POST-SINGULARITY AND PRIMITIVE INTELLIGENCE
Virgilio A. Rivas
Institute of Cultural Studies, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
The argument of post-singularity states that evolution can be hastened to advance towards a more desirable direction once it is released from its biological inhibitors. To hasten this process intelligence must be maximally pushed to its post-human direction.
But the possibility of post-singularity will have to rely on a much traditional approach known to primitive intelligence. Among others, the efficacy of this approach can put so-called higher than human consciousness status of AI into question. Yet, for all its worth primitive intelligence is not invulnerable to systematization. This paper concludes with a recommendation on how to retain its positive kernel at the same time that one can be critical of its objectifications in present-day state of technology and global processes of subject formations in the era of Anthropocene.
Keywords: anthropocene, reflexivity, post-singularity, singularity
In one of his most important works on the topic of singularity Australian philosopher David Chalmers criticized the academic resistance to the idea of intelligence explosion, or roughly, singularity, that he considered to be the result of a “highly speculative flavor” (3) that goes with the hype with which it has been treated in the popular and new media environments like internet forums, etc., at least in highly developed societies. The speculative import that Chalmers attributes to this resistance is not to be mistaken with the intellectual trademark for which the speculative brand of Continental philosophy has been known in philosophic literature. It is rather the case that singularity is well entrenched in popular media as opposed to academic institutions with their own unique attribution of the speculative, that it is transcendent to untutored public opinions.
It is worth noting here the rhetorical strength of the idea of singularity as, perhaps, the major foil to understanding its importance as a philosophical concern. This rhetorical strength may be attributed to a number of factors chief among them is the undeniable social power of technology that has destroyed many traditional barriers concerning our everyday relation to time and space, formerly held to be transcendent to human nature. Nonetheless, this social power of technology has not come unnoticed by social theorists critical of the lack of reflexive attribution that technology, particularly, artificial intelligence or AI ought to otherwise inculcate in the users and consumers of its cultural goods. AI critic Hamid Ekbia describes this, rightly so, as the attribution fallacy. In referring to AI’s fallacy of attribution Ekbia underscores “the propensity of people to uncritically accept implicit suggestions that some AI program or other is dealing with real-world situations” (Ekbia, 2008: 9). Ekbia observes then that
Some AI authors implicitly encourage their readers to let their own concepts slide and glide fluidly back and forth between the real world and the model, so that in the end no clear notion is built up about how microscopic the worlds being dealt with really are (9).
We can attribute this fallacy to the technological culture of our time whose enormous social power may be judged to be unreflexive due to its conscious toleration of narrowing the reflective space between the truth-value it projects and the use-value it promotes. It is also worth mentioning that some of the major proponents of artificial intelligence have strong commercial and entrepreneurial backgrounds (Kling and Iacono, 1995; Ekbia, 2008:33; Lenat and Feigenbaum, 1991). On the whole, these backgrounds inform how truth-values are tied up to usage, consumption, and distribution in a veritable economy of signs, images, and cultural goods which populate the new media.
In this light, attempts to radicalize the evolutionary algorithm to the highest intelligent capacity of the human race, through developing the right software (Chalmers, 6; Vinge, 1993), cannot be dissociated from a certain belief-system that promotes a unique conception of what intelligence is and what it can do. In principle this is not far from the manner by which primitive intelligence aimed to organize the social order based on the power of the abstract, a disembodied notion of reality by means of which it was believed one could transcend the limits of localization (by which we mean individual existence) in order to achieve a certain form of globality (a post-existent kind of living presence in the sense of having overcome a localized form of individuation germane to being). Across these social experiments, the body is reduced into a region of physicality by a generic method of ‘importing mind to matter’ (Ekbia, 86) just so to radicalize evolution by other means (Kurzweil, 1999 in Ekbia, 66), with varying degrees of articulation, concentration, specialization and predictable outcomes across time.
