Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Will the singularity be open?

Jamais Cascio, Openness and the Metaverse Singularity, a presentation at the Singularity Summit 2007 (San Francisco September 8-9, 2007).  In this sense, the singularity is "the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligence."  Excerpt:

Many of us rightly worry about what might happen that analyze our life logs, that monitor our every step and word, that track our behavior online so as to offer us the safest possible society -- or best possible spam. Imagine the risks associated with trusting that when the creators of emerging self-aware systems say that they have our best interests in mind, they mean the same thing by that phrase that we do.

For me, the solution is clear. Trust depends upon transparency. Transparency, in turn, requires openness.

We need an Open Singularity.

At minimum, this means expanding the conversation about the shape that a singularity might take beyond a self-selected group of technologists and philosophers. An "open access" singularity, if you will....

My preferred pathway would be to "open source" the singularity, to bring in the eyes and minds of millions of collaborators to examine and co-create the relevant software and models, seeking out flaws and making the code more broadly reflective of a variety of interests....This is not simply speculation; we've seen time and again, from digital security to the global response to SARS, that open access to information-laden risks ultimately makes them more manageable....

If the singularity is in fact near, the fundamental tools of information, collaboration and access will be our best hope for making it happen in a way that spreads its benefits and minimizes its dangers -- in short, making it happen in a way that lets us be good ancestors....