The singularity is coming — are you ready | Dr. Jonathan White | TEDxEdmonton – Video

The singularity is coming — are you ready | Dr. Jonathan White | TEDxEdmonton

TEDx Talks – Published on Jul 29, 2014

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Would you upload your personality if you could? What do you think of the possibility of living without a physical body? Dr. White addresses a reality that is not so far off as we might think – and what the ethical and philosophical implications of this future might be.   

Dr. Jonathan White, originally from Northern Ireland, is a surgeon at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Dr. White is a renowned teacher, and has won numerous awards for his innovative and creative approach, including being the first surgeon ever selected as a 3M National Teaching Fellow, an honor bestowed in 2014. At TEDx, Dr. White will point out the unforeseen consequences of the rapid technological change we are experiencing – the unexpected societal, medical, and philosophical issues that we now must consider.

He will introduce us to the concept of the “singularity”, a possibility which has enormous potential but also carries immense uncertainty. As we enter the next phase of human evolution, Dr. White will pose provocative questions that will challenge our ideas of what the future holds.

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  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On October 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Replicating the brain’s functions (ie. backup) and human consciousness would be formidable if at all achievable. But even beyond the brain are ‘live’ faculties which will have to be dealt with.
    I like to go back to Hindu philosophy which I see as the most expansive and exhaustive treatments of the human psyche. Johnathan White doesn’t deal with them and is flummoxed by the idea ‘transcending’ which some author says the goal of human life is to ‘saturate space/time with consciousness’.

    I never heard of the latter as the goal of humans. The two extant theories are to get to heaven in Abrahamic religions and in the Dharmic ones (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism) the goal is Moksha/Nirvana – to achieve god-consciousness, which will never happen all at once as people get caught up in samsara.

    Back to Hindu philosophy which the singularity paradigm(s) don’t even deal with are explained in these excerpts from the Bhagavad Gita as expounded by Lord Krishna:

    “The soul is superior to everything else in the human being. The senses are great, greater than the senses is the mind, greater than the mind is buddhi [intellect] and greater than the buddhi is the Self[Soul] (3.42). … The soul is the highest, eternal reality (tattva), whereas the senses, the mind, intelligence, etc., are finite and dependent realities.”

    So, until scientists can separately deal with/replicate: the senses, the mind, buddhi/intellect and the Self/soul they are far away from making a human ‘robot’.
    Furthermore, the Self/Soul in Hinduism is:

    “…the soul, or atman, is indestructible and ETERNAL(2.18). It neither slays, nor can it be slain (2.19). It is never, born and it never dies. After coming into existence, it never ceases to be. It is nitya (always), sasvatah (PERMANENT) and purana (very ancient) (2.20). It does not suffer, nor can it be tainted. At the time of death it does not die, but leaves the body and enters a new one (2.22). Weapons cannot pierce it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot moisten it and wind cannot dry it (2.23). It is impenetrable, incombustible, all pervading, stable and immobile (2.24). It is invisible, imperceptible and immutable (2.25).

    Veda Nath Mohabir

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