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 The Technium: Brains of White Matter
To look at this another way, the 'white matter'/connectivity question is basic to any consideration of the future of artificial intelligence and telecommunications in general. Over time the Earth will become increasingly well-connected, with net-connected humans and eventually true AIs contributing increasing amounts of data. In due course this network of connectivity will cover the Solar System and hopefully reach to the stars. At all times this connectivity will be constrained by bandwidth and the number of connections.

A truly advanced civilisation would want to maximise this connectome, but there are real physical restraints on how much connectivity is possible in real space- so there will also be an imperative towards making the individual processing nodes and actors in this civilisation as smart and independent as possible. I'm not sure that leaves much of a role for human-level modosophonts, although paradoxically an advanced civilisation of this kind could conceivably provide the best possible environment for comfortable modosophont living.
(12-03-2018, 10:41 AM)extherian Wrote: Think we got our wires crossed somewhere...not enough 'white matter', perhaps. I thought you were saying that processing power was of only minor significance in the difference between Transapients and modosophonts. My point was that we are only slightly different from chimps, yet we have vastly greater mental abilities than they do. I like to think that sheer processing power plays a significant role in the unique capabilities that Transapients have, if for no other reason than that these abilities would require impractical amounts of computronium to integrate into a modosophont mind. Our brains didn't have to be redesigned from scratch to 'ascend', they just needed more mass.

Not minor significance by any means. Rather, I'm saying that processing power by itself is not the only factor (actually, in OA raw increases in processing power are insufficient to achieve a singularity jump). In addition to 'brute force computation' other factors would play an important - possibly preeminent - role. Such as...

a) Better hardware that increases processing power while possibly using less power, shorter signal paths, more straightforward data transmission methods, or conversely designs based on clever geometries or mathematical tricks that result in improved performance for less power or with greater efficiency.

b) Hardware/brain/software/mind designs that have no analog/equivalent in nature - because I consider it unlikely that nature in RL has produced the last word on the subject, at least on this planet. This could range from things like plasma processors to hardware designed for conditions in outer space to processors that 'outsource' a lot of functions our brains have to keep 'in house' in order to stay alive, but which a cybernetic device wouldn't have to.

c) Software/mental architecture that do for information management what the better hardware in 'a' above does for computronium.


(12-03-2018, 10:41 AM)extherian Wrote: Regarding Superiors, they may have been a moving target in the past, but there's only so much you can improve a fundamentally flawed processing substrate like the human brain. By Y11K, they've surely reached the limit of how intelligent a biological human can become while keeping the brain's size constant. I would imagine that the many mental advantages described in the Superior Genemods page are those of Y11K Superiors, and that they aren't getting any smarter since they've run out of things to improve.

From an editorial perspective I wouldn't say they've reached the limit - but that it is progressively harder to come up with new improvements.

'Smarter' is a somewhat subjective concept, and so they might add on or refine things still.

Agreed that most of the advantages (mental and physical) described on the Superior Genemods page of those of Superiors that came long after the first Su of the Interplanetary Age - but how many are 'recent' to Y11k and how many are thousands of years old is open at this point. 10,000yrs is a long time to make improvements of just tinker.


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