But it is only in light of the postmodern quest to radicalize the evolutionary algorithm that the concept of singularity has acquired tremendous speculative import that, as Chalmers rightly observes, merits serious philosophical attention. We beg to differ with Chalmers, nonetheless, on his emphasis that the speculative flavor with which singularity has been received in popular media is due to a distorted objectification of singularity like a horror or pulp fiction is to a traditionalist or classical literary audience concerning depictions of reality. What makes its reception speculatively tainted is not also far from how systems are most often perceived to be anathematizing the interests of the human agency. The speculative import rather illustrates how singularity or post-singularity discourses fail to convince human subjects that intelligence explosion, which may lead to the end of organicism, of error-prone vitality of living systems including humans, may give complete autonomy to machinic algorithms in the name of the fullest expression of human freedom where errors are minimized if not reduced to zero.
Certainly, singularity can boost human survival. Poverty, unemployment, food as well other security issues that burden modern human existence can be addressed by maximal and effective technological interventions. But the problem lies in how singularity fails to communicate the paradoxes that come with sacrificing organicism in favor of machinism. Thus, it becomes less a question of technological determinism (it seems people are more accommodating to technology) than of a political program (people are indifferent to politics which can potentially ignite resistance when politics becomes too obvious). Singularity discourse can be seen as concealing a cryptic content, hermetic to knowledge that the public either ridicules or turns into an object of horror and fear. The failure is therefore educational.
There is no easy path for science and technology to bridge this communication gap. But if singularity aims to improve the human condition the task of educating the public is all the more pressing. Education is already an improvement of the human condition, though far from the highest desirable condition in which perennial threats to human existence, such as diseases, food security, etc. are minimized or more efficiently addressed than they were being handled and confronted centuries before the incremental rise of singularity in the 21st century.
Examining singularity is therefore an opportunity to relate to the possibility of intelligence explosion whose outcomes we at present have the power to realize or forestall, for better or for worse. We identify this opportunity for reflection as an embodied intellectual labor of reflexivity just as much as this kind of engaging the future can only take place in the present where bodies still exist, that is, in both form and substance.
Reflexivity and Singularity
For purposes of this paper we are taking the definition of reflexivity from a post-Kantian or speculative philosophy (Tauber, 2005) which attributes reflexivity to the ability of thought to recognize its internal contradiction. Nonetheless, if thought has such ability it also follows that it is incapable to singularize itself into the peak of its power, into the absolute saturation of its intelligence, intelligence being the site of internal contradiction itself. Otherwise there will be no more thought to recognize its own work, finished or unfinished.
Thus, a certain notion of alterity (of thought) escapes thought itself at the same time intrinsically attached to it in a way that makes it possible to ask, ‘why there is consciousness?’ (Chalmers in Blackmore, 2006: 70). Roughly speaking, it is consciousness interrogating itself (Petra in Blackmore, 277), its mirror image which in principle is said to be capable of existing independent of the embodied referent of experience. This ‘in principle’ logic is incidentally one of the chief features of traditional AI, its claim that intelligence is transcendent to mind-body problem (Brooks, 1999: 9; Ekbia,10), therefore its existence can be independently affirmed, especially if its existence is taken from the standpoint of evolution driven by intelligence. The more contemporary claims of AI however attempt to fuse intelligence and physical body (Ekbia, 3) only to elevate intelligence to a position that can hasten the evolutionary process, or “evolution by other means” (Kurzweil in Ekbia, 73) regardless of the body—this time where the body means flesh. This “physical body” where intelligence can perform super-human capability, and ultimately, achieve “immortality for conscious entities” (Kurzweil in Ekbia, 76), is a far cry from the phenomenological conception of the body as biologically embodied.
Speculative philosophy (by which we mean the philosophy of immanence that began with Hegel but earlier proposed by Spinoza) at least restricts a similar notion of singularity to the highest immanent capacity of the human subject to prolong itself as long as life is still embodied, as long as the mysterious surplus of the corporeal ensures the endless possibilities of face-to-face communication, empathy, affective relation and human understanding. Nietzsche described this subject as the overman (Hollingdale 1969); Heidegger ‘Da-sein’ (1999); Derrida ‘differance’ in terms of the impossibility of totalizing the subject even as subject (in Nancy 2009); Lyotard a subject always in ‘status nascendi’ (in Cadava et al, 1991); Nancy ‘being singular plural’ (Nancy 2000); Badiou “an autonym of an empty idiom (Cadava et al, 1991); Ranciere a ‘nonsubject’ (in Cadava et al, 1991), among other continental philosophers who attempted to describe this notion of subjectivity based on a nomological affirmation of the subject. This subject is yet to exist but in a way exists in the sense that it behaves as it should in a radically impossible environment that can only be properly lived out by an embodied thought from whose standpoint nevertheless this embodied thought is deemed ‘inactual’ (Agamben, 2005).
