The New Renaissance

The period of European history known as “the renaissance” was a slow revolution of knowledge and culture that supported the development of science, art, literature and other areas of intellectual pursuit. It began in the Tuscany area of Italy around 1300-1400 and it’s influence spread across most of Europe over the next several centuries, leading eventually toward the “Industrial Revolution”.

Some scholars of history have suggested that an emergence from a feudal society that bound a working class into subservience to property owners into an era of merchants and commerce that spawned early forms of capitalism was the primary influence that created the renaissance. Others prefer to concentrate on an influx of knowledge and wealth caused at least in part by Italian ports becoming hubs of prosperity during the migrations of the Crusades.

In considering the possibility of a “singularity” of intelligence and knowledge, it seems likely that such an event would create a new period of culture and history similar to the renaissance. With advances in robotics and artificial intelligence creating historically impossible new levels of individual wealth and freedom, and increasingly connected information networks, the opportunity to explore knowledge and art will soar. Human interests will expand, the capability to synthesize information into applied knowledge will increase, and all of this can be guided by good ethical advice from artificial intelligence.

Just as the renaissance eventually led to the industrial revolution which led to the electronic revolution, the new renaissance of the singularity will lead to a wave of revolutionary changes. An era of advanced development in a variety of fields will spin off many “eddy currents”. One of the earmark characteristics of a singularity event is a cascade of positive feedback acceleration. This will compress events in time and produce more “breakthrough” events in less time than ever before. The old renaissance took place over a period of centuries and created a new baseline of intellect and knowledge. The new renaissance will happen much faster but will also create a new baseline for the future.

SEE ALSO:
Defining the Singularity
A Surplus of Abundance

Comments are closed.