Thursday, 15 September 2016

omega man

Most address with confidence the premise of the coming technological Singularity and the underlying notion that artificial intelligence will surpass human ability and escalate quickly surpassing human comprehension, and while the reality now seems tantalisingly close the concept was minted by Hungarian-American mathematician and futurist John von Neumann back in 1958.
Maybe it seemed just around the corner back then, as well. Singularity, fraught with its promise and apprehension, probably owes it coinage to a contemporary and complementary theological concept, developed and elaborated in 1955 by controversial Jesuit priest and paleontologist (discoverer of Peking Man) Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, called Point Oméga. The idea of the Omega Point (in English) premises that all sentient beings in the Cosmos are constantly evolving towards a higher social consciousness, which is ultimately indistinguishable from and one with the divine. Later writers championing Chardin’s concept believed it was something to strive for but would never be achieved—perhaps as detractors of the technological Singularity have put forward. I wonder if a spiritual singularity could be heralded by having created something that transcends what we as creators understand.