But even as speculative philosophy is emboldened by a similar notion of singularity such as, among others, an idea of a self-less subject as the perfect embodiment of the human in the future to come, a human capable of self-determination as an instance of the universal in its capacity as a singular subject, at the same time capable of transversing singularity in terms of becoming other than itself, the post-singularity direction of this philosophy has never amounted to the celebration of the ultimate closure of embodied experience in favor of evolution by intelligence explosion. The singularity of this explosion expresses a distinctive aim for evolution, that is, to radicalize its seemingly backward design into the highest level of singularity, unlocking the full computational potential of the human species in which intelligence possesses the key.
Self-modeling and Computational Strategy
If continental philosophy has its own notion of impossible subject, contemporary neurophilosopher Thomas Metzinger, whose works we believe straddle the analytic and continental divide, describes this subject as nemocentric anchored on
An egocentric frame of reference (centered on the model of the body as object and origin of behavioral space) while at the same time phenomenally operating under a nemocentric reality (centered on a globally available but fully opaque self-model embedded in the current virtual window of presence (Metzinger,2003: 336).
What is striking in this model of subjectivity is that it is unconstrained by neither temporal presence, the given-time of the present (Derrida, 1993: 17; Heidegger, 1999: 68) nor the romantic idea of self-becoming in the future to come. Rather this subjectivity is already happening and yet requires a more conscious attention in the midst of what Metzinger also describes as “an organized attack against the space of consciousness” (in Brockman, 2011: 97-99) facilitated by the new media, the internet and the smart machines, etc., propelled by AI dreams. This organized attack on the space of attention, Metzinger argues, “creates a new form of waking consciousness that resembles weakly subjective states—a mixture of dreaming, dementia, intoxication and infantilization” which he lumps together under the category “public dreaming” (99).
The creation of weakly subjective states is no less an assault against the object and origin of behavioral space, the body. While Metzinger is pursuing a rather ambivalent engagement with the singularity and post-singularity ambitions of our time despite a patent form of technological determinism that these aims encourage, he also argues, oddly enough, in respect of the remainder of technological determinism, always the human that remains untotalizable, that even this kind of determinism leaves a space for reflection. Where the real danger lies is in the fact that the remainder is consistently seduced by the new media into appropriating weakly subjective states which discourage full attention to the world around them. Yet, as Metzinger also argues, this remainder is nothing that can be ontologically defined as self (Metzinger,2003). Thus, on the more fundamental level of subjective experience, this self resists closure and totalization.
In the case of the dream of singularity it is simply unviable to radicalize the evolutionary algorithm in terms of pushing the limits of human intelligence to its extreme potential simply because, and as Metzinger adds, subjectivity operates on the “principle of necessary self-reification” (Metzinger, 338). Under this personal reification format, even the computational resources available for self-representation, which could be made globally available for intervention and manipulation, are necessarily minimized by the self-modeling subject. Self-representation or “self-modeling possesses a potentially infinite and circular logical structure” (338), the so-called reflexive loop, such that self-reification blocks the possibility of system breakdown in terms of providing the system with interminable supply of computational resources for global determination, both on the level of conscious subjective experience and social cognition. If the subject minimizes the availability of computational resources that systems can take advantage of it is, paradoxically speaking, for the benefit of the survival of systems themselves. Subjects from the outset may not be fully attentive to this capacity of them to minimize the availability of computational resources for which Metzinger, allots them, at least, an opaque nonepistemic potential (Metzinger,131).
One way or another, systems can cause their non-attentiveness whose efficacy however cannot be totalistic because, attentive or not, subjects remain the ultimate source of computational resources. Owing to the fact that the subject that has to minimize its availability for evolutionary radicalization can retain its integrity as untranscendable, post-singularity has no definable subject to begin with, a subject it can singularize into its computable transcendable limit.
