Portada Ponentes La Voz de la Ciencia 2

Talk in Madrid — A spectre is haunting the world: Is the Singularity near?

I will give a talk on the Singularity in Madrid on September 22. My talk will be a simple and fairly standard overview of the Singularity, with some (less standard) considerations on Singularity politics and spirituality.

Aviador Dro and the Association  “The Voice of Science,” with the support of Fundación TelefónicaFundación Autor, and CSIC, among others, will present the event / conference “The Voice of Science” on September 22 in Madrid, in the premises of Fundación Telefónica and the Royal Botanical Garden.

The project explores the intersections of art, science, technology, and society (ACTS), and the scientific and technological challenges of the twenty-first century, from the perspective of their impact on society and the human mind through a unified double vision, scientific and artistic.

The event on September 22 will feature the presentation of the book / CD “The Voice of Science“, and the conference will focus on the following themes: CYBORG, NBIC, Nanotechnology and health, the Singularity, women in science, social networks, and the Author 2.0.

Book / CD “The Voice of Science”

As one of the key elements of the project, PIAS Spain has published the book / CD  “The Voice of Science” in a limited edition of 1,000 copies.

The book, 172 pages, contains 18 illustrated articles about frontier science, and the CD contains 13 new tunes of Aviador Dro. The book / CD  is now available in bookstores and shops in limited edition. It is also available in GeneraciónX  comic book and game stores, signed by members of Aviador Dro.

Aviador Dro (short for El Aviador Dro Y Sus Obreros Especializados) is an electronic band from Spain that formed in Madrid in 1979 with influences such as Gary Numan, Devo and Kraftwerk. They were part of the Movida Madrileña.

Full program of the event:

Fundación Telefónica

Royal Botanical Garden

I will give a talk titled “Un fantasma recorre el mundo: ¿Está cerca la Singularidad?” (“A spectre is haunting the world: Is the Singularity near?”), based on my article “¿Está cerca la Singularidad?” (“Is the Singularity Near”?).

A spectre is haunting the world – the spectre of the Singularity. All the powers of the old world have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: The Pope and the ayatollahs, the banks and the political parties, and “bioethicists” of both the right and the left.

Read more on La Voz de la Ciencia (in Spanish)…

The futurists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at the Singularity. Humans 1.0 have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a universe to win.

Between the opening and closing paragraphs adapted from the Manifesto of Karl Marx, the article is a simple and fairly standard overview of the Singularity, with some (less standard) considerations on Singularity politics and spirituality.


KurzweilAI | Singularitarians and musicians stage Madrid gathering

Telefonica | Jornada de La Voz de la Ciencia, with full video of the morning session

RTVE | ‘Aviador Dro’ vuelve a escena con ‘La voz de la ciencia’

  • Khani

    If a “singularity” means the transitional point where the future become unpredictable and opague, as spurred on my a superhuman mind and power, well in that case we may very well be months away from such a uniquely Singular transition. A sleeping giant has awakened, Gorool is at the gates of the Empire and we do not know what will come after this great confrontation. The “western”, “developed”, “free”, “democratic”, “free” world is close to collapse, brought to its knees by a malignant cancer with superhuman mental faculties in the banking sector. If this collapse (and the plausible revolution that’ll come afterwards) isn’t “Singular”, I don’t know what is. The future in the next few months (or years, i.e. QE4, GE5, QE6…) has become the unknown land. We have been conspired against by an unfathomable inhumane intellect.

    I assume you expect better from your version of the Singularity, but maybe you rub shoulders with too many starry eyed deluded optimists. If we have an early *technological* Singularity we are talking 2030, 2040 at its earliest.

    Right now I am most interested to have enough food to eat between the convulsive transitions between now and then. Frankly I don’t think we have our priorities screwed straight on our necks. Transhumanists should give a damn about basic survival. And Transhumanists tend to be above average privileged slightly overweight, male, nerdy and white – precisely the ones that may get torn limb from limb by the poor and desperate.

    Want to see a “real” Singularity? Make sure we have a world that makes it there in one piece for the next few decades.

  • Giulio Prisco

    @K – Actually I don’t expect a clean, neat, mathematical, hard takeoff technological singularity by the 2030. I do expect radical changes enabled by technology in the second half of the century, if we make it that far.

    I think these changes will come in a messy and entropic way, and of course strongly entangled with social and political changes. Radical change will bring more _disorder_, not more order.

    I like to rub shoulders with “starry eyed optimists” because their enthusiasm is energizing and gives the motivation to do something. On the contrary I find the Cassandra approach, which may well be very plausible in view of the trends you mention, quite useless. If we are doomed, why should we get out of bed in the morning and do anything?

  • Khannea Suntzu

    We are certainly doomed if we don’t get of our ass and stay dreaming of pink bubble castles in the everafter. There are psychopaths plotting against us, aiming to turn you and me and most people we know in to paupers. A Singularity or technological ascension saturated by the values of disparity and privilege will end up killing people. Lots of people. Prematurely. Probably even you and me. Probably quite horribly.

    Wake up boss.

  • Giulio Prisco

    @K – we have discussed this before. I would prefer a technological ascension saturated by the values of support, love, and compassion. But I prefer a technological ascension saturated by the values of disparity and privilege, to no technological ascension.

    In your scenario, there is a significant probability of widespread suffering and death. But without a technological ascension, the probability is total 100%. We are 7 billions (and growing) on a fast degrading planet, competing for scarce and decreasing resources.

  • Sally Morem

    We don’t have to wait for the technological Singularity (my guess, late 2020s or early 2030s) to see genuine huge improvements. With 3-D printers now and nanotech in a few years, we will be able to end economic scarcities as we’ve always known them well before the Singularity. No starry eyed optimist here. This estimate is basedon extrapolating a number of trends in tech development that are noticeably accelerating right now.

  • Giulio Prisco

    @Sally, I am afraid I don’t really buy this end-of-scarcity meme.

    When water is not scarce and everyone has water, we want champagne instead of water, and champagne is still scarce. When champagne is not scarce anymore, we want something else that is still scarce.

    This is just the way we are wired. We want scarce things _because_ they are scarce and the others don’t have them. No way out, short of re-engineering our minds.