The Singularity is Nearer, but Not for the Reason You Think

 

10/07/2013
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If you don’t know, the Singularity is Near is a fun book, written by Ray KurzweilQuoting Wikipedia, “Kurzweil describes his law of accelerating returns which predicts an exponential increase in technologies like computersgeneticsnanotechnologyrobotics and artificial intelligence. He says this will lead to a technological singularity in the year 2045, a point where progress is so rapid it outstrips humans’ ability to comprehend it.”Kurzweil is simply relying on the continuance of Moore’s Law which, simply put, is that computing power doubles approximately every two years.   So, what could accelerate The Singularity?  Technology would have to advance at a 2x increase, which I contend would be possible with quantum or DNA computing, but there’s a simpler explanation.CALL IT “MORON’S LAW”I contend that The Singularity will occur two decades sooner, or in 2025 because, (wait for it)…Humans are Getting Stupider, uh, Less IntelligentAs reported in the Huffington Post (where I get all my sciencey knowledge), IQ is on the decline, an average of 14 IQ points since the Victorian Era.  What’s causing this?  There is a lot of debate on environmental factors, nutrition, nurture, and the education system.  But, IMHO, the dumbing down of our intelligence is due to… computers!    That’s right smarty-pants Kurzweil, despite the fact he created the worlds-best synthesizers, he forgot to calculate that as computing power increased, so did the human reliance on that computing power.  As intelligence decreases, so does the    acceleration of the date when technology exceeds human’s ability to comprehend it.

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What Does it Mean?In 2011, when Ken Jennings lost Jeopardy to IBM’s Watson, he wrote underneath his Final Jeopardy answer “I for one welcome our new computer overlords.”  Social media companies and the government already have computers tracking your every move, both online, in the public square and even in your home*.  If you want a preview of the future, watch THIS.What Can We Do?Even though The Singularity is upon us, computers are not ready to take over.  What we need to do is accelerate even more the date of The Singularity.  Since innovating and advancing computer power seems beyond our capabilities, we certainly can accelerate the decline of our collective IQ rate, very simply.  Get on the couch and watch television, download more moronic apps onto your phone, text your friends about everything you’re doing.  My hypothesis is that we’ll become so useless that The Singularity will become irrelevant and when it happens, no one will even notice.So smrt, right? PCz*Hint – beware the cat About Paul Czarnik Paul is the CTO of Compuware where he provides technology strategy and investment leadership. A venture-technologist and programmer at heart, his hands-on experience and technical diligence model help with M&A activities and incubator/startups. Contact him at @PaulCzrnk to chat about IT Transformation (even though he hates that word), agile delivery, lean startup methodologies or music.Paul serves on the boards of, iRule, the Motown Museum and the Admission/Retention Committee for Wayne State University.