But it is not only the subject of which we have to be grateful in terms of pre-empting a system breakdown for which an embodied human civilization like ours still survives but also the very system of global computation of subject formations unwittingly legitimated by the very subjects it wishes to totalize. On this score, the freedom to question the system’s claim to truth, at the same time that the user is consuming its goods and values, suggests of a reasonable acceptance of the system’s functional usefulness. The user withholds judgment as to the system’s temporally constitutive values, epistemic, moral or political, which go beyond their function as use-values. The withholding possible in this case is akin to a deconstructive strategy of questioning the pre-epistemic presuppositions of truths before they acquire public epistemic presence as use-values. This without necessarily breaking the system of use-values itself, for one way or another the system’s capability to reflexively understand its own constitutive work is closed off from its own computational intelligence (it has no real intelligence other than that which is invested by subjects) which already indicates that global systems do not have absolute power over self-modeling or subjective computational strategies.
Withholding of judgment as already a form of engaging the system in a veritable symbiotic relationship is made possible by the fact that one is enveloped by a pervasive network of subject-positionalities, a global system of computation whose determination is at least necessary for subjects to descend to extended reflexive loop without which subjects may misuse their potential for infinite self-representation, the potential for bad infinity. The global system preempts the subject to implode into the dark infinity of self-totalization. In turn, structural patronage of the system avoids the possibility of system breakdown. In the case of the present order of singularity, this means that the invasiveness of social structures is necessary owing to its psychosocial functionality as that to which human agents extend their need for self-representation. Incidentally, these structures are increasingly populated by smart machines, expert, and physical symbolic systems, computational culture, virtual environments, and knowledge-intensive products (Ekbia,106), all chief features of contemporary AI or artificial intelligence. But the very invasiveness of this singularity world or social structuration is ultimately temporal and contingent.
Insofar as it governs individual lives in extensively impersonal ways, the most advanced example of singularity in terms of totalizing subject formations under the aegis of global computation is that of money economy. In essence it is an attempt to globalize what always remains untranscendable. But it may also be argued that no matter how evil money economy is its determination is necessary at some point. Yet its evilness is temporal. Certainly, it is going to be challenged by the principle of the self-reification of subjects that resist closure and totalization at which point subjective withholding of informational resources for computational improvement of global intelligence boils up to generate tectonic resistance. All the more then that global systems need to be sensitive to the plight of the human agency.
Ironically, the determination of this form of globality rests on the power of the subjects to pre-empt any system breakdown. In principle the same applies to the post-singularity dream of AI. It is simply in the evolutionary nature of subjects to block not only a system breakdown especially with respect to themselves but also the possibility of a fully transcendent system. For its part, a reasonable global intelligence cannot allow for the possibility of breaking the potentially infinite circular loop of self-modeling. Embodied subjects have the capacity for radical forms of computation that they are rather free to take on notwithstanding their inherent reflexivity, that is, their opaque knowledge of the causes of system breakdown such as radicalizing those very limits, all within the bounds of embodied subjectivity that straddles the personal and social cognitive realms.
Traditionalism of Post-singularity
Singularity is not different from the intentionality of primitive intelligence that on grounds of survival grounds itself on the principle of self-reification, itself aleatory to the full representational or epistemic attempt to radicalize the direction of human evolution via a certain form of intelligence explosion. Yet, even this is not a cause to celebrate.
If this primitive form of intelligence started by nurturing the aleatory guarantee of self-reification in its own attempt at singularity, though backward by all means, in order to avoid system breakdown then the post-singularity direction of today’s singularity is somehow structurally guaranteed not to go awry. But at some point in the global computation of available resources for the persistence of subject formations the primitive form of intelligence that used to guarantee the self-maintenance of the system became unable to guarantee, for instance, the once stable condition of the feedback loop, that is, between cultural change and physical change. The key to understanding the eventual disparity is time. Science historian Ronald Wright summarizes this concept for us:
Cultural change begat physical change and vice versa in a feedback loop...
Nowadays we have reached such a pass that the skills and mores we learned in childhood are outdated by the time we’re thirty, and few people past fifty can keep up with their culture—whether in idiom, attitudes, tastes or technology... Most people living in the Old Stone Age would have not noticed any cultural change at all. The human world that individuals entered at birth was the same as the one they left at death (Wright, 2004:14).
