs more very rich people with the birth rate exponentially growing like yeast?”. While rich get richer, poor work poorer in conditions known as iSlaves or amazon.com-hands > ‘work hard – have fun – make history.’   

The money has never been the issue. It’s just a symptom of the sickness.  It’s all about the fear. The human is very much conditioned to it. Thousands and thousands of years need to pass to alter that conditioning. Yet, I question if that conditioning will ever be surpassed with current DNA structure.

It seems that everything went wrong from the early beginning and yet, it’s just the way it should have been. There are a lot of different worlds out there and mesmerizing Earth is currently home of fear…not love. Exceptions do exist, sadly they are not the rule.

Let’s make this wannabe story a bit funny at its end. Never forget to laugh!

In a primary school, a teacher is asking pupils:

T:  What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

kid 1: I want to be a doctor so I can help people and get rich

T: And you?

kid 2: I want to be a cashier and make a lot of money. Or maybe a fireman so I can save people from fire.

T: And you?

kid 3: I want to be fear so I can scare people and laugh at their face.

m, as marathon

I’m currently reading Haruki Murakami’s “What do I talk when I talk about running”.

Long before this book Haruki (from Japanese haru – sun, ki – radiance, shine) became my favorite writer. But this particular book bought me, literally. I’m a long distance runner for almost 20 years. Now this number 20 looks so big when I type it, but as long as I can remember, I almost never walked but run. As a tiny girl I would run to my friend’s house, run to the supermarket, run to take out the garbage, run just about anywhere as fast as I could. And in the world of that little girl, all people would run instead of walk.

Back then I already knew why I loved running; it was the only feeling close enough to the feeling of flying. Only decades after I read somewhere that when a person runs, there’s a moment when both feet are not touching the ground. You are ‘up’!

I was constantly being asked why do I run. I never gave away the answer. Me running, well…let’s put it simply and say it was saving my life & keeping me alive. That’s why I never even thought to compete or to be a professional runner > me running alone was too intimate, like breathing.

Recently something happened to me that opened my running and I finally want to share my running with others.

My utmost dream was to run a marathon, 42 km. Maybe I would run for all those who cannot. I would run for the poor, for the sick, for all kids that are abused and kids that are lost. I would run to fight all the injustice in this world. Particularly, I would run for all those women who never had a chance to start a life; who were treated like slaves, raped, molested, mistreated by own families, society, religion. I would run for love and human will to survive in any condition. Or maybe, I would just run.

My marathon training started abruptly on windy Wednesday, 02nd of October 2013. I’ve just arrived from Zagreb to Makarska around 18:15h. Mum was there helping me with my baggage and I told her: I’ll run a marathon. Even though she always worried about me running (cause ‘I’m skinny’) this time she said nothing except, ‘run’.

I ran on that windy Wednesday for 45 min. 30 min on Thursday. 60 min on Friday. Saturday was a break. Today is Sunday and I go for running later in the evening. I still don’t have running watch, but tomorrow I’ll get one. Marathon is not for hobby runners.

Back to Haruki’s book. In one of his first chapters he writes: “The pain is inevitable. Suffering is a question of choice.”  My whole past life fits in these two sentences. Reading them,typed on a paper in my Haruki’s book, made my choice & decision strong as a Titan. I’ll run 42 km.

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