Monday, February 23, 2009

Robots!

I was surprised this weekend to see the front page of the Variety section of the paper sporting a giant article on the technological singularity. That seems a bit complicated of a topic to make for good Saturday morning reading with the general public.

The ironic thing, of course, was that the article about this incredible rate of technological change was in one of the oldest forms for getting your news. And one that is dying out ungracefully, after failing to adapt to change. Predictably the wikipedia article was more interesting, even if it does lean more heavily to the sci-fi aspects.

I find the whole question of increasing rate of change interesting, and not just because of the prevalence of self-aware human-made machines as a plot device for movies and books, but rather because the date predictions for a singularity are basically within my lifetime. And at least anecdotally it certainly seems plausible that humans could create something if not 'better' at designing things, at least more efficient. And from there, you just sit back and wait for Skynet.

At least we know the paper is still run by humans, because it seems premature for the robot writers to be advertising their eventual dominance.

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