General, Research, Technology

What is the Singleton hypothesis and what future does it predict?

"Singleton hypothesis" by Swedish philosopher NickBostroma from Oxford University says that intelligent life on Earth will eventually form a "Singleton" - a single organization that will take the form of either a world government, artificial intelligence, or dictatorship and will completely control everything that happens on the planet. Humanity, Bostrom notes, went from small groups of hunter-gatherers to the construction of cities, states and multinational corporations, which ultimately led us to globalization - a kind of prelude to the Singleton. An improved observation and communication system, mind control technologies (it's not for nothing that Elon Musk is chipping monkeys and pigs), molecular nanotechnology and artificial intelligence - all of our future discoveries may ultimately lead to the emergence of a singleton. But what this singleton turns out to be depends on many factors and is generally uncertain. In this article, we consider the hypothesis of the famous scientist and try to understand where the Sapiens desire for unity will lead.

According to the singleton hypothesis, in the future, our planet could be ruled by either a powerful AI or a single world government. The emergence of a dictatorship, by the way, is also possible.

How to predict the future?

As social animals, we humans are allin possible ways we strive to avoid loneliness. Judge for yourself - the tendency towards rapprochement and unification of societies at "higher levels of social organization" has already led to the fact that people who do not know each other, being in different hemispheres of the planet, exchange greetings, memes and God knows what else.

Meanwhile, even among science fiction writers of the pastthere were only a couple of people who managed to predict something that remotely resembles the Internet. So, in 1898, Mark Twain in one of his stories invented a "telescope" - an object that looks like a telephone and determines the exact location of a person. The great American writer also suggested that the telescope would serve as food for gossip and discussion on a global scale (resembles nothing?), But despite claims that it was Twain who predicted the advent of the Internet, his telescope was not much different from good old telephone conversations.

See also: The global future of humanity - where are we heading?

Later science fiction writers such as William Gibsonwho wrote Neuromat in 1984 and David Brin from whom Earth appeared in 1990, got a little closer to the truth. But bad luck - in those years the scientific community already knew about the existence of the Internet. So hats off, Mr. Twain.

The desire for unification is the norm for all individuals of the species Homo Sapiens, and the Internet is perhaps the best way for this.

As for theoretical physicists and their predictions,then as astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss writes in an article devoted to the question of why science fiction writers did not predict the emergence of the world wide web, “if 50 years ago you locked theoretical physicists in one room and asked them to predict future scientific discoveries, then they would dark energy and dark matter did not come to my head, let alone proof of the existence of gravitational waves. "

Read even more fascinating articles about the latest scientific discoveries and bold hypotheses on our channel in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site!

For the sake of the future, unite!

So, if we proceed from the assumption thatall human societies that have existed are ultimately a prelude to the singleton, where are we going? According to Bostrom, some undesirable aspects of technology that infringe on individual freedoms are unlikely to lead us to a disastrous result. However, a single state body can both take control of society and support a variety of technological solutions that benefit this society itself.

At the same time as the worldmore and more complex, effective coordination between countries and individuals is becoming more difficult. This could be facilitated by technical solutions coupled with converging moral values ​​and a democratic world government. Although many may argue that the current political tendencies of the growth of nationalism, hybrid wars and anti-immigration laws, on the contrary, are leading to disunity.

But there are other scenarios as well. Various global catastrophic events, such as climate change, can accelerate the creation of a singleton.

The Swedish philosopher Bostrom, in addition to numerous articles for academic and popular publications, often appears in the media, where he discusses issues related to transhumanism.

In an interview with Big Think, Bostrom noted thatit would be better for all of us if countries like the United States and China, for example, built more trusting relationships, and all skirmishes and tensions would sink into oblivion.

“I'm afraid people have forgotten how depressing wasCold War, or have learned the wrong lesson from surviving it. But I think it's more like someone playing Russian roulette and surviving and then saying, "Hey, that wasn't so bad, let's play another round!" With the opening of the nuclear archives, we can see how close the world has come to the brink of the abyss. It would be a huge mistake to allow yourself to slide into a different situation, even remotely resembling that of the Cold War. ”

Fortunately, all political leaders come andsooner or later leave (yes, we are all mortal). So it may take a long time before we can finally determine what era we live in now. As for the upcoming events, either advanced technology and an expanding democratic order will create a global techno-utopia of the future, or we will be enslaved by corporate hegemony and international oligarchs... It's important to remember that once created, a singleton could become a way of life for the foreseeable future. Full details of the work of Professor Bostrom can be found here.

It's interesting: Nick Bostrom's revelations about his hypothesis of simulating our reality

And yet, despite the likelihood of the appearanceglobal dictatorship, Bostrom believes that the singleton is unlikely to lead to dire consequences. What do you think, if singleton comes, what awaits us - dictatorship, artificial intelligence or a unified government? We will wait for the answer here, as well as in the comments to this article.

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