So lets kick things off with something pseudo-intellectual shall we. I was perusing one of my favorite blogs Biosingularity (I highly recommend it) and came across a very interesting mention. Apparently there is a new university on the block, Singularity U. Thats right, an entire university dedicated to teaching concepts and skills related to the singularity.
For those who have no idea what the singularity means, here is the short version (graciously provided by wikipedia):
The technological singularity is a theoretical future point of unprecedented technological progress, caused in part by the ability of machines to improve themselves using artificial intelligence.
if machines could even slightly surpass human intellect, they could improve their own designs in ways unforeseen by their designers, and thus recursively augment themselves into far greater intelligences. The first such improvements might be small, but as the machine became more intelligent it would become better at becoming more intelligent, which could lead to an exponential and quite sudden growth in intelligence.
Whether or not such a singularity will occur is up in the air, personally I am a little skeptical. However the concept is also associated with other fields of advancement which are working on exponential scales and to some extent at least these theories will have some effect on the future.
So what is up with this new university? Well to start with, its being supported by both Google and Nasa – surely thats a good sign. The university will teach graduate students in a 9 week course fundamentals of interdisciplinary areas which have exponential growth such as: network and computing systems, biotechnology, nanotechnology, medicine, neuroscience, human enhancement; AI, robotics, and cognitive computing.
Perhaps I will attend myself one day, but we’ll see how it goes along. If you want more info check out their website here: SingularityU.