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Is The Singularity Near?

24/Mar/2012

I have found myself worrying more and more over the last two years that the singularity will not happen in my lifetime. It is hard to see man solving or even containing the worlds biggest problems with only 1-3% yearly growth in the productivity of mean IQ 100 workforces. And problems we have.  Global warming and various demographic complications standing out. Though, these issues would be quickly forgotten should Kruzweil’s story prove mostly right.

Here are some hints that Peter Thiel an may be overstating the grimness of the innovation shortage.

1.IBM’s latest supercomputer is actually really helpful in solving problems which have traditionally been in the human domain.

2. Solar power is now competitive in sunny places. This is a key part of Kurzweil’s thesis. Should the downward move in solar prices be grounded on technology, rather than government subsidy, this would have huge implications.  If solar power asymptoted toward ‘free’ in sunny places, factories could flock to Arizona and Spain, lowering land, fuel and knickknack prices for those of us who abide in proper climes. One wonders what the scope would be for major desalination (as in making small inland freshwater seas) in backward but sunny Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But is it just subsidies…?

3.Automated cars are increasingly in the news.

4. One can now have food brought by a robotic helicopter. Actually, I can’t tell if this is joke or not but this could be done with existing technology.

These are just anecdotes I found this week. But they are what we would expect to see if we were on the path to the singularity. I remain hopefully but am not building my life around the singularity, though I am 100% long 3D printing.

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