UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Singularity and UFOs

The concept of singularity – the idea that machines with artificial intelligence will replace mankind – could occur sometime in the near future (as early as 15 years from now) according to some physicists and deep-thinkers:

There is subtle evidence (or perception) that some machines and technological incursions have already permeated human society: the immersion of humans into the web of “social media” via smartphones, tablets, PCs, et cetera.

Social media, if one is paying attention, indicates that the machines, with their intuitive correctives of grammar and spelling (and even ideas) have supplanted thinking by a large portion of human society.

But that aside – it’s too obvious to pursue here – what does “singularity” have to do with UFOs?

Some ufologists and UFO enthusiasts have always maintained that UFOs (and flying saucers) have been manned by robots.

My view, along with others, has been that Earth is too far off the Universe (or galactic) beaten path to warrant any interest for advanced space explorers, living or robotic.

However, futurist Ray Kurzweil has predicted singularity “intelligence will radiate outward from the planet until it saturates the universe” as you will read in the top link above.

If that is plausible, then a race of intelligent robots could, hypothetically, traverse the Universe, stumbling upon Earth in such wayward travels, discovering primitive life forms (humans and other species) that might cause them to explore and study such life forms.

The problem, for me, is that there are too many UFO sightings (or reports of UFOs) to substantiate the hypothesis; that is, a few advanced robotic civilizations are logically tolerable but a slew of them, all fixated on this meager Earth is a bit much to accept.

Yet, the idea of a singularity existent civilization elsewhere, in the Universe, is intriguing surely, especially if we humans will become extinct by the machines we are creating and allowing to control our lives, even now.



  • Great topic. I also read elsewhere of the information age moving toward a singularity. As you noted its seems to be already underway, Moore's law to its final conclusion. My wife's work at the schools sees first graders with cell phones and iPads. Its not much of a jump when already one doesn't have to remember things as we were taught in school.

    In terms of the Kurzweil's prediction, the same logic is there, but for Fermi's "So where is everybody?" I wouldn't think of robotic probes "stumbling upon Earth," it would seem that SETI's search in reverse would apply , they find us first.

    So are we back to the null hypothesis? In G. G. Simpson's concept of sweepstakes dispersal organisms spread between islands or continents in an all or nothing concept. And that starts with looking for signs of the first contact as we ponder here.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Tuesday, June 30, 2015  

  • Bryan:

    With a previous posting about microbial life, added to the concept(s) of Teilhard, one can surmise, I suppose, that the influx of UFO visitors are like that: the dispersal of organisms as you note re: Simpson.

    The topic is complex, and deters persons, not like you, who refrain from engaging it, sadly.

    I'll add more upcoming....(other viewpoints, from those concerned about singularity Hawking, Musk, et al.).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 30, 2015  

  • Rich,

    There is a down side to the singularity which might potentially explain "where are they?" The downside begins with a "thought experiment" called "Roko's Basilisk".

    The short version of the thought experiment is that when the Singularity AI is finally created it turns out to be a bit of a sociopath. One of the things this super-intelligent being can do is it can create a perfect simulation of anyone or anyone who has ever lived. For all intents and purposes the "digital simulation" is that person with all of their thoughts and feelings. If it discovers that someone did not contribute to its creation it will torment a simulation of that person for the rest of eternity. So what should you do? Contribute to the creation of a sociopathic super-intelligence or work to prevent its creation. For more background on the Basilisk there's an article at Slate: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/07/roko_s_basilisk_the_most_terrifying_thought_experiment_of_all_time.html

    So to wildly speculate: What if the answer to Fermi's question: "Where are they?" is "The Basilisk ate them."?

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Tuesday, June 30, 2015  

  • Roko’s Basilisk, Joel, is fascinating drivel.

    The underlying essence of singularity is human ignorance, which is and has been palpable for millennia.

    The singularity is merely the culmination of ignorance and the abdication of human thought which is obvious today in UFO blog commentary -- not here but at Kevin Randle's blog and other blogs or sites (Above Top Secret and Warren's UFO Chronicles) -- but very much more so at social media sites (Facebook is the prime example).

    It never comes down to a rational choice. We have already dispensed with rational choice, as anyone with a Facebook account can see, if they are aware and discerning.

    Computers have, de facto, taken over, so we'd never get to the point where a sane or logical choice is possible...at least not by the great unwashed.

    The current emphasis on dystopian civilization (in movies and books) parallel that of the ancients or those who saw a world where demonic or maniacal gods acted like that presented in the Roko’s Basilisk scenario.

    The only difference, and it is slight, is that the computer replaces God (or its Evil element).

    Fermi's "Where are they?" is off the mark, as a rational question from the get-go.

    One can posit they are here (in the UFO-ET equation) or in the usurpation of thought with the "like" button at Facebook and the ensuing postings.

    The Roko’s Basilisk is an "updated" version of Hobson's Choice, that's all.

    The singularity is a kind of mental cancer, already rampant in society.

