Hello! Do you have a little time to talk about technological singularity? Just kidding, of course: there will be no sermon, but I think the idea is clear – technological singularity has become something of a religion for geeks. Of course, this is not a real religion, but only a theory about the coming of the Day of Judgment, which will bring divine greatness to humanity or, on the contrary, wipe people off the face of the earth, replacing it with something more practical.
If you have not heard this term before, I will try to explain briefly. The source of unrest is Moore’s law (“the number of transistors placed on an integrated circuit crystal doubles every 24 months”) and other “laws” that show exponential growth of quantitative indicators of civilization’s progress.
If something grows exponentially, then at some point it will become very strong in a brief period. What does this mean in terms of technology development? It is assumed that the moment of super speed growth is the moment of the appearance of machines that improve themselves or some other kind of superhuman mind. In other words, in the future of humanity, there may be some point in development, after which it is not known what will happen, and all the predictions of the consequences turn out to be extremely unreliable. This point is called technological singularity. For details, I send you to the article of the author of the term – professor of mathematics and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge ( part 1, part 2 ).
With the technological singularity associated with the mass of questions, the answers to which can not be known in advance. Will it be possible to load consciousness into the Network and live forever? Will molecular assembly be invented? Will the Earth turn into a large computer? Will build a Dyson sphere around the sun? Will people’s minds merge into a single super brain? Will the way of traveling faster than the speed of light be invented? Will it be possible to find aliens after this? Or maybe to become a third type civilization on the Kardashev scale and absorb all the energy of the Milky Way?
Since all the talk about singularity and trans humanism somehow boils down to scientific (and not so much) fiction, I’d better not talk more and recommend several art and gambling books that will help you inflame your imagination. Not all of them are translated into Russian, but many are worthy of using them to learn English.
Let’s start with four books and one short story, in which the technological singularity is not discussed as such, but the inventions leading to it and the changes that follow them in the life of society are well shown. So to say, soil preparation.