The Weekly Debate: Will the 1st self-replicating machine be the human species’ last invention?

Essential_singularity "Let an ultra-intelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultra-intelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an 'intelligence explosion,' and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultra-intelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.

I.J. Good, creator of the concept now known as "technological singularity," served as consultant on supercomputers to Stanley Kubrick, director of the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Good also predicted in 1965 that within 30 years humans would possess the capability to build machines smarter than ourselves.  While he has subsequently revised this estimate (upwards), Good feels certain it will happen no later than 2030.  Given that we are just beginning to explore what's possible with nanotechnology and Moore's Law shows no signs of slowing down, he may well be right.

What do you think?

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