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Un-assuming The Singularity

Given the current state of computer science and robotics, it’s hard to understand how ”the singularity” meme has become lodged in the serious discourse of the technosphere

3 min read

Given the current state of computer science and robotics, it’s hard to understand how ”the singularity” meme has become lodged in the serious discourse of the technosphere. This is the idea that, as a consequence of exponentially accelerating technological innovation and continuously self-improving artificial intelligence, computer power will outstrip human brainpower, leading to the end of human culture as we know it. Not a century from now, mind you, but somewhere between 2030 and 2045, depending on whom you talk to.

The concept was framed in its most tech-savvy form by computer scientist and science-fiction writer Vernor Vinge in 1983 in Omni magazine. It has since morphed into a complicated ”theory” that for some, notably prolific inventor Ray Kurzweil, includes a posthuman after­life in which we abandon our biological selves and are uploaded into digital and possibly robotic vessels, there to spend eternity as cybernetic Methuselahs. It is also thought by its followers to be inevitable, not merely one of many possible future scenarios.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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