This explains the disparity in terms of the feedback loop that in many ways connects with what Metzinger earlier described as the reflexive loop that has the potential for infinite circularity but which in the end can still threaten the system to breakdown, especially, if the resources available for self-modeling reach a dead end. This is where we can radicalize the assumptions of Metzinger.
The system is guaranteed against going awry solely because of the immanent capacity of subjects to reabsorb the system to their logically infinite loops where the concrete possibilities for infinity lie. Since the dawn of human apes, subjects have always proceeded from themselves. But human civilization has already reached a certain point at which a massive system breakdown can threaten to wipe out the entire human race, quickly or gradually. It has never been more pronounced since human civilization entered the era of the Anthropocene.
The Anthropocene is a term used by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen to describe the current period of evolution in which humanity is driving its course rather than natural forces (Kolbert in Elsworth and Kruse, 2012). This nearly spells out the dreaded process of entropy that has now started to roll out on the geological plane. But this time humanity is helping entropy by introducing more complex patterns of existence into a state of natural equilibrium—by systematically polluting and over-populating the planet. On this note it may suffice to say that the primitive form of intelligence that used to guarantee stability is now pushed to its planetary limit by which we mean the excessive rationalization of the human condition thus far by the highest immanent limit of singularity, a post-singularity in its own terms, by the abstract rule of money that has been responsible for much of the ecological crises, and most of the world’s economic and political calamities our planet is facing.
The chief target of these crises is a planetary body of human subjects, accidentally divided by geography, race, gender, cultural, political and class differences. But their accidental dispersion in spatial dimensions (geographies) are now effectively being leveled into a single plane of determination courtesy of the global ramifications of the entropic process that the era of Anthropocene is bringing to attention. Ironically, the rule of money singularity has allowed the multiplication of deprived subjects, which as thermal bodies are viable source of energy supply, on an unprecedented geological scale. But if world economies are now accommodating the wisdom of population control it is not for the recovery of the planet that this gesture is more inclined to promote but rather the gesture is preoccupied with the necessity of singularity, the effective machination of labor and production where quality, efficiency, and cost reduction are the tall order of the day. Only this time, smart machines will take the place of organic thermal resources once provided by laboring bodies.
This system of rationalization already operates in the form of depriving subjects, already least favored by the evolutionary game, of their capacity for good infinity, by which we mean the capacity for self-reification necessary to achieve organic balance (which is no longer the preoccupation of global systems as mathematical machinism is increasingly taking place), at the same time sustaining the arbitrary divisions that set subjects apart mostly by means of naturalizing their differences (in terms of dividing the scales of the planet according to per capita income of populations and continents). Today, under the guise of a global social contract, now termed globalization, which promises to guarantee the availability of global resources for self-modeling and human flourishing, least evolutionarily favored subjects have become objectal coordinates of a system that increasingly determines itself according to the purity of a disembodied notion of reality.These coordinates (or information extracted from deprived subjects that have been entrapped by the visibility machine of global systems) are necessary for an increasingly singularizing global system. They serve as knowledge base for a more efficient transformation of informational societies. The key here is how to better expose their bodies and their opaqueness to their own subjective experiences for a more efficient biopolitical control.
The appeal of disembodiment already explains the attractiveness of singularity to world economies. Global systems are in a rush to provide smart artificial platforms for public expression and fulfillment which increasingly alter human neural capacities for self-reification. This is already happening on a global scale as virtual global communities and other global networks of subject formations are increasingly redefining what it means to be human these days, as N. Katherine Hayles notes in her influential study (1999). We may wonder how subjects run out of infinity that they become easy targets of systems. The explanation may be simple. The global resources that can sustain bodies are now redirected to sustain the new mantra of global singularity by organic subjects whose motives are obviously evolutionary—to keep themselves above the organized disembodiment of the human condition. This leads us in the final analysis to the non-epistemic opacity of primitive intelligence.
