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This talk was given at Stanford Graduate School of Business by Randy Lubin, Robert Denning, and Nick Staubach. It is a basic introduction to the Technological Singularity and its relationship with entrepreneurship.
The price-performance, capacity & bandwidth of information technologies progresses exponentially through multiple paradigm shiftsSpecific to information technologyNot to arbitrary exponential trends (like population)Still need to test viability of the next paradigmA scientific theory25 years of researchPart of a broader theory of evolutionInventing: science and engineeringMoore’s law just one example of manyYes there are limitsBut they’re not very limitingBased on the physics of computation and communication and on working paradigms (such as nanotubes)
The Technological Singularity and Entrepreneurship
Technological Singularity & Entrepreneurship<br />Or: why we will either live forever, or be killed by robots…<br />Randy Lubin, Robert Denning, Nick Staubach<br />
Overview / history / philosophy<br />Robert Denning<br />2<br />
What is the singularity? <br />A singularity is a paradigm-shifting event…<br />The “technological singularity” is a hypothetical event occurring when technological progress becomes so rapid and the growth of super-human intelligence is so great that the future after the singularity becomes qualitatively different and harder to predict.<br />3<br />
Kurzweil’s Singularity<br />The coming technological singularity will allow us to augment our bodies and minds with technology. <br />The singularity will result from the combination of three important technologies of the 21st century: genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (including artificial intelligence).<br />Four central postulates: <br />A technological-evolutionary point known as "the singularity" exists as an achievable goal for humanity.<br />Through a law of accelerating returns, technology is progressing toward the singularity at an exponential rate.<br />The functionality of the human brain is quantifiable in terms of technology that we can build in the near future.<br />Medical advancements make it possible for a significant number of his generation (Baby Boomers) to live long enough for the exponential growth of technology to intersect and surpass the processing of the human brain.<br />4<br />
The Six Epochs<br />5<br />Evolution works through indirection: it creates a capability and then uses that capability to evolve the next stage.<br />
The Singularitarians<br />Transhumanists, Immortalists, Extropians<br />Techno-Utopians, Techno-Progressivists<br />Blurring of human/machine<br />Humans transcend limitations of their own biology<br />Long-term immortality:<br />Downloaded consciousness<br />Upgraded human body<br />“We have to live until the singularity”<br />Museum of Death<br />A just slightly more intelligent machine is all we need<br />From there, machines and AI will perfect themselves<br />Long-term problem-solving, an end to scarcity<br />“There is a cosmic imperative to create more complexity”<br />Museum of Poverty, Disease, Waste<br />6<br />
Why is this good again?!<br />Pop culture prefers the apocalyptic scenario…<br />Skynet (Terminator)<br />The Matrix<br />I, Robot<br />Frankenstein; cyborgs; “the Borg”<br />But, as you’ll see, we are heading this way by forces beyond our control…<br />Profit motives<br />Desire for longevity<br />And we are admittedly not preparing ourselves.<br />But we can.<br />7<br />
THE SINGULARITY COULD END UP BEING THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE. FULL STOP. <br />8<br />The Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip.<br />– Ronald Reagan, The Guardian, 14 June 1989<br />
The Law of Accelerating Returns<br />An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense "intuitive linear" view. <br />9<br />So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century <br />– it will be more like 20,000 years of progress <br />(at today’s rate).<br />
THE PARADIGM SHIFT RATE IS NOW DOUBLING ABOUT EVERY DECADE<br />12<br />Logarithmic Plot<br />
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES (OF ALL KINDS) DOUBLE THEIR POWER ABOUT (PRICE PERFORMANCE, CAPACITY, BANDWIDTH) EVERY YEAR<br />13<br />
Moore’s Law is only one example<br />Exponential Growth of Computing for 110 Years Moore's Law was the fifth, not the first, paradigm to bring exponential growth in computing<br />Logarithmic Plot<br />Calculations per Second per $1000<br />Year<br />14<br />
Law of Accelerating Returns is Driving Economic Growth<br />The portion of a product or service’s value comprised of information is asymptoting to 100%<br />The cost of information at every level incurs deflation at ~ 50% per year<br />This is a powerful deflationary force<br />Completely different from the deflation in the 1929 Depression (collapse of consumer confidence & money supply)<br />This is why entrepreneurialism is so important<br />27<br />
An example of Exponential Growth…<br />5 Exobytes = 5 Billion Gigabytes<br />35<br />
An example of Exponential Growth…<br />5 Exobytes = 5 Billion Gigabytes<br /> From the start of time ~2003<br />36<br />
An example of Exponential Growth…<br />5 Exobytes = 5 Billion Gigabytes<br /> From the start of time ~2003<br /> in 2010 ~ 2 Days<br />37<br />
An example of Exponential Growth…<br />5 Exobytes = 5 Billion Gigabytes<br /> From the start of time ~2003<br /> in 2010 ~ 2 Days<br /> in 2013<br />38<br />
An example of Exponential Growth…<br />5 Exobytes = 5 Billion Gigabytes<br /> From the start of time ~2003<br /> in 2010 ~ 2 Days<br /> in 2013 ~ 10 minutes<br />39<br />
It’s going to happen…<br />SO…<br />We need to prepare;<br />We need to consider the ethical implications and develop a new moral framework;<br />We need to consider the social and political frameworks necessary to deal with the transition.<br />BUT…<br />You don’t need to accept everything that might be possible…<br />…But you do need to recognize that this paradigm shift is potentially imminent and clearly inevitable (and that, at the very least, the gap between now and when it happens is closing at an exponentially faster rate)…<br />And that the event horizon will be unpredictable, and seismic. <br />40<br />