The State of the Singularity…



This video is Highly recommended as a sort of “State of the Singularity” update.

I have been excited about the Singularity since I first read about the concept from Vernor Vinge in the early 90’s (check out his original paper here.).

Increasingly I get a chill when I see how quickly it is approaching. Estimates put the “Rapture of the Nerds” at 2035, so we are over half way there—starting from Vinge’s initial prediction.

And the thing about exponential growth is that it kind of creeps up on you..

Take the example of an exponential hose pipe filling a stadium with water…

If the pipe drips once on the first second, twice on the second second, four times on the third and so on…

1
2
4
8
16

…after 5 minutes there will be barely a stain on the grass, a thimble full of water. After 20 minutes, a bucket full of water makes a small puddle in the center. 
Then twenty minutes later, the stadium is full!

For half the time it took to fill the stadium, the eventual tsunami was a barely visible trickle… them Wallop! To switch metaphors, the AIs have taken over and organic life is extinct…

2025 the computational equivalent of one human brain will cost $1000
2050 it will buy you 10 Billion human brain equivalents…

(I am not sure I agree with the math, if you read my books you know I believe sub-neuron quantum processing across multiple world lines is how we think, but still, with exponential growth like this, even that will only add a couple of decades…)

Check out the video:

SciFi Art Feature — Greg Semkow

 

Hey there SciFi Fans!

It’s been a while since we did a SciFi Art Feature, but this next one has been well worth the wait.

Greg Semkow is a freelance concept artist based near Raleigh, NC, and has worked for studios such as Sony Pictures, Studio 8, Paramount, and Ubisoft. He was also the lead concept artist on the feature film “Alpha,” premiering this August. Greg specializes in everything from environment design, keyframe illustration to character and creature design. He’s produced some truly epic city scapes and action scenes packed with fantasy characters and future-looking tech, which I’ve included some examples of below!

 

 

 

I invite you to have a look website, and get in touch if you’d like to follow up. Thanks for your awesome art, Greg!

 

 

Human Origins

The narrative of the transition from Ape to Man is contained within one astonishing cut in the film 2001…

…but 4 Million years of history contains a lot of potential stories. I am thinking about setting my next novel (after the Singularity’s Children series) back at the Dawn of Man.

It looks like we coexisted and even bred with many other species of Hominid and some of those seem to have been pretty smart. Recent discoveries show that Neanderthals were making cave art hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Neanderthal cave art, spain.

Haplo Groups‘ markers allow us to trace humanities deep ancestry. We (Homo Sapiens) left Africa 70K years ago to spread our seed across the world, mingling and mating with the local—as we tend to do.

We eventually replaced the ‘other‘ and history started…

But I love the gaps—into which stories can be inserted!

Maybe I will set it 12,800 Years Ago at the onset of the Younger Dryas, the fall of Eden and the interment of  Goebekli Tepe.

Anyway, I think there is plenty of material for a book set at the Dawn of Man…
…what do you think? Would you read it? Or shall I go 12,000 years the other way?

 

(image: Neanderthal with face paint – Viktor Deak)