Topics in Digital Culture

Topics: The Singularity Is Near, World Wide Web, Raymond Kurzweil Pages: 6 (2035 words) Published: April 9, 2012
topics in digital cultureQUESTION 1 - The concept singularity is a hypothesis on the not so far future of human life on earth. According to Ray Kurzweil, the scientist, inventor, futurist and author of The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology; singularity is a stage in our near future where technological development will start to accrue at an inconceivable speed that normal humans cannot keep up with, let alone contain. This possible technological change, which is not recognizable to us right now, will have a deep and forceful impact. It will eventually lead to an irreversible transformation determining human life, automatically combining human body and mind with technology. This idea refers to the power of building machines containing all human intelligence and abilities. This will eventually lead to superhuman intelligence and the inability to distinguish post singularity between human and machine or between physical and virtual reality. As stated by Kurzweil “Impending singularity is that the pace of change of our human created technology is accelerating and its powers are expanding at an exponential pace.” Currently computers can perform large amounts of human capabilities that in the past required human intelligence in order to execute. The list of ways computers can now beat human capabilities is quickly increasing. It is believed that within several decades technological development will overrun all human intelligence and capabilities, eventually resulting in recognition power, problem solving skills, and emotional moral intelligence of the human brain itself. Kurzweil adds that singularity will ultimately result in a world that is still human but transcends our biological roots as well as a completely irreversibly transforming humanity, civilization and our own body and mind. A prediction regarding singularity can result in human and machine emerging in order to become super intelligent using them (the machines) to extend our intellectual abilities the same way cars and planes extend our physical abilities. In a world where human kind is constantly seeking for new information, mass communication has become an inseparable part of the human life. Resulting in a society that is dependent on mass communication. If the singularity world occurs, the field of mass communication will go through a drastic change regarding flow and framing of the information provided to us by machines. The more intelligent machines become, the better chance they will pass human intelligence. Eventually, they could improve their own designs by editing their own software in order to improve themselves, which human natural ability could not do. At the moment computers make decisions that were once made by humans; such as flying and navigating planes. In a singularity world all mass communication and decision-making will be controlled by machines that are smarter and stronger than humans. With machines controlling the mass communication world, our brain would become useless due to the fact that machines are doing all the work for us, which perhaps will make us less intelligent than we are today. In a world where everything is transmitted at the speed of light, where people communicate through devices and forming digital relationships I believe that in years to come people will lose their ability to communicate in a “humanly” way. This will perhaps lead to the destruction of humanity due to the lack of physical interaction with each other. Technology has an enormous power to destroy humanity, in regards of Utopia and Dystopia which are two opposite scripts regarding the technological revolution and its impact on the future. Utopia represents excessive optimism about technology, where all problems will end. Therefor technology in the form of machines and humans will be able to live together in perfect harmony in a world where human kind is better than at the present. Dystopian approach claims that technology will ultimately...
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