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Universal University

  1. Jason Silva Introduces the Singularity
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    • What is a singularity, in a general sense?
      1. A singularity is any point (in space, time, etc.) beyond which we do not know what will occur. The term is borrowed from a physics description of a black hole.
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    • What is the singularity, in the context of technology?
      1. The point at which our technology becomes so advanced that we do not know what changes it will make on our society.
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  2. The Singularity in the Context of Memes and Culture
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    • How is the generation of internet memes comparable to the singularity?
      1. They are seemingly self generated and we don't know what's coming next.
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    • You'll hear from him soon!
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    • What do you think might happen post-singularity?
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  3. Vernor Vinge: Why the Singularity is Important, Inevitable, and Scary
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    • Why is the technological singularity the most likely thing to happen in our future?
      1. Because of the trends of constantly improving technology and the benefit it could provide humanity.
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    • Why do we fear technology, according to Vinge?
      1. Technology evens the evolutionary playing field by taking away our competitive advantage: intelligence.
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    • When was the last "technological" singularity?
      1. When humans were able to imprint their thoughts on the world around them for the first time. This occurred when language was invented.
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  4. Ray Kurzweil on the Present and Future of the Singularity
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    • How will the singularity develop over the next 20 years?
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    • Why does Kurzweil believe the singularity will not only definitely happen, but happen soon?
      1. Because of the exponential growth of technology.
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    • When does Kurzweil predict we will have reverse engineered the human brain, and why is that important in the context of the singularity?
      1. 2029. Reverse engineering the human brain will allow us to create AI's that are as smart or smarter than us, kickstarting the singularity.
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    • What do you think will be the impact of computers being able to realistically display emotion?
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    • How do you think the technological singularity will affect society in a revolutionary sense?
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  5. Jason Silva: We Will Become Gods
  6. The Singularity, Spirituality and Psychedelics
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    • How do you think the technological singularity will affect society in terms of spirituality?
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    • Do you think the singularity will change thoughts on drugs in our society?
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  7. Technological Intelligence vs. Human Intelligence
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    • Why is the difference between the human brain's skill and a computer's skill so important?
      1. Computers are universal machines, and they can do all things equally well to an extent. The only limiting factor is their processing power, and as that rises they will be able to do more "human" things.
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    • What will it take for computers to surpass human ability?
      1. In about 50 years, once computers are able to socially interact and recognize patterns on our level, they will have surpasses out brain's capabilities.
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  8. Difficulties of Recursive Self Improvement and its Role in the Singularity
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    • What is recursive self improvement?
      1. The ability for a post-singularity computer to improve itself with very little to no human input.
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    • If a computer was built that could do everything a human could do better than a human could, what logically follows?
      1. That computer could build even better computers, which could then improve further on future computers. This would follow for any skill that a human could do.
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    • Why is Aubrey De Grey skeptical about a timeline for the singularity?
      1. There is no evidence at the moment that a recursively self improving computer is possible to create.
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    • Why do you think a singularity may not be quite as easy to achieve, particularly in the near future?
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  9. Are There Downsides of the Coming Singularity?
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    • What could go wrong with the singularity?
      1. Technology is always a double edged sword. These things from the singularity could be used for good or bad.
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    • Why might the technological singularity not hurt us in the long run?
      1. Throughout history, improved technology has ultimately helped improve life for most people. Additionally, with the advancement of technology comes an advancement of cultural thinking and an advancement of interpersonal relations.
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  10. Michio Kaku: What Might Computers Do With Us Post Singularity?
  11. What Do We Know About What Could Happen?
  12. A Final Thought by Jason Silva