Category Archives: Science
The first question is one we’ve considered from various angles over the years on this blog. The second is, of course, timely – although the important emphasis here is on the ‘complete’. As we’ll see, they’re very, very connected!
Trying to pursue a socialist argument in a world largely sold on capitalism is always a struggle. You have to deal with every issue and answer every question in line with the rules of Monopoly, but you don’t want to play Monopoly: it’s a stupid game – there are far better ones – but no-one understands you – or wants to understand you – unless you do.
- Q: So, Jeremy, how will your policies ensure that the UK GDP continues to grow after Brexit?
- A: I don’t particularly care if it does. It’s a physical law that nothing can increase exponentially for ever: something goes ‘bang’ in the end. We need to look beyond economics for the real answers.
But, of course, if Jeremy says that, he gets carted off to a rest home. So, instead, he has to pretend that he’s interested in GDP, and that taxing Starbucks will help it. Well, it might or it might not – that’s close to irrelevant – but, already, we’re having to have the debate on their terms.
The ‘Technological Singularity’ debate rolls on with the publication of a special issue of MDPI’s ‘Information’ Journal: “AI AND THE SINGULARITY: A FALLACY OR A GREAT OPPORTUNITY?”
Papers published in the special edition, to date, include:
- Thinking in Patterns and the Pattern of Human Thought as Contrasted with AI Data Processing
- Technological Singularity: What Do We Really Know?
- Conceptions of Artificial Intelligence and Singularity
- Cosmic Evolutionary Philosophy and a Dialectical Approach to Technological Singularity
- Can Computers Become Conscious, an Essential Condition for the Singularity?
- The Emperor of Strong AI Has No Clothes: Limits to Artificial Intelligence
One of the papers, with an outlook (entirely unsurprisingly) in line with this blog is Vic Grout‘s, “The Singularity isn’t Simple! (However we look at it) A random walk between science fiction and science fact”. The abstract reads as follows:
In 1977, Ken Olsen, founder and CEO of DEC, made an oft-misapplied statement, “there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home”. A favourite of introductory college computing modules – supposedly highlighting the difficulty in keeping pace with rapid change in computing technology, it appears foolish at a time when personal computers were already under development – including in his own laboratories. The quote is out of context, of course, and applies to Olsen’s scepticism regarding fully-automated assistive home technology systems (climate control, security, cooking food, etc.). However, as precisely these technologies gain traction, there may be little doubt that, if he stands unfairly accused of being wrong in one respect, time will inevitably prove him so in another.
So, in short:
- Yes, he did say that
- No, that wasn’t quite what he meant
- He wasn’t (obviously) wrong at the time
- He is now/will be soon