Thursday, May 24, 2007

Science Fiction and the Technological Singularity

A few decades ago, the most popular science fiction epics were works like Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy or Frank Herbert’s Dune series—stories that were set thousands or even tens of thousands of years in the future but involved human beings more or less like us and societies more or less like our own, but with more advanced technology. Today, by contrast, many of the genre’s top writers are unwilling to speculate more than 20 years ahead. The acceleration of technological advance, they argue, has begun to make traditional visions of far-future humanity look increasingly myopic and parochial.
Vernor Vinge in an interview voices his thoughts on the Technological Singularity and how rapidly accelerating technological progress is building a future that may be impossible for us even to imagine.

1 comment:

morva shepley said...

The trouble with the technological singularity idea is that it is based on only one premise, whereas changes in society usually have several factors in play.

But let's imagine these superior machines trawling the ether for bytes of food to grow themselves with, oblivious to us and our concerns, until one day a human pulls the plug out ...