Luddite - is the Singularity near?

On Peak Human

One of the early Peak Human prophets was Malthus, in his 1798 book, 'An Essay on the Principle of Population', he postulated that the human population growths exponentially, but food production only linear, so there will occur fluctuation in population growth around an upper limit.

Later Paul R. Ehrlich predicted in his book, 'The Population Bomb' (1968), that we will reach an limit in the 1980s.

Meadows et al. concur in 'The Limits of Growth - 30 years update' (2004),  that we reached an upper limit already in the 1980s.

In 2015 Emmott concludes in his movie 'Ten Billion' that we already passed the upper bound.

UNO predictions say we may hit 9 billion humans in 2050, so the exponential population growth rate already declines, but the effects of an wast-fully economy pop up in many corners.

Now, in 2018, we are about 7.4 billion humans, and i say Malthus et al. were right.

Is is not about how many people Earth can feed, but how many people can live in an comfortable but sustainable manner.

What does Peak Human mean for the Technological Singularity?

The advent of Computers was driven by the exponential population growth in the 20th century. All the groundbreaking work was done in the 20th century.

When we face an decline in population growth, we also have to face an decline in new technologies developed.

Cos it is not only about developing new technologies, but also about maintaining the old knowledge.

Here is the point AI steps in, mankind's population growth alters, but the whole AI sector is growing and expanding.

Therefore the question is, is AI able to take on the decline?

Time will tell.

I guess the major uncertainty is, how Moore's Law will live on beyond 2021, when the 4 nm transistor production is reached, what some scientists consider as an physical and economical barrier.

I predict that by hitting the 8 billion humans mark, we will have developed another, groundbreaking, technology, similar with the advent of the transistor, integrated circuit and microchip.

So, considering the uncertainty of Peak Human vs. Rise of AI,
i give +-0 points for the Singularity to take off.

The Rise Of The Matrix

Looking at the tag cloud of this blog, there are two major topics, pro and con Singularity, AI (Artificial Intelligence) vs. ELE (Extinction Level Event).

So, we slide, step by step, to an event called Singularity, but concurrently we face more and more the extinction of mankind.

What about combining those two events?

Let us assume we damage our ecosphere sustainable, but at the same moment our technology advances to an level where it is possible to connect via an Brain-Computer-Interface directly with the cyberspace.

People already spend more and more time in virtual realities, with the advent of Smart Phones, they are connected all the time with the cyberspace, they meet people in digital social networks, they play games in computer generated worlds, create and buy virtual goods with virtual money, and, essentially, they like it.

To prevent an upcoming ELE, we would need to cut our consumption of goods significantly, but the mass of people wants more and more.

So, let us give them more and more, in the virtual, computer generated worlds.

Let us create the Matrix, where people can connect directly with their brain, and buy whatever experience they wish.

A virtual car would need only some electricity and silicon to run on, but the harm to Mother Earth would be significantly less than a real car.

We could create millions or billions of new jobs, all busy with designing virtual worlds, virtual goods, and virtual experiences.

And Mother Earth will get an break, to recover from the damage billions of consuming people caused.

ELE + Singularity => Matrix

+1 points for the Singularity to take off.

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