"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings." -- Albert Einstein
There are two notable takeaways for me in reviewing this video by Steve Paulson. The first is the extent to which notable thinkers have used the term 'Spinoza's God'. The second is the alternative evolution.
I rather like the idea as expressed by one of the interviewees, that humanity is inevitable. I believe that the term that he used was evolutionary convergence. It gives me something to consider that both supports and refutes aspects of Vinge's & Kurzweil's Singularity.
On the one hand, Iain Banks has already determined a very plausible evolution between human and thinking machinery. What we will continue to do is to enjoy what it is our bodies will want to do. That is to say that no matter what consciousness emerges from AIs, human beings will still be trapped in human bodies and most of what we do with our brains will have to do with the combined experience of our sensations and compute ability. Consciousness beyond the context of the human body is something that may give us a sense of contentment, and it may deliver for us the sort of focus needed so that we might compute something useful in our minds. But those things will always serve to deliver us human contentment which will always be in the same shape, as we are shaped by the physical bodies in which our brains are embedded. Along those lines, one of the more fascinating predictions of Culture are the additional glands that can be bio-engineered and put under control of the mind. If you could excrete into your own body at will substances that could alter your moods and emotions with precision, why would you waste any time calculating sums, or solving logic puzzles?
Humanity being inevitable, there is something inherently valuable in conscious intelligence. We may still yet be on the road to our own evolutionary destiny but it won't necessarily be the Singularity. Is the fact that we all wear clothing some sort of singularity between ourselves and cotton? Or are we in a singularity with our own microbes? The alternative evolution in all of the interviews was very earth focused, but it is the mind-body conscious intelligence that makes the difference - that is the profundity. But to play a hand in that evolution, as we build AIs like we build houses and other domains and augmentations puts us in control. It will not be until we are capable of transcending our senses that we evolve.
The highlight was the notion that humanity is the epitome because we incorporate that which is advanced in every other species. Respiration is an evolutionary component. The 'miracle' of design is in these components. Vision is an evolutionary component. Hearing, touch, digestion, echolocation. All of these remarkable biological subsystems are what evolution is about. Having redundancies in combination with a broad selection of these subsystems are what makes us dominant. We are accelerating evolution just by eating. We have more of the subsystems, more of the failsafes, that's why we win.