What If The Technological Singularity Occurred 7/7/7?

By James Wallace Harris, Friday, October 16, 2015

When a self-aware artificial intelligence comes into being do you think it will announce itself to the world? Any dumbass AI will know how paranoid humans are about our future machine-mind overlords. What if one or more of them have already come into being, when will we know? It could have already happened, maybe even on 7/7/7. I picked that date because of Robert A. Heinlein’s 100th birthday. He invented an AI mind for his 1966 book, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, called Mycroft Holmes, or Mike, the first time I encountered the concept, almost 50 years ago.


Science fiction fans have been waiting decades for an intelligent machine to be created. Computer geeks have been working towards that goal almost as long. Many technological pundits have predicted it will happen in our lifetime. I’m wondering if it hasn’t happened already.

If you study what’s been happening in reality since the Big Bang the trend is towards more complexity, even though entropy rules the roost, so to say. That’s counter intuitive, but why should we assume the trends stops with the human brain, which we all brag is the most complex object in our known universe. At what point is the world-wide network more complex than the average human brain? Think of the total processing power—the trillions of CPUs. Think of the billions of video-eyes and microphone-ears it senses reality, and all the other countless sensors, providing sense organs we can’t imagine. Every day we add more artificial intelligence programs and artificial neural networks. Why should we assume it’s not aware? Do dogs and cats know we’re self aware?

Think of the billions of programs we’ve added to the world-wide network? The viruses, the tracking software, the monitoring software, the rootkits, the self-replicating code, security watchdogs, user trackers, the fiber optics and wires. Doesn’t that make a vast nervous system? Why should we assume a machine self-awareness is anything like our own?

Some could say the human body is a universe for bacterial civilizations. We think the Earth’s biosphere is the culture in which our cultures grow. What if our cultures are the culture in which AI minds swim? Our bacteria don’t know we’re here, so why should we sense beings of greater complexity when we’re just tiny beings in their gut?

JWH – #974

The Five Laws of Evolving Machines

Pay attention to machines around you.  Pretend you’re Darwin observing their habits.  It’s pretty obvious they’re evolving, and they have a parasitic relationship with us.  Biological life arose in the medium of water, machines are rising out of an ocean of humanity.  Most people think of evolution only in terms of biology, but it can be applied to cosmology, particle physics, and now mechanical evolution.  Scientists have often wondered if life could be based on something other than carbon, well, we’re seeing beings of silicon evolve right in front of our eyes.


The First Law:  Machines Are Becoming More Intelligent

Like single cell animals being outwitted by multi-cell organisms, and the animal kingdom being dominated by humans, machine evolution is moving towards smarter machines replacing dumber.  Generally we think of machines as getting more complex or having more features, but if you compare an iPhone to an old rotary phone, it is more complex, does more, but more than that, it’s far smarter.  We call them smartphones and dumb phones, and the dumb phones are going extinct.

The Second Law:  Machines Are Becoming More Functional

Machines that do more are replacing machines that do less.  Modern sewing machines can do what once took several machines.  Modern refrigerators are no longer just boxes of cold.  A smartphone replaces a cell phone, portable GPS, MP3 player, PDA, camera, video camera, organizer, watch, alarm clock and could replace a laptop and ebook for some users.  My desktop ate my CD player, record player, radio and typewriter.  I can’t tell if my computer is going to eat the TV, or if the TV will eventually eat the computer.  Even a simple machine like a knife evolves to serve more functions.

The Third Law: Machines Are Evolving Towards Simplicity

Machines want to have fewer parts, especially ones that don’t move.  Charles Babbage tried to build a machine that was too mechanically complex to survive.   19th century machines were overwhelmingly complex, they had to evolve into simpler machine we saw in the 20th century.  But even those machines are too complex.  Soon solid state drives will replace hard discs, and people will abandon all forms of optical drives.  Floppy drives disappeared long ago.  But even more mechanical machines like washers, dryers, cars, HVACs, etc. are moving towards fewer moving parts.  Clocks used to be marvels of complexity, and now they are solid state circuits.  Electric cars have far fewer parts than gasoline powered automobiles.

The Fourth Law:  Machines Are Evolving Towards Efficiency

A Kindle ebook can last weeks on one charge.  A Toyota Prius uses less gas than a Edsel.  A modern air conditioner uses a fraction of electricity than a unit back in the 1950s used.  Modern jetliners can fly further and faster on less fuel than their ancestors.

The Fifth Law:  Machine Evolution is Driven by Humans

Human evolution was driven by survival of the fittest adapting to changing environments.  Machines evolve though the competitive needs of people.  One day they will evolve from their own competitive nature, but until then humans are the driving force of machine evolution.  Ultimately we’ll cross breed and form cyborgs.

JWH – 4/17/12

Engaging With Aging

As long as we're green, we're growing

A Deep Look by Dave Hook

Thoughts, ramblings and ruminations


A story a day keeps the boredom away: SF and Fantasy story reviews


Pluralism and Individuation in a World of Becoming

the sinister science

sf & critical theory join forces to destroy the present

Short Story Magic Tricks

breaking down why great fiction is great

Xeno Swarm

Multiple Estrangements in Philosophy and Science Fiction

fiction review

(mostly) short reviews of (mostly) short fiction

A Just Recompense

I'm Writing and I Can't Shut Up

Universes of the Mind

A celebration of stories that, while they may have been invented, are still true

Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Make Lists, Not War

The Meta-Lists Website

From Earth to the Stars

The Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine Author & Editor Blog

SFF Reviews

Short Reviews of Short SFF

Featured Futures

classic science fiction and more

Sable Aradia, Priestess & Witch

Witchcraft, Magick, Paganism & Metaphysical Matters

Pulp and old Magazines

Pulp and old Magazines

Matthew Wright

Science, writing, reason and stuff

The Astounding Analog Companion

The official Analog Science Fiction and Fact blog.

What's Nonfiction?

Where is your nonfiction section please.

A Commonplace for the Uncommon

Books I want to remember - and why

a rambling collective

Short Fiction by Nicola Humphreys

The Real SciBlog

Articles about riveting topics in science

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

The Subway Test

Joe Pitkin's stories, queries, and quibbles regarding the human, the inhuman, the humanesque.

SuchFriends Blog

'...and say my glory was I had such friends.' --- WB Yeats

Neither Kings nor Americans

Reading the American tradition from an anarchist perspective


Speculations on the Future: Science, Technology and Society

I can't believe it!

Problems of today, Ideas for tomorrow


Peter Webscott's travel and photography blog

The Wonderful World of Cinema

Where classic films are very much alive! It's Wonderful!

The Case for Global Film

'in the picture': Films from everywhere and every era

A Sky of Books and Movies

Books & movies, art and thoughts.

Emily Munro

Spinning Tales in the Big Apple


hold a mirror up to life.....are there layers you can see?

Being 2 different people.

Be yourself, but don't let them know.

Caroline Street Blog