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The Singularity Continues

May 7, 2013

LiveScience and NBC News quoted my views on the mitochondrial Singularity. “Since Gutenberg invented the printing press, humans have continuously redefined intelligence and transferred those tasks to machines. Now, even tasks considered at the core of humanity, such as caring for the elderly or the sick, are being outsourced to empathetic robots . . . .”

Should we really worry about this? Maybe, as in Brain Plague, our machine descendents will make better humans than ourselves.

4 Comments
  1. May 7, 2013 11:29 pm

    Pretty cool! I can truly say that I never thought of connecting mitochondria with the singularity (a concept that I am not very fond of, for neurobiological reasons). I do love unexpected connections though, some of my posts are about that. You may like the connection I found about planarians (I work with them) and Battlestar Galactica:

    http://baldscientist.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/planarians-and-the-new-battlestar-galactica/
    (:-)

    • May 8, 2013 8:40 am

      Thanks–love the two-headed planarian! As you know, there are two-headed people, too; most famously, the Hensel twins. They were the inspiration for Jenny’s aunts in the Highest Frontier.

  2. May 8, 2013 6:54 pm

    Did you ever think you’d be the weird scientist quoted in a news article?
    Your such a celebrity, Joan–you must love it.

    But I agree with you, of course.
    The latest, Google’s new ‘Glass”es, and the swallowable biosensors I saw were recently tried out, and also your own ideas about communicating by DNA strands–all of these things do make the Big Sing. seem uncomfortably close.
    You must have read Greg Bear’s ‘Blood Music’–his concept of biochemical singularity is both the oldest I know of and still, IMHO, the most likely.
    I just wish I could be there–talk about interesting….
    Great to see you’re still newsworthy–take care!
    -chris

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