A Singularity of Morality

A singularity of intelligence and technology is what the term “the singularity” usually references, and the original primary use of the term described gravitational collapse into a black hole. In a general sense, singularities of all types are characterized by rapid growth in some factor that dramatically changes the entire landscape being described. The gravity in a black hole is strong enough to bend light, trapping it and preventing us from seeing what is happening inside the hole. An intelligence singularity proposes intelligence advanced so far beyond our comprehension, we cannot adequately describe it.

Rapid growth in intelligence creates advanced prediction ability and therefore advanced ethical analysis ability. Moral codes are rules based on compilations of ethical analysis and will also advance as intelligence and ethics advance, although more slowly. An increase in ethics and morality is a fundamental part of an intelligence singularity.

Ethical analysis is the process of predicting future outcomes based on choices and selecting a choice to maximize conditions of the outcome. Both increased intelligence and increased ability to collect and process information will increase predictive ability and therefore ethical analysis. Ethical analysis seems to be a “self-fueling” or “snowballing” process in that as we become more aware of how both things and events are connected, we also become aware of how acute the need is for good ethics.

It’s easy to assume that any expansion in intelligence will also expand ethics, but it’s also possible for an expansion in ethics to “lead” an expansion of intelligence. In this case, we could describe the effect as a singularity of morality. A rapid expansion of ethical analysis should be prioritized over intelligence and technology because it is the “steering wheel” that determines how technology will be used. Using advanced technology without advanced wisdom is dangerous.

Using ethical analysis to determine how to focus our efforts at advancing intelligence and technology not only makes sense, it’s an ethical necessity. The converse of advancing intelligence first, then using ethical analysis to determine if we did it correctly is unwise. As ethics steers our intelligence and technology, first priority should be assigned to efforts that feedback into better ethical analysis. A positive feedback loop in this area will provide not just sharper, more correct analysis, but also deeper scope and greater understanding of linkage among events.

When we assess the state of ethics and morality in other beings, we are likely to consider sophistication of communications, level of symbolic language and processing, the scope of the ethics and the level of adherence to moral standards. We would therefore define an advanced level of ethics as one that uses speed and accuracy to collect and understand a foundation of facts that can be used to correctly predict event linkage and consequences across a wide range of considerations and make good choices based on this knowledge. Moral integrity can be defined as always seeking and usually finding a choice solution that does not violate any moral standards in the process of finding an optimal outcome. In simple language, this means making greater effort to avoid moral conflicts by continuing problem solving efforts until a solution is found that has no conflicts.

A moral singularity would create a state of existence where all of these things are amplified and those using the advanced ethical analysis would seem to always find a way to do the right thing and optimize harmony. There would be a significantly lower level of conflict and discord. A highly functional communication protocol and advanced understanding of symbolic language and semantic disturbances would decrease misunderstanding and increase clarity. Cooperation, teamwork and a sense of professional ease would replace narrowly focused competition, amateurish confusion, and high error rates. This would create organizations that function smoothly, operate toward ethically set objectives, and expect high success rates as normal. When such organizations then turn their focus toward advancing intelligence and technology, the results will be astounding.

SEE ALSO:
Ethics and the Singularity
Artificial Ethics
Ethics is the Best Measure of Civilization
Penetrating the Singularity Horizon Veil
Ethics and Pschohistory

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