Sci-Fi Writer Vernor Vinge, Who Originally Wrote The AI ​​Singularity, Dies at 79

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On Wednesday, author David Brin announced this Vernor Wingsci-fi writer, former professor, and father of one technology Mind, died of Parkinson’s disease at the age of 79 on March 20, 2024, in La Jolla, California. The announcement came in a Facebook tax where Brin wrote about Vinge’s deep love of science and writing.

Brin wrote: “A well-known literary figure who explores the possibilities, Vernor captivated millions with stories of the future, which made them more palpable through his mastery of language, drama, biblical characters, and more. , and how science affects science,” wrote Brin. in his post.

As a sci-fi author, Vinge has won Hugo Awards for his books Fire in the Deep (1993), Deep in the Sky (2000), and After the rainbow ends (2007). He also won Hugos for writing Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002) and The Cookie Monster (2004). Like Mike Glyer File 770 blog notes, Vinge book True Names (1981) and mentioned frequently as the first indication of a serious look at the concept of “cyberspace.”

Vinge first coined the word “unity” in relation to technology in 1983, from the idea of unity in space time in physics. When discussing the nature of intellectuals more than ours 1983 entered OMNI magazineVinge wrote, “When this happens, human history will have reached a single, intellectual revolution as unfathomable as a space-time with points at the center of a black hole, and the world will pass beyond our comprehension.”

In 1993 he added to the concept in the story head The Coming of Technological Integration: How to Survive in a Posthuman Age.

The concept of unity suggests that AI will soon become more intelligent, surpassing humans in capabilities and ushering in a human-dominated era. Even the idea of ​​technology is sometimes encouraging frustration and fear, Vinge remained optimistic about the future of human engineering, as Brin put it in his words: “Beguiled by the other great sin—of ‘optimism’—Vernor gave us the incomparable myth that often characterizes humanity’s success in solving problems… we… I’m posting new stuff! New challenges that may lie ahead of us myopic. He often asked himself: ‘What if we win? Do you think that will be the end of it?’”

The concept of Vinge had a great influence on the future scientist Ray Kurzweil, who wrote about unity several times in books such as Unity Is Near in 2005. In a 2005 interview with the website of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, Kurzweil. he said“Vernor Vinge has had real information about the unity very early. There were others, like John von Neumann, who talked about one event that happened, because he had the idea of ​​technological progress and stability half a century ago. But it was a general comment, and Vinge made some great points.”

Kurzweil’s work, in turn, has been useful for workers at AI companies such as OpenAI, which is hard work bringing superintelligent AI into reality. At the moment there is a great debate whether the process of adding large languages ​​and more computers will lead to higher intelligence in the long run, but the influence of sci-fi. large knitting on AI researchers of this generation.

British magazine New Worlds published the first issue of Vinge, The differencein 1965. He studied computer science and received his PhD in 1971. Vinge was also a student. retired professor in computer science from San Diego State University, where he taught at the center 1972 and 2000.

Near the end of his life, Brin reports, Vinge spent years being cared for for progressive Parkinson’s disease “in a beautiful setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla.” According to Vinge’s associate professor at San Diego State, John Carroll, “his decline increased from November, but [he] it was really good.”

This article appeared first Ars Technica.

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