Sunday, July 3, 2011


I just finished reading a great story about the singularity and the implications it may have on humanity and our culture. The book is Accelerando by Charles Stross. You can read it here for free in a variety of formats.
The book describes the life of three generations of a family before, during, and after the singularity. The portrayal of the way technology progresses is very good throughout the story. Stross only uses ideas that have some scientific basis behind them. He does a really good job of using a lot of well researched theories as well. Having real ideas behind the story is nice because you could just Google something you don't understand and be provided with a great resources about that topic.

The ideas and technologies that Stross presents in the book really opened up my mind to the possibilities of a human/computer interface. Human potential will be much greater when technology like that is created and implemented widely. We will be able to get information so much faster than we can now. We won't be held back by how fast our brains can interpret text. The speed of the computers interfaced with out brain will be the new limit to how fast we can absorb information. The interfaces will probably start off with humans being able to control computers using certain thoughts. There will be electrodes that monitor brain activity and by learning certain thought processes you will be able to control a computer.

The next step would be making an interface between the neurons in the brain and the computer, so the electrical signals of the brain can interact directly with the computer. Our thoughts would be able to pull up information directly from the computer.
Stross describes a few ways that computers and brains could interact and allow humans to achieve intelligence beyond the capabilities of our biological bodies. A main part of the story revolves around the idea that humans will be able to upload a mapping of their brain to a computer in order to create a conscious being living inside a virtual world. People will ditch their bodies in order to become more intelligent.

A few other things he touches on are the nature of giant corporations affecting the development of mankind, extraterrestrial beings that revolve their existence around corporations, Dyson spheres, Matrioshka brains, future space craft, and the dismantling of the solar system for resources.

It's free, so why not read it

No comments:

Post a Comment