by Alex Vikoulov
“Nanotechnology has given us the tools…to play with the ultimate toy box of nature atoms and molecules. Everything is made from it…The possibilities to create new things appear endless.” -Horst Störmer
The nanotech field was arguably launched by Richard Feynman’s 1959 talk “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.” As Feynman said then: "It is a staggeringly small world that is below...Why cannot we write the entire 24 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica on the head of a pin? "
Eric Drexler’s 1987 book Engines of Creation popularized the notion of nanotech and the next tour de force in the field was his classic 1992 book Nanosystems, which laid out conceptual designs for a host of nanomachines, including nanocomputer switches, general-purpose molecular assemblers, and a fascinating variety of other good stuff. Today's nanotech mostly focuses on narrower nano-engineering than what Drexler envisioned, but it’s still in the process of building a platform and tools that will ultimately be useful for realizing Feynman’s and Drexler’s dreams. The emerging nanotech marks manufacturing and utilization of carbon nanotubes, which have multiple applications, from the relatively simple such as super-strong fabrics and fibers to potential components of more transformative nanosystems like nanocomputers, molecular assemblers, and nanobots connecting our brains to the cloud.
What's next beyond nanotechnology? Here's how Wikipedia defines the term femtotechnology: "Hypothetical term used in reference to structuring of matter on the scale of a femtometer, which is 10^−15m. This is a smaller scale in comparison to nanotechnology and picotechnology which refer to 10^−9m and 10^−12m respectively."
Hugo de Garis, Australian AI researcher, wrote a few years ago in Humanity Plus Magazine on the power of the femtotechnology: "If ever a femtotech comes into being, it will be a trillion trillion times more “performant” than nanotech, for the following obvious reason. In terms of component density, a femtoteched block of nucleons or quarks would be a million cubed times denser than a nanoteched block. Since the femtoteched components are a million times closer to each other than the nanoteched components, signals between them, traveling at the speed of light, would arrive a million times faster. The total performance per second of a unit volume of femtoteched matter would thus be a million times a million times a million = a trillion trillion = 10^24."*
By Alex Vikoulov
"The arrow of time obscures memory of both past and future circumstance with innumerable fallacies, the least trivial of which is perception." -Ashim Shanker
Time makes us tick... or rather, our consciousness makes time tick. When you fall asleep, you are plunged into a timeless unconscious state, whereas the neurons of your brain never stop "talking to each other," then while you're still asleep, consciousness reemerges -- that's when your mind plays a kaleidoscope imagery in the form of dreams. Only when you wake up, time starts "ticking" for you again -- in one direction.*
This is an exclusive abridged excerpt from my book "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution" in which we examine temporal ontology and the physics of time in by far more scrupulous detail. In this excerpt we start with a common misconception that time can only move forward.
by Alex Vikoulov
"What science discovers at the end, the mystics have known since the beginning." -Inayat Khan
Mathematical formulas and models describe our "physical rule set" but we still don't have much of a mathematical representation to describe our "neural code" and inner experience, i.e. consciousness which is needed to "activate" time.
Time is NOT dynamic, but rather the static 4th dimension in holographic 4D space-time, unless you add a special ingredient to it -- conscious observer. Otherwise, time without a conscious observer would be like a frozen river, one of the static coordinates in 4D space-time (scientists labeled 4D space-time the "Block Universe") -- there's neither special "Now" nor objective flow of time in any direction.*
This is an exclusive abridged excerpt from my new book "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution" in which we will examine temporal ontology and the physics of time in by far more scrupulous detail. In this excerpt we start with a common misconception that time of our Universe is eternal.
"If we encounter a machine that can do what we can, and that must operate under the same bodily constraints that we do, the most parsimonious explanation will be that it is indeed conscious in every sense that we are conscious." -George Musser
Many definitions are given to consciousness but yet no definitive answer. However, here's the most succinct definition for the sake of this discourse I could come up with:
"CONSCIOUSNESS refers to a collapse of wave of possibilities resulting in a subjective multi-sensory perceptual experience and involving multiple parallel processes such as interpreting sensory data streams, retrieving and creating memories, using imagination, envisioning the future, planning, thinking, self-reflecting, reacting to the sensory input, and being aware about the surroundings. Consciousness is a first-person phenomenal experience of an entity; it feels like something to be that entity. Consciousness can be identified as an underlying mathematical pattern, can also be viewed as meta-algorithmic information processing and quantified via feedback loops in interacting with environment."
I concur with AI researcher Hugo De Garis who argues, that once we reach a certain threshold of computational capacity and comprehensive understanding of the human brain, we could finally simulate the brain and obtain programmable sentience. On a more spiritual side, if you believe that we share the same immaterial "non-local" source of consciousness, as I do, that would mean that an adequate container to host an advanced AI mind will have been created. After all, in the vast space of possible minds, universal consciousness would inescapably instantiate phenomenality of non-biological entities.
The arrival of the AI matching human-level intelligence is estimated by futurist Ray Kurzweil around 2029, "when computers will get as smart as humans." By then, computers will possess emotions and personality... and, I'd argue, their own subjective experience, i.e. consciousness, and even spirituality. "When I talk about computers reaching human levels of intelligence, I'm not talking about logical intelligence," says Ray Kurzweil. "It is being funny, and expressing a loving sentiment... That is the cutting edge of human intelligence."
Do biological systems hold monopoly on self-awareness? As Dr. Bruce MacLennan puts it: “I see no scientific reason why artificial systems could not be conscious, if sufficiently complex and appropriately organized.” If Nature made its way to human-level conscious experience, ultimately we should be able to replicate the same in our empathetic machines. In the next few short years, programmable sentience will become relatively easier to develop -- an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) entity must have a reliable internal [virtual] model of the "external" world, as well as attentional focus and intentionality within their cognitive architecture. Already, deep learning algorithms aim to simulate the activity in the vast network of neurons in the neocortex, the part of our brains where thinking occurs. These artificial neural networks learn to recognize patterns in digital representations of various types of data, including images and sounds, just like our children do.*
The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook Paperback Hardcover Audiobook
TECHNOCULTURE: The Rise of Man by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020) eBook
NOOGENESIS: Computational Biology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook
The Ouroboros Code: Reality's Digital Alchemy Self-Simulation Bridging Science and Spirituality by Antonin Tuynman (2019) eBook Paperback
Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
More Than An Algorithm: Exploring the gap between natural evolution and digitally computed artificial intelligence by Antonin Tuynman (2019): eBook
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