This week, Hack & Craft hosted a meetup of the Berlin Singularity group. For those unfamiliar with the term, singularity is the theoretical point in the future at which techonology is cleverer than the human mind.
Hack & Craft hosted the event at our Friedrichshain office, providing beer, Club Mate and three(!) kinds of cheese and onion crisp, and inviting speaker Professor Michael Pauen, from the Humboldt University’s department of Mind and Brain to describe his theory of free will and consciousness and how it relates to singularity.
Maybe you’re thinking, like I did, “This moment of singularity sounds like techspeak, how did the whole “free will” thing get into the equation?” Basically, as one of the Singulatarians explained to me before the talk started, we (humans) can control how technology develops, to some extent, up until the point of singularity. After that time, how the “superintelligences” that we’ve created behave is unpredictable, or even incomprehensible to the human brain. Hence the need to talk about consciousness, free will and determinism.We tried to get round to talking about singularity, we really did. However, the problems of our free will, and particularly Professor Pauen’s compatibilist position, reconciling free will and determinism, attracted so many questions from the audience, that we barely got a chance. The enthusiasm of the group for working through a problem is clear. As the singularity approaches, these are the minds we’ll have on board thinking through its ramifications. I for one am glad they’re thinking of everything.
Check out the photos from the event also.