February 2, 2012

The Singularity: Up or Down?

I'm not a singularitarian but the concept seems plausible. However:

Would the housing and financial crashes have been possible without high-performance computing? All those tranches on mortgage-backed securities were valued by heavy-duty number crunching on models which turned out to be grotesquely unrealistic.

The contention that even more powerful computers, possibly artificially intelligent ones, would have avoided the problem is not convincing.

It may also be true that today's sheer volume of government regulations would not be possible without computers.

Afterthought 20120310. Maybe the internally driven, i.e. suicidal, collapse of a civilization can also be viewed as a singularity.

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