BeeLine to the Future:Vernor Vinge Interview

Robert Bee
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Wired posted an excellent interview with science fiction writer and mathematician Vernor Vinge entitled “Vernor Vinge Is Optimistic About the Collapse of Civilization”

Although the ostensible topic of conversation is Vinge’s optimistic view that humanity can recover from the collapse of civilization, the interview covers a lot of topics such as WMDs in space, Ray Kurzweil, superintelligent A.I., mathematical models, extending human lifespan, and several of his novels. He mentions some of the possibilities for humans living 100,000 years or more and the problems that a long lifespan would create.

He discusses how he coined the term singularity, which is useful to know, especially for anyone who thinks Ray Kurzweil created the concept of the singularity. Vinge describes some of the best SF dealing with the singularity (specifically Accelerando by Charles Stross)
He lays out five like paths to the Singularity, which he thinks will probably end up mixed together. I’ll lay them out in a table:

Classical Artificial Intelligence Build a superintelligent computer
Intelligence Amplification The most attractive possibility, in which humans combine with computers and are active participants in the singularity.
Bio-science Science enhances human memory and thinking
Internet awakes The interaction between the Internet and the billions of people that use it creates a self-aware intelligence.
Digital Gaia The most alien, an Internet under the Internet in which reality wakes up and becomes aware