- Series: The Frontiers Collection
- Hardcover: 441 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 2012 edition (April 3, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3642325599
- ISBN-13: 978-3642325595
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment (The Frontiers Collection) 2012th Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
"The book presents a clear, balanced, critical study and discussion around one of the most neglected hypotheses of our recent time - the Singularity Hypothesis. The book focuses on the technological singularity, notably the intelligence explosion and the possibility of the super-intelligence and its consequences. ... The book poses a challenge and opens the way for future research." (Ilya Levin, Head of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Department, School of Education, Tel-Aviv University, June 2013)
"A 'who’s who' of thinking on the Singularity, the volume is notable for having both leading thinkers and critics of the visions behind what may (or may not) be one of the most important events to come in all of human history." (P.W. Singer, author of the book Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century and Director, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings, June 2013)
"Eden and colleagues have produced a remarkably thorough survey of contemporary expert thinking concerning the technological singularity. It is particularly impressive that there is a whole section, rather than just a token chapter, dedicated to skepticism about its occurrence. The inclusion of short responses to most chapters is also highly valuable. The only issue that I was sorry to see omitted - and this may well be because too little can yet be said about it - is whether recursive self-improvement of the kind probably required for the singularity may be provable impossible, in the same sort of sense as the "halting problem". All in all, this volume will provide a wide range of audiences with an extremely timely and high-quality account of what we think, know and do not know about what could be the most transformative event in human history." (Aubrey de Grey, gerontologist, Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation, May 2013)
"'Singularity Hypotheses' can be seen as a major sign of the impending birth of a rigorous new field of studies, perhaps known as 'Singularity Studies'. ... the editors are to be congratulated on insisting that the Technology Singularity is a topic well worth analysis, and for enabling this ground-breaking round of discussion to take place. Even where I disagreed with individual viewpoints expressed - which was often - I found myself confronted by useful new thinking models or thought-provoking examples. The diverse essays in 'Singularity Hypotheses' can provide the beginning of serious classification of the issues and risks which will increasingly occupy the public attention ... . The editors of 'Singularity Hypotheses' have shown real leadership in addressing this subject, despite its present-day immaturity." (David W. Wood: Chair, London Futurists; co-founder and Executive VP, Symbian; Principal, Delta Wisdom, May 2013)
"Singularity hypotheses argue that human society is close to a transformative moment in which Artificial Intelligence or biological enhancements will change, and perhaps destroy what we have traditionally understood by ‘humanity’. This volume offers a wide range of essays that explicate, defend and criticize a range of singularity theories. The best introduction I know of to some profound debates about our future as a species." (David Christian, author of "Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History", Macquarie University, Sydney, and WCU Professor, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, May 2013)
"There's so much hype and skepticism around the technological singularity that it's difficult to find a balanced discussion. But this volume has done just that nicely. Not only do the essays present the case for and against the singularity, as well as its implications, but each essay is followed by a short critical response to keep the discussion honest at each stop. For anyone interested in the technological future, this is a unique and much-needed contribution to the field."(Dr. Patrick Lin, California Polytechnic State University, April 2013)
"Riveting. This is one of the more balanced and insightful commentaries on the pragmatics and the possibilities of the continuing co-evolution of computing and humanity." (Grady Booch, Chief Scientist for Software Engineering at IBM Research, March 2013)
"Finally the Technological Singularity has become a socially, philosophically, and scientifically acceptable topic regarded worthy of investigation. ... This book seems very timely, given the largest research excellence award in history (1 billion Euro) just went to developing the most detailed simulation of the human brain." (Marcus Hutter, Professor in the RSCS at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, March 2013)
From the Back Cover
Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment offers authoritative, jargon-free essays and critical commentaries on accelerating technological progress and the notion of technological singularity. It focuses on conjectures about the intelligence explosion, transhumanism, and whole brain emulation. Recent years have seen a plethora of forecasts about the profound, disruptive impact that is likely to result from further progress in these areas. Many commentators however doubt the scientific rigor of these forecasts, rejecting them as speculative and unfounded. We therefore invited prominent computer scientists, physicists, philosophers, biologists, economists and other thinkers to assess the singularity hypotheses. Their contributions go beyond speculation, providing deep insights into the main issues and a balanced picture of the debate.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This is an outstanding book presenting a range of views on the likelihood of a technological Singularity, preferable substrata and likely benefits and dangers. Most of the twenty chapters, followed by one or to responses each, are of high quality – though necessary some issues are left wide open, such as coping with “consciousness.”
A weakness is neglect of emerging leaps in gene engineering, nano-technology and related domains, which combine with advances in artificial general intelligence (AGI) in leading to an expectable comprehensive and multi-dimensional Singularity.
