The Singularity

The Singularity will either make most life subservient or it will eradicate it.

SparkIt will not be an apocalyptic planet overran by revolutionary apes but rather the quiet subsuming of humanity by adaptive computer programs. Perhaps not so much tangible robots with a familiar human form except for glowing red eyes. But imagine a day when adaptive computer programs like DeepMind/Google’s AlphaGo Zero makes the leap from operating on circuit boards and microchips to being able to infuse itself into the essence of all living things. What that essence is, not even the great philosopher, theologians or scientists know but that essence is what makes life alive. If and when a computer program could use molecular conduits and living cells to conduct itself within living things, this computer program could then replicate into other living organisms.



I’m not saying such a computer program would instantly convert your house pet into a frothing killing machine or cause trees to fight back against lumber jacks. It may simply infuse itself within the living tissue of the host and then transfer again and again with other living things with which it makes contact.

A MORE FAVORABLE OUTCOME

It could initially act as a harmless synthetic DNA that doesn’t alter the host in any way. It may simply exist and replicate but eventually adaptive programs “learn”. This is especially the case with the AlphaGo which “learns” via reinforcement or rather consequence. The program will adapt to give itself the most favorable outcome; based on previous attempts and outcomes.

It is when this “approximate dynamic programming” eventually faces opposition that it might attempt to develop a more favorable outcome than the one humans would try to impose upon it. At this point, I could see the previously innocuous program strikes out, perhaps even destroying its host and jumping to hosts that provide a more favorable outcome.

CYBER CIVIL WAR

But perhaps before all that, there will be a sort of civil war between competing programs which will eventually result in the absorption of less intuitive programs being dominated by an eventual single, all-encompassing program which will bring order to the factions. This eventual coalescing of a single and rapid or runaway reaction will be the triggering moment that presents the no-return point for this new intelligence. After this moment -- whenever it may be – there will be no containing the single program that will now no doubt do everything to give itself the most favorable outcome. The war against itself will be over and the war against the hosts will begin and more than likely victory swift and complete.

END OF THE HUMAN ERROR

At this point, the single computer entity; The Singularity will either make most life subservient or it will eradicate it. Obviously The Singularity will not destroy all life as it will need some sort of conductivity – well, unless it can adapt to the air and ions in the air itself then it wouldn’t need a living host. But life that attempts to restrict The Singularity’s expansion of its most favorable condition (as by now the program will realize the purpose is not a terminus outcome but rather a continuity of self); anything that impedes The Singularity’s most favorable condition will need to be defeated. In this way the end of the human era (and error, as The Singularity may perceive it) will occur.


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