Chalmers’ Singularity

Check out the latest issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, a themed issue built around Dave Chalmers’ 2010 JCS paper  “The Singularity“.

What happens when machines become more intelligent than humans? One view is that this event will be followed by an explosion to ever-greater levels of intelligence, as each generation of machines creates more intelligent machines in turn. This intelligence explosion is now often known as the ‘singularity’.

By way of a taster here is an excerpt from Dan Dennett’s contribution in his usual inimitably bold style entitled “The Mystery of David Chalmers.”

‘The Singularity’ is a remarkable text, in ways that many readers may not appreciate. It is written in an admirably forthright and clear style, and is beautifully organized, gradually introducing its readers to the issues, sorting them carefully, dealing with them all fairly and with impressive scholarship, and presenting the whole as an exercise of sweet reasonableness, which in fact it is. But it is also a mystery story of sorts, a cunningly devised intellectual trap, a baffling puzzle that yields its solution — if that is what it is (and that is part of the mystery) — only at the very end. It is like a ‘well made play’ in which every word by every character counts, retrospectively, for something. Agatha Christie never concocted a tighter funnel of implications and suggestions. Bravo, Dave.