Sunday, December 1, 2013

Technological singularity - about genes, not bytes?

There are talks about the technological singularity enforced by development of computational intelligence.
However, there are few overlapping singularities having place at this time.
The first one started with nuclear era which put the whole humanity onto bifurcation point between self-destruction in nuclear winter and keeping to survive in strategic equilibrium between multiple owners of nuclear weapons. We all are still balancing on this edge.
The second kind of singularity wave have been raised sharply on the border of two last centuries, with burst of the internet, search engines and social networks, and its growth is predicted the whole world to change irreversibly in couple ten years. When this happens, another option will be about whether humanity loses the evolutionary war in favor of "The Matrix" or it customizes itself to "race with the machines".
And finally, there is a third wave rising, actually enabled by the earlier one. The unpredicted advances in DNA sequencing and its possible practical implications open the doorway for modern eugenics. That means say if there is a genetic difference between ape genome and one of homo sapiens driving the change Short Term Memory (STM) size from  2 to 7, making instrumental changes in this portion of the genome in the course of in-vitro-fertilization (IVF) would enable to create a humanoid chimers with instrumentally increased STM size, boosting the intellectual capabilities of such super-babies to an unpredictable extent. Less speculative pathway is explored at research project at BGI Shenzhen, where the subject of study is getting ability to screen the IQ-enabling genetic features of the embryos during IVF so the "most intelligent embryo" is kept for future development. Obviously, both kinds of the research would get banned in most of Western countries due to religious and ethical considerations. However, it is certain the same religious and ethical consideration would not let terminate lives of such "super-babies" born in the other places where the religious and ethical restrictions against the research and technology development are no that high. And then evolution of human race runs into another kind of evolutionary race ...

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