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Introducing The Singularity

Posted on 19th Feb 2009 at 19:14 by Mark Mackay with 8 comments

Mark Mackay
I couldn’t decide how best to start my blog so I though I’d talk about the difficulty of sitting down, cup of tea in hand, staring at a blank Word document and wondering what the hell to talk about. It’s a tricky business for an inexperienced blogger such as my self. Fortunately however, using that tricky situation to my advantage has provided me with an acceptably entertaining opening paragraph. Happy days.

Onto introductions; my name is Mark Mackay (pronounced McEye if you're wondering) and I’ve been enjoying writing for Custom PC since June 2008 and now have been further blessed with the opportunity to do so for bit-tech. Prior to writing for CPC I was a PC Engineer for Vadim Computers, a high-end bespoke PC manufactures who have since ceased trading.

So what to blog about? Writing my first feature - which is on artificial intelligence - I was introduced to an imagination-capturing concept known as The Singularity. I found the subject so interesting; I thought I’d share it.

To give you an idea of what The Singularity is, imagine a world where there’s no distinction between humans and machines. Nanobots inhabit our bodies that are capable of reversing the ageing process and creating virtual environments by plugging directly into our nervous systems. Any physical product can be made from any physical material and the very fabric of space-time is saturated with information.

Clearly this is something that you could read in about in any sci-fi novel. The interesting thing with The Singularity however, is that many well informed individuals believe that it’s going to happen in our lifetimes. One of the more famous proponents of this theory is entrepreneur, author and inventor, Ray Kurzweil. While you’d be forgiven for assuming that Kurzweil was a mad scientist working from a shed, among his fans are Bill Clinton and Bill Gates and the Wall Street Journal has dubbed him ‘the restless genius’.

When you look at the reasoning behind why many believe this will happen in our lifetimes, it actually starts to become quite feasible. The exponential growth of the price to performance ratio of computing and that we may be close to a nano-computing revolution to give a couple of examples. Many argue that The Singularity is pure sci-fi fantasy and given how far out the concept is, rightly so. Whether you think it’s possible for it to occur in the next few decades or not, it’s a blast to read about.

8 Comments

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Vimesey 21st February 2009, 21:49 Quote
Ah its CPC podcast and magazine man, not pronounced McEye if you are a certain other CPC podcast presenter :p. As a subscriber to CPC (mag and podcast) and member of bittech i hoep this fusion thing brings good stuff. A lovely bit of cheesecake and mince pie fusion!
boggsi 22nd February 2009, 14:34 Quote
Great post. Bring on the sci-fi concepts! Welcome to bit-tech :)
Sifter3000 22nd February 2009, 16:57 Quote
Just let me know when it's the right moment to say... "I for one welcome our new computer overlords" :p
Zurechial 23rd February 2009, 02:43 Quote
Kurzweil is behind some awesome synths so I'm inclined to take him seriously. :p
Xir 23rd February 2009, 10:23 Quote
Well, nice of you to introduce yourself...been missing that from the new guys ;-)
Welcome!
LeMaltor 23rd February 2009, 13:11 Quote
LV2X 21st November 2009, 18:27 Quote
I always wondered what your black and white picture would look like.
Krazeh 21st November 2009, 19:30 Quote
If ya really interested you should have a read of Kurzweil's book "The Singularity is Near". Is a fascinating read and it's clearly something he strongly believes is the inevitable destination for mankind and technology.
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