Focusing on super-intelligence may be a reasonable choice. But fundamental is misunderstanding of the core ontology of the emerging Singularity. To clarify this point let me take up the last chapter by Eric J. Chaisson, which may well be the best and perhaps should have been put at the beginning of the book.
It provides a comprehensive theory of evolution of the Cosmos leading to higher complexity related to increasing energy use density. This understanding leads to the conclusion that “it does seem inevitable, indeed quite ordinary, that new forms of complexity are destined to supplant humanity as the most complex system known (Kindle location 10349 ff.)…The Universe has spawned many such grand evolutionary, even transcendent, events in deep time…Where we do all agree (apparently) is that cultured humans and their invented machines are now in the process of transcending biology, a topic bound to be emotional if only because it rubs our human nerves and potentially dethrones our perceived cosmic primacy… The technological singularity, which seems real and oncoming, may be central (and even threatening) to beings on Earth, yet is only one of many exceptional events throughout natural history, and unlikely more fundamental than many other profound evolutionary developments among complex systems over time immemorial.”
Indeed, I finished reading the book as a whole with the impression that the preponderance of evidence supports the thesis that a technological Singularity is in the making, though its nature is far from clear and the required time line is much longer than estimated by most true believers in the Singularity.
However, even this excellent chapter ignores a crucial point, as does the book as a whole, and nearly all the discourse on the Singularity: It states: “Of all the known principles of Nature, thermodynamics perhaps best describes the concept of change—yet change dictated by a combination of randomness and determinism, of chance and necessity” (Kindle location 10441-2). What is glaringly missing is recognition that for the first time, at least on Earth, emerging science and technology produced by humankind provide it with the ability to act as an agency and significantly shape the future of that science and technology and thereby of human evolution.
Therefore, the ontological core of the emerging Singularity is the leap in human powers. Ergo, much attention should be given to what I call “Singularity Politics,” which, for better or worse, by acting or default, will shape important facets of the emerging Singularity and thus on the evolutionary future of Homo sapiens.
Thus, I reject statements dispersed in the book that steering of the Singularity is unnecessary and impossible, such as: “Should we strive to preserve our essential humanity and halt the growth of machines? To my mind…we should not and could not” (Kindle location 1077-80); “History suggests that pragmatic concerns pertaining to the potential dangers and threats of novel technologies have never impeded such technologies from being widely embraced;” and “Introducing legislation banning the creation of super-intelligence AGI systems is destined to only be partially effective, since there will always be countries, governments and large organizations that view themselves above international law” (Kindle location 1786-1788).
True, given politics as usual “If a working AGI prototype were to approach the level at which an explosion seemed possible, governments around the world would recognize that this was a critically important technology, and no effort would be spared to produce the first fully-functional AGI ‘before the other side does’” (Kindle location 2750-2752); “National regulation of artificial intelligence research would impose such a huge burden on an economically and militarily advanced nation that most such nations would be wary of restricting it within their borders. But there exists no body able to impose its will on the entire world;” and so on (Kindle location 4501-4506).
However, the correct conclusion, once the core nature of the Singularity is understood, is different. As I put it in one of my salient books: “It is absurd to believe that everything is going to change, but politics will and can remain the same.“ But, first of all, the core of the Singularity must be correctly perceived as the emergence of the totally unprecedented power of Homo sapiens to largely steer the future of its evolution – leading to urgent design and instantiation of global governance structures and leadership enabling humankind as a composite deliberative agency to do so for the better.
Professor Yehezkel Dror
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Many of the arguments here can be found in other places, but the collection is much more than the sum of its parts. It imposes a dialectical logic on the discussion whereby every essay is responded to with one or more critical essays. The introductory essay, which can be read free on amazon.com, raises a very well thought out set of questions that will define debate on the singularity for years to come. The essays that follow provide thoughtful, comprehensive and insightful answers to the questions.
The skeptics are given more than ample opportunity to develop their arguments, which are then subjected to serious criticism. The criticisms are telling: many of the skeptics demolish straw men. They go to great pains to demonstrate that no one can "prove" the singularity with mathematical or logical certainty, something which none of the authors in the volume assert. Much of the skepticism is addressed to Ray Kurzweil's more popular work, rather than to the more careful state-of-the-art futurism in this volume. The skeptics are actually more "fideistic" (arguing from faith) than the scientists (I won't call them "believers") who do their best to assess the likelihood and nature of a singularity.
The skeptics are perhaps most convincing on the issue of timing. But even here, the criticism applies more to Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near than to the essays in this book which have absorbed and incorporated the criticisms of Kurzweil. These essays admit what we don't know, but have the courage to make the most of what we do. They accept the challenge of predicting likely turning-points in the medium-term future of information technology, and of suggesting what we can do to prepare for them.