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To Probe Further

The Singularity Special Report

2 min read

”Can Machines Be Conscious?”

By Christof Koch & Giulio Tononi

For more on the integrated information theory of consciousness, read the sidebar ”A Bit of Theory: Consciousness as Integrated Information.” For a consideration of quantum computers and consciousness, read the sidebar ”Do You Need a Quantum Computer to Achieve Machine Consciousness?”

The Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, of which Christof Koch is executive director and Giulio Tononi is president-elect, publishes the journal Psyche and holds an annual conference. This year the group will meet in Taipei from 19 to 22 June. See the ASSC Web site for more information.

For details on the neurobiology of consciousness, see The Quest for Consciousness by Christof Koch (Roberts, 2004), with a forward by Francis Crick.

”Economics for the Singularity”

By Robin Hanson

For work on reconstructing the deep economic past, see ”Estimating World GDP, One Million B.C.�Present,” by J. Bradford DeLong of the University of California, Berkeley.

For a detailed reconstruction of the more recent past, see ”Historical Statistics for the World Economy: 1�2003 A.D.,” compiled by Angus Maddison of the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands.

For a breakdown of the U.S. economy by industry, see ”Gross Domestic Product by Industry Accounts, 1947�2007,” Bureau of Economic Analysis, 24 April 2007.

For early speculations on a rapid intelligence explosion, see I.J. Good, ”Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine,” in Advances in Computers , Vol. 6, Franz L. Alt and Morris Rubinoff, eds., 1965, Academic Press.

You can find additional material by Robin Hanson on the likely effects of machine intelligence on economic growth, the history of growth rates, and on life as a robot at the George Mason University Web site.

”Signs of the Singularity”

By Vernor Vinge

Vernor Vinge, ”The Coming Technological Singularity,” Vision-21 Symposium, NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, 30 to 31 March 1993.

Vernor Vinge, ”What If the Singularity Does NOT Happen,” Seminars About Long-Term Thinking, the Long Now Foundation, 15 February 2007; see also theLong Now seminars, which are a wonderful resource for anyone who is interested in the long-term welfare of civilization.

Gordon E. Moore, ”Cramming More Components Onto Integrated Circuits,” Electronics , 19 April 1965. The accompanying illustration is an unsung virtue of the piece: clever, funny—and illustrating the limitations of even the most successful trend projections.

International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors,” 2007 edition, Executive Summary.

Hans Moravec, Mind Children , Harvard University Press, 1988.

DARPA solicitation, ”Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CT2WS) Frequently Asked Questions,” 8 April 2007.

Theodore W. Berger et al., ”Brain-Implantable Biomimetic Electronics as a Neural Prosthesis for Hippocampal Memory Function,” in Toward Replacement Parts for the Brain , Berger and Glanzman, eds., MIT Press, 2005.

David Moore et al., ”The Spread of the Sapphire/Slammer Worm,” 2003.

J. Storrs Hall, Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine , Prometheus Books, 2007. Hall discusses strategies for reaching a favorable outcome in a soft takeoff.

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