George Dvorsky continues to take advantage of the recent famous-on-the-internet profile of the Kurzweil/Myers beef to bring lesser-discussed aspects of Singularitarianism to the fore… and as someone with an active interest in the movement (not to mention as a science fiction reader), I think that’s a worthwhile thing to do. Like I’ve said before, as way-out as it may still seem to a lot of people, the Singularity is an important concept in our wired world, even if viewed only with the utmost cynicism as a form of eschatological philosophy or techno-cult (which I think is to sell it more than a little short).
So here’s Dvorsky’s non-comprehensive list of notable Singularitarian thinkers — which includes one well-known sf writer, Vernor Vinge, and one person (that I know of, at least) who has been tuckerized as a posthuman ‘species’ in science fiction literature: Hans Moravec, who gave his name to the moravecs of Dan Simmons’ Ilium, an excellent (if challenging and very hefty) novel.
Dvorsky invites suggestions of other thinkers worthy of attention in the fields of Singularity thinking and artificial intelligence, and I’ll extend the same invitation – feel free to include critics and naysayers, provided they tackle the issues with rigour.
And while we’re on the subject, you may or may not already know that PZ Myers has been called in for some serious heart surgery. Just in case it wasn’t already plain: despite not necessarily agreeing with him on matters recently discussed (and sniping at the tone taken), I bear the man no malice, and wish him a speedy recovery. Best of luck, Professor Myers.