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Archive for the tag “AI”

Singularity

Singularity (The Jevin Banks Experience, #2)Singularity by Steven James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three years ago I heard Izak Potgieter speak at TGIF about The Singularity. According to him,  The Singularity is a milestone in the foreseeable future where technology, or non-biological intelligenc-
e, will reach the ability of its human creators, themselves largely non-biological by that point, and then transcend it at a rate that “will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed”.

I had previously heard of singularities as some kind of mathematical thing relating to the topological characteristics of Mobius strips, but Izak assured us that this was not just any old singularity, but The Singularity. And he described himself as a Singularitarian,.

So when we went to TGIF last week, and I saw a book with the title Singularity, I was moved by curiosity to buy it.

What is it about?

A mysterious death, mysterious semi-government research institutes where some dodgy research is going on, hints of connections with organised crime and bent cops — mix those ingredients and you can be sure that the protagonist and those he loves will be getting deeper into danger as the story progresses.

The protagonist is Jevin Banks, a stage musician who performs in Las Vegas, and his associates Charlene Antioch and Xavier Wray. Xavier Wray, like Izak Potgieter, is a Singularitarian.

The “singularity” of the title concerns the development of Artificial Intelligence and the point at which it overtakes human intelligence, and the book raises several questions about that. But these questions are not new, and I recall reading books published more than 50 years ago on the same topic. And some of the elements were also found in speculative fiction, in novels like The Müller-Fokker Effect, which spoke of capturing someone’s consciousness and storing it as digital data.

And over the years I’ve often used that as an analogy for the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the body — that when we die God has us all backed up on tape somewhere, and when the last day comes he’ll restore it in new and improved hardware and reboot us.

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The Cosmic Cathedral is under weigh

Thanks to Bing translation, I’m hearing quite a bit about the Cosmic Cathedral currently getting going in Crete, thanks to reports from some of my Facebook friends who are there.

One reported this:

Албанский говорит, что консенсус завел в тупик. Его не было 20 веков. Предлагает следовать 6 правилу 1 Вселенского собора: решение принимается большинством

which Bing translated thus:

Albanian said that consensus was made at a standstill. He hasn’t been 20 centuries. Invites to follow the 6 RULE 1 of Cosmic Cathedral: the decision is taken by a majority

Let’s see if Google translate can do any better…

Albanian says that consensus has got into a dead end. He was not 20 centuries. Offers 6 follow Rule 1 Ecumenical Council: a decision adopted by a majority

Well, it’s lost the cosmic cathedral, but I can see that human translators are going to be needed fro a long time to come.

Here’s the Cosmic Cathedral (Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church) in seesion:

Council in Crete

Council in Crete

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