Monday, October 24, 2016

The Singularity

Wikipedia states the following about the Singularity:

The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity) is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.

The singularity has been talked about for decades and always seemed a long way off as little progress had been made in the field of artificial intelligence...until last year. The company DeepMind, acquired by Google in 2014, has built an artificial neural network that can think and learn just like a human being. In the video above, at the 10 minute mark, you can see how the AI learned to play some 1980's Atari video games. It started out much worse than a human, but because it is able to play and learn continuously, in a mere 24 hours it had learned to play better than any human.

One game that computers have never been able to beat a human at, unless given an advantage, is the ancient Chinese game of Go. Earlier this year, DeepMind's AI named AlphaGo finally achieved that goal, defeating world champion Lee Sedol 4 to 1 in a best of 5 match. Again, it was AlphaGo's ability to learn and teach itself that made this possible.

Unlike previous AI victories — such as Deep Blue’s defeat of chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, or IBM Watson’s Jeopardy! triumph in 2011 — DeepMind programmed AlphaGo to be capable of teaching itself, not just carrying out a set of fixed moves or activities.

I believe this ability to teach itself and quickly surpass human ability in any task, makes artificial superintelligence and the singularity an almost certainty. This will eventually create a world where machines do all the work, leaving humans free to focus on creative and spiritual pursuits, but there may be a lot of turmoil before we get there.

I recently read the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind that discusses numerous technological advances taking place at the present time, beyond just artificial intelligence. The author, Yuval Noah Harari, believes humans are on the verge of becoming gods through technology.

geneticists have already managed to engineer genius mice that display improved memory and learning skills, and super-worms that live up to six times their normal lifespan. There is no technical reason why we could not start engineering superhumans too. Within a century or even a few decades, genetic engineering and other forms of biological engineering might enable us to make far-reaching alterations not only to our physiology, immune system, and life expectancy, but also to our intellectual and emotional capacities.

That was written in 2014 and then earlier this year in 2016, Elizabeth Parrish became the first woman to actually become biologically younger through gene therapy.

In March 2016, the same tests taken again by SpectraCell revealed that her telomeres had lengthened by approximately 20 years, from 6.71kb to 7.33kb, implying that Parrish's white blood cells (leukocytes) have become biologically younger. These findings were independently verified by the Brussels-based non-profit HEALES (HEalthy Life Extension Company), and the Biogerontology Research Foundation, a UK-based charity committed to combating age-related diseases.

That description led me to the wikipedia page on telomeres where I came across the following study that was done.

A 2013 pilot study from UCSF took 35 men with localized early-stage prostate cancer and had 10 of them begin "lifestyle changes that included: a plant-based diet (high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains, and low in fat and refined carbohydrates); moderate exercise (walking 30 minutes a day, six days a week); stress reduction (gentle yoga-based stretching, breathing, meditation)" and also "weekly group support". When compared to the other 25 study participants, "The group that made the lifestyle changes experienced a 'significant' increase in telomere length of approximately 10 percent.

So there you have it. With some simple lifestyle changes, you can make yourself biologically younger to the same extent as Elizabeth did, and it has been scientifically proven! So you will have a choice for achieving immortality: technology or spirituality, however, there is a catch if you take the technological approach. Here's what the Founders have to say, taken from the book Earth Awakens.

Your genetics researchers will continue to map out the “immortality gene” and develop new technologies for splicing and combining it with existing “mortal genes.” Stem cell research will continue, despite opposition from some religious groups. Cloning and related practices will be extended and refined.

Although these new medical advances will start prolonging the lives of a few human beings, the vast majority will be unresponsive because the cause of their aging and decay will not have been addressed. Keeping a human body alive when the soul has given up interest in living does not work, and eventually the soul will find a way of exiting the body in such cases. Of course, the egoic self will continuously try to prolong itself, mostly out of fear of death or belief in self-importance.

In order for humans to attain physical immortality while in fourth density, they will need to have a great degree of enthusiasm and excitement about being alive. They will need to have a strong sense of purpose and commitment to being on Earth. They will also need to clear their subconscious and unconscious fear of death. If they are ready to move into fifth density ascension, then they will not need modern medicine to attain immortality anyway.

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