Years and years ago, about the time I bought my 386 (60 MB disk + 4 MB RAM!!) technology was not a subject to be discussed at the café's table.
Discussing technology, reverse engineering (of games, mainly) and networks was not for the masses. This was absolutely restricted to a group of friends - geeks as me mainly - with different ideas about the application of technology but with a common love for it.
It was about that time (we're talking early 90's) that I first heard of the Singularity and the implications it would have on everyone's life, and god - did I want the Singularity to arrive. Funny how - at that time already, within a group of people aged from 15 to 20 - we were discussing IA as the means to achieve it rather than AI (see glossary at the end if you're feeling lost - maybe, if you're feeling lost, stop reading ;-)).
Anyway, I then started working and got into the more mundane aspects of life: creating a career, finding a good partner - physical and mentally -, having and raising a daughter. And let all this meta-talk go to sleep inside my brain.
And then, about 2 months ago I stumbled accross Charles Stross's Accelerando. And I knew I should stop reading it. And I didn't.
From there to having re-devoured Neuromancer, filling up my Amazon queue with book orders and spending my nights doing research on all that is to come was a snap. And I'm re-reading Accelerando, just to be sure I got it ;-)
In short, I'm now in that state of mind where communication is not possible in normal terms, and desperately searching for a mind I can speak with about this. Maria is quite smart and very well intended, but I'll bore her to death before I even get to explain the difference between AI and IA.
So, if you live in the Netherlands, if you actually knew what The Singularity is before googling for it, please do contact me...
The Singularity - basically and simply put, the one single time at which the computing power on earth will equal the human brain's computing power. By others, also seen as the moment at which human progress will be at its fastest. By still other groups - and sometimes the same people - the end of humanity and the start of post-humanity. More on this at a later post.
AI - Artificial Intelligence. Come on, this one was easy.
IA - Intelligence Amplification. Instead of coming up with a thinking machine, come up with a machine that amplifies MY intelligence.