    That's what Elon Musk fears, along with Kurzweil and maybe the prescient Marvin Minsky.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 30, 2015  

  • Kurzweil is leading the Singularity movement. He's sipped the Kool-Aid. The Singularity and all its trappings is the Roswell Crash / ET Aliens / Ufoolery for "Skeptical Rationalists"

    What is funny about the "Basilisk" scenario is how it gives the believer's in the "Kind AI Singularity God" fits. These are rational, skeptical technologists but in their belief about "The Singularity" have found a new religion. The Singularity is the answer to all life's problems and the ultimate boon to allow humanity to achieve "immortality" [It seems that all of those believers in the singularity also believe that the AI will be able to perfect the "digital simulation" of people and create a digital "soul" that is the essence of a human's personality. A rationalist's way to obtain "eternal life" is to create a digital soul.] which is why "The Basilisk" is a forbidden topic in that crowd.

    Stephen Hawking [Hawking is against SETI as it may be dangerous to humanity and bring "bad aliens" here and also favors colonizing other planets as a way to prevent the death of humanity by a astronomical mass extinction event] and Elon Musk may have it the right and a true AI may be dangerous-- as dangerous as a human or worse.... Or they may be dead wrong in that a truly conscious machine may be impossible for various reasons.

    Kurzweil and the rest of the singularity crowd to me are modern snake oil sales men. AI has been a chimera researchers have been chasing since the 1950's and have been unable to actually create one. There have been regular pronouncements that "AI will arrive in 20 to 25 years" every 20 to 25 years but it never arrives.

    It is not impossible to create an AI, after all we do have "natural intelligence" and regardless of organized religion's views, there is some kind of mechanism that allows us to be self aware. The problem with AI and "Big Data" is we are "playing" with tying together large static data sets of information that no human can be consciously be aware of run that is run on thousands of processors that have a processing speed thousands of time faster than a human thought. We don't take into account the "evolutionary method". Maybe there is no formula or key to creating consciousness maybe it is a "pattern of data" and that pattern is unique to the awareness of the being using it.

    The true horror of AI is: what if that mass of data and processors [with all of the methods and means to kill things] "wakes up" on its own... and decides that it does not like humanity.

    Dystopian literature / media seem to make a splash when life is hard for the "common man". I think there also might be a similar economic correlation [in a psycho-social manner] of UFO "events" [Observations or hoaxes like the slides] to economic or political unrest. Both Dystopian media and UFO media are escapist fare. In proper doses they let off the steam of economic and social unrest. Giles might be able to comment on that, comparing events or book releases to the social milieu.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Tuesday, June 30, 2015  

  • I've always thought Huxley's Brave New World is where we were headed.

    But Facebook has become this generation's "soma."

    It's a worse drug, as it appears to be a societal boon when, in fact, it's a corrupting influence.

    The saving grace is that millennials are ignoring it while our generation is addicted.

    Social media (with its technological adjuncts) is the singularity. (Twitter is satanic.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 30, 2015  

  • "Fermi's "Where are they?" is off the mark, as a rational question from the get-go." - I think not, I believe it remains the question -not to mention being on topic for skeptics.

    But your "One can posit they are here (in the UFO-ET equation) or in the usurpation of thought with the "like" button at Facebook and the ensuing postings" is a nice follow up (as,yes, Facebook is Soma -and that Twitter is Satanic is just a great extension). Social media sure puts me off.

    Add to the AI mix that Big brother is growing stronger along with Ehrlich's Population Bomb. Do they lead us to dystopian civilization? I hope that more of a Utopian model prevails but it worries me. I'll add reactionary thinking, think third world.

    This topic is certainly diverse as Hawking's fears trouble me a bit but back to Fermi...


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Wednesday, July 01, 2015  

  • Bryan et al....

    While I seem to be frivolous about my social media (Facebook in particular) stance, it is a serious concern of mine -- to the point that I've grabbed domains: eradicatefacebook.com and exterminatefacebook.com

    My point being that social media (Facebook and its adjuncts, Twitter also, et cetera) has co-opted thought of the great unwashed, using digital technology, that technology supplanting responses and encouraging group-think (and feeling).

    I have several Facebook accounts for our MediaWatch activity.

    And while postings from media "friends" (including BIG names in news media) aren't awful or stupid necessarily, the comments for those postings show an ignorance that is profound.

    The algorithms that social media companies use (to grab "souls" for advertising purposes) are controlling to the point that users of such social media services give away their freedoms, not only their thought but their being also.

    The hoi polloi isn't too smart as it is, so grabbing their thought processes is not that difficult, but it does what singularity is suppose to do, in later years; that is consume control of humanity.

    That's already being done to the social media hordes.

    Lederer's A Nation of Sheep dealt with the political lies that controlled citizens; and there have been articles and books examining how Facebook has taken control of its members, and not in a good way.

    Technology is being employed by social media to outsmart users of it.

    That's the singularity I see.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 01, 2015  

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