Have No Fear Of Killer Robots

Leave it at the cinema:

In Edge‘s doomsday symposium, Bruce Sterling reassures us that runaway artificial intelligence – a “singularity” – is “just not happening”:

All the symptoms are absent. Computer hardware is not accelerating on any exponential runway beyond all hope of control. We’re no closer to “self-aware” machines than we were in the remote 1960s. Modern wireless devices in a modern Cloud are an entirely different cyber-paradigm than imaginary 1990s “minds on nonbiological substrates” that might allegedly have the “computational power of a human brain.” A Singularity has no business model, no major power group in our society is interested in provoking one, nobody who matters sees any reason to create one, there’s no there there.

Walter Russell Mead shifts focus:

There are many other scenarios that would qualify as singularities. Frank Fukuyama has pointed to what you could call a “soft singularity” in which new varieties of psychoactive drugs like Adderall and Prozac increasingly turn consciousness from a given produced by interaction with the outside world into something that we determine for ourselves by varying our drug dosage. Just as Einsteinian physics breaks down inside a black hole, these technological singularities would signal some kind of fundamental breakdown of social order.