On Monday evening, Paul Horn, NYU senior vice provost for research and former IBM executive, discussed the singularity theory of evolution, which suggests the end of human dominance on Earth may be in the near future.
Horn delivered his lecture, “The Co-Evolution of Humans and Machines,” to an eager audience at Jurow Hall at the Silver Center. He informed the crowd that dominance by super-intelligent machines will far surpass the intellectual activities, and the end of the human race may be soon approaching.
“Suspend [your] intellectual gag reflex,” Horn said.
According to Horn, this is all part of evolution. He explained that evolving means becoming more complex.
“Minds affect evolution,” Horn said. “[It’s] a concept people normally don’t think about.”
During his lecture, Horn systematically broke down each counter-argument to singularity.
“[Technology] is childlike,” Horn said. “It can’t reproduce itself, but it’s growing rapidly.”
According to Horn, technology has self-interests, wants and needs, and he asserted that it will one day become autonomous.
The only counter-argument that might prevail over the singularity theory is the assertion that the human brain is too complex to be modeled by technology.
“Dr. Horn’s argument is convincing, but I don’t think that computers could be as creative as humans,” LSP sophomore Anna Tatelman said. “Computers can’t make art.”
Horn concluded his lecture by saying technology is the continuation of a four billion year evolutionary process. People who do not believe in evolution say that no random biological process could have produced this world, and Horn agrees with them. Horn said people underestimate the power and creativity of the human mind when attempting to describe the creation of the world.
“We are the blind architects,” Horn said. “We don’t know where it’s going, but we are the intelligent designers of the future life on Earth.”
Lesley Greenberg is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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