The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'singularity'
A security researcher in Israel has predicted that the next generation of malware may, rather than stealing passwords or card numbers, steal users' behaviour patterns. The malware will infect the networks of devices people use, monitor their behaviour and send the models to bad guys who can use it to impersonate the victim for nefarious purposes. And if it happens to you, you have no recourse, short of forcing yourself to become a completely different person.
Of course, the question remains of whether the malware could build a sufficiently sophisticated model of an individual's behaviour patterns to sneak past (necessarily paranoid) software systems designed to check these things, or to convincingly persuade your Facebook friends that it's really you who urgently needs money to get out of a Nigerian gaol. Perhaps the Singularity will arrive, not when a spambot becomes smart enough to evade anti-spam software, but when a malware-generated behavioural model of a user becomes sufficiently complex to effectively model that user's consciousness.
WIRED has a picture of a bookshop's "how-to" section from the post-singularity future; this includes titles like "Talking To Your Kids About Mitochondrial De-Aging", "Our Hive-Mind, Ourself", and "The Easy Way To Stop Playing World of Warcraft: A 12-Step Guide". Not to mention a few contributions from famous people, such as Katie Holmes' "Dianetics Revisited" and Francis Fukuyama's "The End of History: This Time For Sure".
(via Boing Boing)
More claims of the impending age of immortality, this time from the head of BT's futurology unit.
'If you draw the timelines, realistically by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine, so when you die it's not a major career problem,' Pearson told The Observer. 'If you're rich enough then by 2050 it's feasible. If you're poor you'll probably have to wait until 2075 or 2080 when it's routine. We are very serious about it. That's how fast this technology is moving: 45 years is a hell of a long time in IT.'
That may be too late for many people alive today, unless Aubrey de Grey is right and the whole growing-old-and-dying problem is solved within a decade. If he's only slightly right, they may solve it well enough that the nonagenerians of the late 21st century have minds still sufficiently undecrepit to be worth uploading. It would suck to die a few years short of becoming immortal.
Lobsters, a pretty doovy scifiesque short story by Charles Stross. Go read.