Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Google: "The Singularity Is Near"...

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Google has teamed with NASA to finance a school for 'futurists' in Silicon Valley, prepping scientists for an era when machines become smarter than people.

'Singularity University' will be led by Ray Kurzweil, with Google and NASA’s acceptance of Kurzweil’s claim that artificial intelligence will soon outrun human beings, ushering in a new era of civilization.

To be housed at NASA’s Ames Research Center near the Googleplex, Singularity University will offer scientists courses on biotechnology, nano-technology and artificial intelligence.

'Singularity', defined as a period of rapid technological progress in the near future, was introduced by Kurzweil in his 2005 book “The Singularity is Near”.

Proponents say that during the singularity, machines will be able to autonomically improve themselves using artificial intelligence.

Critics call the singularity dangerous, as a malicious artificial intelligence might be able to control the human race.

"We’re getting to the steep part of the curve," said Kurzweil.
"It’s not just electronics and computers."

The school is backed by Larry Page, Google co-founder and Peter Diamandis, chief executive of X-Prize, an organization that provides funding to support technological change.

According to Diamandis, “We are anchoring the University in what is in the lab today, with an understanding of what’s in the realm of possibility in the future..."