The Age of Spiritual Machines Summary- Unearned Wisdom

The Singularity

Machines will eventually become smarter than us. Kurzweil already predicted that they would become better at things like chess, financial trading, and diagnosing diseases. But people have pushed back by trying to minimize the importance of these breakthroughs — by reducing the complexity of playing chess, for example.

The Law of Accelerating Returns

Our technological progress for most of human history can be represented as a flat, horizontal line on a two-dimensional graph (the vertical access marks progress, and the horizontal access marks time). But as these small compound effects take place across time — as we get incrementally more adept at building technology — that flat line starts to curve very quickly. We will approach the “knee of the curve”. That’s the idea of accelerating returns.

Moore’s Law

Moore’s law states that the price of computing power would half every eighteen months. As technology becomes cheaper and more accessible and as more people become educated, and as our inter-connectivity increases, and as the field of artificial intelligence advances, we will see larger compound effects. The interplay between these parallel processes will create non-linear technological progress that will move us closer the singularity.


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