July 25 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Technology Year: Beyond Rating: 5
A favorite debate topic for many futurists, humanists, advanced defense theorists, sci-fi authors and Future Bloggers is the nature of future terrestrial intelligence increase. As change accelerates, how how exactly will we and/or the system around us get smarter?
The most popular scenario by far is Artificial General Intelligence , aka AI that equals or surpasses that of humanity, probably because it is the most immediately relatable and due to the fact that so much money is being poured into AGI research. In fact, some researchers are predicting a breakthrough in the field in just 5-10 years.
But there are a variety of other scenarios that could either outcompete this paradigm or conspire with it to accelerate intelligence in our system. These include human-based, alien-based, deeply systemic, or even exo-systemic possibilities.
Applying your particular brand of intelligence, which of the following do you think is the most optimal path to intelligence increase in the acceleration era? (Survey at end of post)
Individual Intelligence Amplification: Individual humans that grow vastly smarter due to hard, biological and/or soft cognitive upgrades, such as Bean in Ender’s Game.
Social Intelligence Amplification: A group or humanity as a whole collectively grows smarter, thus taking on the stewardship role for our Earth and species.
Biological Intelligence Amplification: One, more or all of the other species on Earth evolve or emerge, aided or automatically, the foremost intelligence on the planet. This could be viewed as a Gaiian awakening.
Alien Contact: Through efforts like SETI or those of the aliens themselves, we come into contact with some extra-terrestrial intelligence based in our universe that either stewards us or gives us a nice boost, a la the Vulcans in Star Trek, although this would likely be considerably more extreme.
External Upgrade: Intelligence or forces outside of our universe deliberately or unintentionally effect an intelligence upgrade by tweaking our system or its rules. Imagine the 13th Floor but on steroids.
Replacement by Superior Substrate: Converse to an external upgrade, it is possible that as we manipulate our universe we could generate a MEST compressed physical life form, pattern or simulation that then usurps our system because it is far more efficient. This scenario is distinct from AGI because it need not be smarter than us at the outset, just more efficient, and could then quickly evolve/develop superior systems intelligence. Think of it as Life 2.0.
System-Wide Intelligence Amplification, Our universe as a whole becomes smarter all at once through a process called evodevo. Systems theorists like John Smart argue that the cosmos could be a computer that is fundamentally “rigged” to get smarter in a distributed fashion.
Some of the Above: A few of the above scenarios compete for dominance as life on Earth rapidly transforms.
None of the Above: Either we go extinct or some other scenario (thoughts welcome) generates a dominating intelligence.