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Dear Maisonneuve, Fall 2010

Letters from our readers.

NOT SO INTELLIGENT

Abou Farman's article, "The Intelligent Universe" (Issue 36), explained the basic principles that make up the Singularity movement. But are not the more extreme beliefs of the movement—such as human obsolescence in exchange for superintelligence—just another example of elites making decisions about what's best for us?

"[The] purpose of the universe reflects the same purpose as our lives: to move toward greater intelligence and knowledge." This
statement by Ray Kurzweil assumes universal ideas of purpose and knowledge. But who decides what this "knowledge" is, what the categories for intelligence are and what is worth "moving toward"? Who are these people—or more specifically, these men (since the article is saturated with their opinions)—who prefer a world where Artificial Intelligence rules? Although I appreciated Farman's article, I felt as though certain essential ideas of the Singularity movement reeked of imperialist, ethnocentric garbage ...

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