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Proposal: The singularity [Apr. 9th, 2006|11:12 pm]
Napkin Philosophy
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In The Age of Spiritual Machines, author Ray Kurzweil argues that at some point in the near future (a decade or two from now, more or less, at his guess), technological advance will increase to a point at which humanity will create intelligence surpassing himself and, since it's a "singularity", events will cease to be predictable in the ways they are today (an idea originally put forth by mathematician Vernor Vinge).

What will this mean for, say, physics? Well, if technology continues to advance at an exponential rate, then why is it absurd to suggest that mankind will affect larger bodies in the solar system as astrophysics is thought to? Could we build solar systems in the future?

Our effect on biology is already rather clear - technological evolution is an extension of biological, as far as we can tell.

What other areas will the "singularity" cause to cease to be predictable in classical senses?