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The Singularity Q&A

Q: How should we approach the Singularity?

A: With the understanding that the Singularity is an effectively unavoidable landmark on the path of progress, it makes little sense to try and run away from it.  In fact, the technologies that figure into the Singularity promise enormous benefits, and could be quickly mastered with the aid of greater intelligence.  Physical immortality, universal material prosperity, and interstellar exploration are just a few of the ones that we can think of; many advances beyond the Singularity may be unforeseeable.

But as with any knowledge, those technologies that that will lead to greater intelligence can be used for destructive purposes as well.  The time just before the Singularity is perhaps the most perilous in all of history; technologies will exist that could completely destroy the human race.  Minds of unprecedented intelligence will hopefully know best how to minimize the risk of catastrophe, but these may not be developed until the risk has already appeared.  Humanity is rafting down a turbulent river that becomes swiftest and rockiest before plunging into a vast, uncharted sea.

There is no turning back.  We must "shoot the rapids." The best way to safely reach the Singularity is to hasten progress in those technologies that can bring about greater, wiser intelligence while making all reasonable precautions against their misuse.  The cost of failure could be total, but the cost of delay must not be ignored; some 150,000 people die every day, most of them from causes that could soon be wholly preventable.   An earlier, safer Singularity could literally save millions of lives.




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