The End Times

There is a group of people who are watching for signs that signal the end of the world as we know it. They watch, mostly eagerly, as the world progresses toward its eventual transformation, transformation in which human reality will be torn down and redfined along a new, utopian order we cannot now imagine.

A bunch of religious nuts? Not hardly. These are a bunch of scientists tracking and studying the coming Singularity:

“…our technological creations-are on a wild ride to an interesting destination, a local rate of computational change so fast and powerful that it must have a profound and as-yet-unclarified universal effect. As a side effect of this hypergrowth, biological human beings will not be able to meaningfully understand the computer-driven world of the near future unless they are able to make some kind of transition to “transhumanity.” How this transition will and should occur, and more importantly, how it is presently occurring, is a subject of spirited and insightful debate. Those few scholars who currently study the record of continuously accelerating computation and who seriously expect the emergence of an autonomous/artificial intelligence (AI) within the foreseeable future, call this event “the (technological) singularity”

So as a people of faith, is this idea a threat? Or is it a fabulous opportunity? I would guess it will be neither and both, but I do know it is something we all, secular and religious, need to be talking about. What does it mean to be human? What about being human should or should not change? And if aspects of humanity should not change, will we have any choice? I can see utopian and greatly dystopian scenarios resulting from a Singularity. Where will you be when the world as we know it ends?

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