Startups and the Singularity: Which Boston Innovators Are Believers?
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I didn’t find any obvious correlation between their beliefs and the cultures or approaches of their companies.
Where it gets interesting, though, is in their reasoning. Rob May from Backupify, a cloud-based data firm, says it makes sense that the singularity will occur:
“I think technology as an ecosystem is at an unstable point, and like any system it has to settle into something more stable,” he says. “For example, things are changing and expanding faster than most people can keep up, and the lack of deep expertise across joint knowledge verticals by a single person is causing an innovation drag. The singularity resolves this by reaching a stage where both augmented humans and machines can reach new levels of mastery.” (Then he said something about consciousness that I couldn’t follow; nothing about consciousness ever makes sense.)
As a counterpoint, Coach Wei from Web optimization startup Yottaa argues, “The probability of it happening in the 21st century as predicted isn’t much higher than 2012 Red Sox playing good baseball. Even if we get there, it is going to be thousands of years later. It took billions of years for life to evolve to the current level of complexity, and our technological super-intelligence isn’t close to understanding the basic brain activities yet.”
Others got mucho philosophical. “Like the perfectly efficient market in economics, I think it’s an ideal ceiling for which to strive as opposed to an achievable end,” says Phil Beauregard from analytics startup Objective Logistics. “We can’t possibly keep creating and stacking new arenas of knowledge over the centuries and anticipate that we will at one finite point perfect technologies/solutions to meet them, thereby achieving a singularity.”
And one guy who knows something about big data (which is itself a singularity, I think) and “global brain” issues was pretty succinct. … Next Page »