The Politicization of Primitive Intelligence
Those subjects capable of minimizing the transparency of information-processing or computational resources vis-a-vis the global computational systems are the very embodied subjects capable of harnessing the systems at the expense of phenomenally weak subjects, those whose direct and immediate contact with their selves may be considered computationally poor and inadequate, a variation in information-processing or self-modeling leading to differential subjectivities, altogether borne by evolutionary processes. Metzinger underscores at length:
Phenomenal selfhood results from autoepistemic closure in a self-representing system: it is a lack of information. The prereflexive, preattentive experience of being someone results directly from the contents of currently active self-model being transparent. Any system acting under a transparent self-model will, if all other necessary conditions for the emergence of phenomenal experience in the domain constituted by this class of systems are realized, by necessity experience itself as being in direct and immediate contact with itself. The phenomenal property of selfhood is constituted by transparent, nonepistemic self-representation, and it is on this level of representationalist analysis that the refutation of the corresponding phenomenological fallacy becomes truly radical, because it has a straightforward ontological interpretation: no such things as selves exist in the world... What exist are information-processing systems engaged in the transparent process of phenomenal self-modeling (Metzinger, 2003: 337).
Where does nonepistemic opacity of primitive intelligence fit in? As nonepistemic, primitive intelligence is nonpropositional which true to its form and substance does not generate truth or falsity in the order of epistemological presence, rather simply presents a wealth of information-processing materials through the subject’s “virtual window of presence” available to any given system. Evolutionarily speaking, self-modeling varies according to circumstances and opportunities in which computational agents find their own selves situated. Those that can actually and efficiently minimize the information-processing materials available for global determination are understandably in a better position: 1) not to expose themselves too much for systems to take advantage of; 2) to help the systems evolve into a global reference for egological flourishing but only to such an extent that systems do not suck them dry (that is, the favored ones), and, 3) to seal the system against totalizing computationally accomplished subjects, those that have successfully represented their precomputational, preattentive rootedness in nonepistemic opacity, thus capable of negotiating with systems better than those whose opaqueness are poorly represented to their own subjective experiences.
This form of singularity can be acknowledged for its attentiveness to the differential algorithm of evolutionary processes as they relate to individual levels of conscious subjective experience and social cognition. It certainly admits of the cognitive experimental advantage of subjects that can minimize their self-exposure to the power of globality, but unfortunately always at the expense of other subjects disfavored by the evolutionary game. In general, subjects (favored by evolution) are unwilling to radicalize their cognitive advantages for the benefit of championing the necessity of self-reification; instead they support computational visibility in terms of promoting self-transparency which is essential for the preservation of globality. The radicalization of one’s cognitive advantages would amount to supporting the cause of self-reification as an ambivalent but necessary act that preserves both the self and the system. (We contend here that reification does not absolutely proceed from system to self. Systems are for the most part incapable of reification. Subjects reify themselves most of the time. But reification as an important mode of existence helps the system inhibit itself from totalizing the subject in terms of forcing it to embrace visibility and abandon reification).
When systems begin to reify at the risk of collapsing, it is only then that subjects allow themselves the reification they undergo. This reification is two-fold. First, subjects who are in the best position to take advantage of the system influences the system to demand visibility of other subjects. Second, least evolutionarily favored subjects unwittingly or consciously embrace transparency which systems can maximize to enhance global determination. Unwittingly, least favored subjects allow system breakdown when they completely embrace computational visibility for systems to take advantage of. It is in this sense that it will not benefit any system to demand complete visibility of subjects. Ultimately, it will not benefit (favored) subjects to influence the system to demand computational visibility. This demand may take the form of championing the gospel of self-transparency, which will reveal the subjects’ lack, which in turn allows systems to define for them the fullness they seek, leading to systems taking advantage of least favored subjects in today’s culture industry in terms of creating avenues and platforms for self-expressions aided by the new media.What the culture industry promotes is that there is no lack of computational information, no opaqueness of subjective experiences. The only thing that is missing is the correct way of looking for information.
The moment one seeks information, visibility follows for one is also a bit of information that others seek. By becoming visible one helps the social order increase its knowledge base for global computation in terms of mapping, mining and analyzing psychosocial coordinates necessary for systems to widen their scope, which by and large means high return of investment. To encourage visibility and hence to increase the knowledge base, systems resort to the psychosocial dynamics of combating anonymity, reification and obscurity by providing accessible thus therapeutic platforms for coming out into the world, venues for expressibility and collective recognition, promoting the dictum that opacity is specious, that the darkness it promotes is suspiciously evil. Popular social networking sites champion this new media philosophy, that there is such thing as a transparent self, contrary to the assumption that lack of information realistically defines the subject. In other words, in the beginning there is already information.
