CISXXX: The Singularity
Computers will soon have more raw compute power and memory
than brains, and many scientists believe that computers will, in your lifetime,
be vastly smarter in all ways than any human. (Many other scientists believe
this is ridiculous.) The rapid transition from humans to computers as the
dominant source of intelligence has been called "the singularity."
This course will look closely at predictions of when and how the singularity
might happen, with particular attention to technology forecasting methodology
and to approaches to artificial general intelligence. We will also study
scenarios and speculation as to what life might look like during and after the
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:
The course will take the form of a reading group, with
classes devoted to discussions of primary literature. Students will be graded
on class discussion, short homeworks, their contributions to the course wiki,
and on a final paper.
- "Computers will be vastly smarter than you in
- The argument for the singularity
- The players: singulatarians and transhumanists:
Kurzweil, Moravec, Bostrom and friends
- Kurzweil - chapter 1 of "The singularity is
- How powerful is a brain? a computer?
- Brain and computer architectures
- Estimates of human memory and computational power
- Chapt XX from Crevier: AI: The Tumultuous History
of the Search for Artificial Intelligence
- Marcus: Kludge chapts 1-3
- Landauer: How Much Do People
- Chapt XX from Morovec: Mind
Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence.
- Forecasting and Exponential growth
- Hardware (Moore's law) and software improvement
- History of Forecasting: Patterns of success,
- History of Singularities: How did we get to be
- Paths to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
- AI and machine learning (ML)
- history of AI, Turing to today
- Search, computer chess, and computer go
- Speech recognition (HMMs) and machine vision
- Robots (DARPA challenge, Big Dog, ...)
- Machine learning: Life long learning, Transfer
- Simulate human cognition
- Artificial neural nets
- Hawkin: "On
- Hecht-Nielson: Confabulation
- Blue Brain
- simulate evolution
- Human/machine hybrids: Intelligence Augmentation
- Societal Implications
- Alternate paths: slow/fast,
decentralized/centralized, silicon/integrated, AI/IA
- Stross - accellerando short story
- Chapt XXX from Joel Garreau: Radical Evolution:
The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies ....
- Leading indicators
- Economic/societal implications
- Post Singularity
- Competitive advantage and ecological niches
- Bill Joy: The future doesn't need us. Wired
- Gibbs, W.W. 2001. On the termination of species.
Scientific American Nov.: 39-49.
- The principal/agent problem
- Are we a simulation? Where is everybody?
- Supplemental reading: Sawyer:
- Bostrom: Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?
- Why to people believe (or not) in the singularity?
- Are you a singulatarian?
We will also critically examine a large number of
singularity-related articles. (Warning: don't believe everything you read.)
- Kurzweil, Ray, 2005. The Singularity Is Near: When
Humans Transcend Biology.
- Moravec, Hans. 1988. Mind Children: The Future of
Robot and Human Intelligence.
Spectrum special issue on the singularity
We May Think, Vannevar Bush
- Burkhead, L. The Singularity.
- Jules Vernes, H.G. Wells
- Vernor Vinge
- Joel Garreau: Radical Evolution: The Promise and
Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies ...
- Nick Bostrom