The Singularity: Artificial vs. Human Intelligence

A compelling article in Time Magazine explored the idea (and to a lesser extent the movement growing around it) that technology is advancing so rapidly, it’s close to surpassing and potentially replacing the human brain as a generator of pretty much everything. I may take a sip, but I’m not drinking the whole glass of Kool-Aid just yet (despite my fascination with tech.)

My initial problem with this theory is that we don’t even know what our brains are capable of, so how can we begin to track technology’s  race against them? My next issue with the singularity concept is in response to this:

“So if computers are getting so much faster, so incredibly fast, there might conceivably come a moment when they are capable of something comparable to human intelligence. Artificial intelligence. All that horsepower could be put in the service of emulating whatever it is our brains are doing when they create consciousness. . .”

This statement assumes that brains create consciousness. Without getting into a creationist argument, I’m not sure we understand consciousness, and what little we think we know via quantum physics seems to dictate a more global answer to the mystery of consciousness or awareness than the simple thought that our brains create it.  It’s a chicken and egg scenario run amuck in a clusterfuck of science, metaphysics and religion in a man vs. machine themed video game; I’d rather write a poem, hold a puppy or water a garden.

Furthermore, should it begin to look as though, indeed, the elements of humanness that separate us from machinery–creativity, compassion, emotion– are in peril vis a vis the technology we birthed, that we are in danger of being usurped by our own Frankenstein monster, than I’m passing out hammers.


2 Comments to “The Singularity: Artificial vs. Human Intelligence”

  1. Itt seems to me that computers are becoming more humanlike and humans are becoming…well – bifurcated. Some are 1. dumbing down (the 8,000 word vocabulary replaces the 1800’s 20,000 word vocabulary for example) and 2. more comuter like. Notice the shorthand that has become popular through Twitter, et al.


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