What is the Singularity and how will it affect you?
The Singularity is the joining of biology and technology to create artificial intelligence (AI) which is smarter than human beings and which can therefore have a major impact on us and our planet. According to the Singularity Institute scientists have been predicting since at least 1965 that AI would move beyond a certain threshold and start changing things for the better big time. Of course we can all also imagine a sci fi horror show in which AI takes over the world commandeering scarce resources for some nefarious purpose and ending human life as we know it.
Is any of this reality and if so what is our role in creating a future in which a positive outcome prevails?
For centuries Masters have taught that there is a universal intelligence which is always evolving, creating itself anew in every moment. As human beings we are participants in this process, which we might call creating the future of now But will we be able to keep up with these changes that can have such a huge impact on our lives and our planet? As we begin to grasp the enormity of this technology, will we be able to find ways to live responsibly in the midst of so much change?
So back to your cell phone. Just how smart is it…and more importantly how much smarter could it get? Today most of us take smartphones and other information processing devices such as tablets and iPads for granted, and yet if the Singularity folks are correct, the power in one of them may soon exceed our brain’s ability to process information. So here’s the real question…(drum roll please)…if the device is smarter than we are, is it also self aware? Is it more self-aware than we are or could be…in which case could it take over the planet?
Here’s another possibility. Maybe there’s a way to use this technology to augment our brains…in other words make us smart enough to keep up with our phones. Futurists predict scientists may develop information processing chips the size of a blood cell, which can be implanted in our brains. As human beings at the cutting edge of consciousness, this breakthrough could greatly increase our level of self-awareness, and if so will we be happier and more self-fulfilled as a result? Let’s hope so!
Here’s another possibility. While potential for these kinds of technologies is huge, some may be specifically designed to help human beings access universal intelligence in more subtle dimensions of reality…in other words they may help us tap into our intuition more effectively. Not only would that be great but it might even make cell phones obsolete!
Another question, how long would you like to live?
The new technologies could also help extend the quantity and quality if human life. And there are experts who say some of these life enhancing technologies are already available raising the question of how we access them. If we do so, will we successfully find ways to allow this powerful technology to contribute to a greatly improved quality of life? After all, if we’re going to live longer, it would be good to have it all be a quality experience rather than extended years in a nursing home.
The great wisdom traditions teach us that we measure evolution in the quality of life by how much we increase our self-awareness. Let us hope that as the Singularity becomes reality, we will be able, with our limited brains, to keep pace, so that we are not overwhelmed by this artificial intelligence but rather are able to live longer, richer and fuller lives. Meanwhile…keep a close eye on your cell phone and don’t let it get out of hand!
P.S. For those of you who are intrigued by these questions and want more info, visit the Singularity Institute website. Also check out this great 4 day retreat coming up July 19-22, 2012, at Synchronicity Foundation near Charlottesville, VA. The questions raised here and many more will be explored by Synchronicity’s founder and spiritual director, Master Charles Cannon. Known as the Electronic Mystic and High-Tech Guru, Master Charles is a visionary who focuses on the leading edge of consciousness as it creates the future of itself. His insights on the Singularity and the coming changes will astound you.
Visit the Synchronicity Foundation website, or call 757-644-3400 for more information.