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©2011 by Richard Nolle

WOW!FEB 7, 2011 - The Singularity Institute is your wake-up call for what comes after people; and it probably comes sooner than you had imagined, which means it's later than you think. Singularity in this context is defined as "the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligence." There are any number of technologies which can lead to this objective, artificial intelligence (AI) being a prime example. So far, AI has been limited by its creators; namely us. Very smart humans build and program very powerful supercomputers to model nuclear explosions and climate change, or to play games like chess and Jeopardy. But what happens when the smartest machines humans can possibly create set about to create their successors? The result, sooner or later, will be machines way smarter than the very most intelligent humans. What are we, then? Pets? The village idiot? Servants? Lab animals? Soon-to-be missing links? (Will they set up preserves for us, the way we have for tigers and pandas and mountain gorillas and such? There's a scary thought!) I raise these questions now, not because the TV quiz show Jeopardy is featuring the latest computer-versus-genius competition this month, but because the next step is as close as the next decade. The step that makes us as obsolete as the first steam engines made commercial muscle power obsolete is coming as surely as the next Industrial Revolution follows the first. (Seen any stage coaches, ox carts etc. lately?) That first Industrial Revolution got underway with the last Great Chronocrator Trigonalis (Jupiter-Saturn conjunction change of element), and the next one begins with its successor - in 2020, as I've been pointing out in my annual World Forecast Highlights these last several years. I've given you the when, let The Singularity Institute lay out the what for you. (Here's a tip for you: kiss up to your vacuum cleaner before it's too late, and the thing comes looking for you!)

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