This may be true evolutionarily speaking, but it can also serve to promote a more suspect truth that in the beginning, with reason already at work, primitive intelligence (the arche-information) is bound to favor some and isolate the majority, that this isolation seems to be the ultimate structure of time, that by necessity this isolation justifies the necessity of computational violence to nature, both human and nature at large. If this is called civilization then Wright is pointing out the obvious that civilization is not a guarantor of moral progress (Wright, 36).
Yet we can radicalize a different face of singularity in terms of pushing evolution to its proper ethical direction in which primitive intelligence is radicalized to serve the self-modeling needs of the many disfavored by the opaqueness of evolutionary processes. This computational model of singularity is another way to describe evolution by other means, other than the intelligence explosion that has been treated with so much hype by the AI community.
The ‘other means’ possible is another way of stipulating differences on the level of global systems, differences that are concretely marked by embodied subjectivities as the objects and genealogies of behavioral self-modeling spaces. The obvious elitism of singularity by intelligence explosion is here pitted against singularity by sustaining the surplus of the corporeal whose ideal end, if at all it can be posed, may be described as post-singularity whose root intelligence or primitive computational base (also the root space of hitherto existing singularities by virtue of the primordial opaqueness of being that makes itself available to an active frame of self-modeling) is once and for all recast to serve the aims of the human condition under the emphatic terms of equity and social justice.
Agamben, Giorgio. (2005). The Coming Community. Trans. Michael Hardt. Minneapolis and London, University of Minnesota Press.
Blackmore, S. (2005). Consciousness. A Very Short Introduction. New York, Oxford University Press.
Brockman, J. (2011). Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? The Net’s Impact on our Minds and Future. New York, Harper Perennial.
Brooks, R. (1999). Cambrian Intelligence: The Early History of the New AI. Cambridge, MIT Press.
Cadava, E., P. Connor, J-L Nancy. Eds. (1991). Who Comes After the Subject? New York, Routledge.
Chalmers, D. (2010). “Singularity. A Philosophical Analysis.” Journal of Consciousness Studies 17:7-65.
Derrida, J. (1993). “Finis.” In Aporias.Trans. Thomas Dutoit. Stanford, California, Stanford University Press.
Ekbia, H. (2008). Artificial Dreams.The Quest for Non-biological Intelligence. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Hayles, Katherine N. (1999). How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
Heidegger, M. (1999). Contributions to Philosophy. From Enowning. Trans. Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly. Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press.
Hofstadter, D. (1995). Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies.New York, Basic Books.
Kling, R., and S, Iacano. (1995). “Computerization movements and the mobilization of support for computerization.” In Ecologies of Knowledge (119-153). S. L. Star. New York, SUNY.
Kolbert, Elizabeth (2012). “Enter the Anthropocene: Age of Man.” In Making the Geologic Now: Responses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life. Ed. Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse. Brooklyn, New York: Punctum Books.
Kurzweil, R. (1999). The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. New York, Viking.
Lenat, D. and E. A. Feigenbaum. (1991). “On the Threshold of Knowledge.”Artificial Intelligence 47 (1-3): 185-250.
Metzinger, T. (2003).Being No One.The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity. Massachusetts, MIT Press.
Nietzsche, F. (1969). Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Ed. R.J. Hollingdale. England: Penguin Books.
Spinoza, B.d. (1985). The Collected Works of Spinoza. Ed. E.M. Curley. Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press.
Woolgar, S. (1995). “Representation, Cognition and Self: What Hope for the Integration of Psychology and Sociology?” In Ecologies of Knowledge: Work and Politics in Science and Technology. (154-179). S.L. Star.New York, New York State University of New York Press.
Tauber, Alfred. (2005). “The Reflexive Project: Reconstructing the Moral Agent.” History of the Human Sciences 18: 49-75.
Vinge, V. (1993). “The coming technological singularity. How to survive in the post-human era.” Whole Earth Review.
Wright, R. (2004). A Short History of Progress. Toronto, House of Anansi Press.