Vernor Vinge's Singularity - essay

First things first: Are you familiar with the concept of Vernor Vinge's Singularity?

Since the rise of Homo sapiens, human beings have been the smartest minds around.  Sometime in the next few decades, we can expect technological advancements to break the upper bound on intelligence that has held for tens of thousands of years.  The Singularity presents the human species with some difficult issues, to which almost no one is paying attention because they're too busy watching television.  The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a 501(c)(3) public charity supported primarily by individual donations, enables some people to tackle these issues full-time.  I am presently a full-time Research Fellow of the Singularity Institute.  Seeing humanity safely through the Singularity is my vocation, the central quest around which my life is organized.

Much of my writing appears on the website of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence.  If you haven't heard of the Singularity, then you should forget about my personal website and go there first.  Nothing else here makes sense without that background.

My most recent material is two chapters I did for Nick Bostrom's forthcoming edited volume Global Catastrophic Risks.  Anyone from academia, or anyone who wants to see the references, should read these first.  These chapters were completed in early 2006, and still represent my current views as of May 2006.

Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgment of global risks.  Introduces the field of heuristics and biases (the experimental investigation of systematic human errors and what they reveal about human cognition) from the perspective of how known biases may throw off our reasoning about uncertain risks to the human species.
Artificial Intelligence as a Positive and Negative Factor in Global Risk.  How advanced artificial intelligence relates to global risk as both a potential catastrophe and a potential solution.  Contains considerable background material in cognitive sciences, and conveys much of my most recent views on intelligence, AI, and Friendly AI.
I currently post daily on Overcoming Bias, a blog devoted to the art of human rationality.
I own, moderate, and occasionally post to the SL4 Mailing List.

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