Monday, August 21, 2006

The Singularity

Vernor Vinge in 1993 predicted that, at some point between 2005 and 2030, greater-than-human-intelligence would come into being due in part to improvements in computer hardware and networking. He called this "The Coming Technological Singularity" and suggested four means:

  • There may be developed computers that are "awake" and superhumanly intelligent.
  • Large computer networks [and their associated users] may "wake up" as a superhumanly intelligent entity;
  • Computer/human interfaces may become so intimate that users may reasonably be considered superhumanly intelligent; and
  • Biological science may provide means to improve natural human intellect.

It's at this point that Vinge suggests all the old models will break down and be discarded and a new reality will rule. It's a really interesting piece that I'm still trying to think through, because it has such implications for the information community.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Note to self -- Share these tips with speakers....

Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

From InsideHigherEd

This news story from InsideHigherEd discusses statistics released by the National Science Foundation regarding scientific and engineering degrees and their relation to work assignments later in life. Quoting from the story, "Engineering, math and computer science bachelor’s degree recipients were the least likely to pursue advanced degrees outside of science and engineering; only 17 percent of them did so. Only about 40 percent of engineering, math, and computer science bachelor’s recipients sought an additional degree, as compared to 60 percent of physical sciences bachelor’s degree recipients, 49 percent of social sciences bachelor’s recipients, and 57 percent of life sciences bachelor’s recipients." I guess that means offspring #1 (a comp sci major) is unlikely to follow in mother's footsteps by becoming a librarian. Or at least that the likelihood would be better had he decided to go into history or political science.