Track in:

7th European conf. on COMPUTING AND PHILOSOPHY—ECAP 2009 <>

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, July 2-4, 2009


Historical analysis of broad range of paradigm shifts in science, biology, history, and technology—in particular in computing technology—suggests an accelerating rate of progress. This observation has led the attempted unification of the predictive power of biological evolution, cultural evolution, and technological evolution under the Law of Accelerating Returns. As a consequence, John von Neumann described forecasted the arrival of an “essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs as we know them could not continue”. This notion of Singularity coincides in time and nature with Alan Turing (1950) and Stephen Hawking’s (1998) expectation of machines to exhibit intelligence on a par with to the average human by 2050. John Irving Good (1965) and Vernor Vinge (1993) expect it to take the form of an ‘intelligence explosion’: the process by which ultraintelligent machines design ever more intelligent machines. Transhumanists suggest a parallel process of explosive progress in human intelligence and physique. Unfortunately, the very term ‘Singularity’ also suggests the presence of an ‘event horizon’, an epistemological barrier on our ability to understand the events that may follow it.

Abstracts examining the following issues from a philosophical, computational, mathematical, and scientific points of view are invited:

1. Empirical assessments of the Law of Accelerating Returns

2. Estimating the reliability of a technological forecasts

3. Historical analysis of the Law of Accelerating Returns

4. The impact of acceleration on science and society by 2050

5. Hazards of technological acceleration and preventative measures

6. The nature of the Technological Singularity

7. The nature of an intelligence explosion

8. Beyond the ‘event horizon’ of the Technological Singularity

Important dates:

• Submission deadline: 23 Feb. 2009

• Notification: 16 Mar. 2009

• ECAP Conference: 2-4 Jul. 2009

Submission guidelines:

Papers submitted to the TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY AND ACCELERATION STUDIES track in ECAP 2009 will also be considered for publication in a special issue of Technological Forecasting and Social Change (Elsevier).

Track chair: Amnon H. Eden

School of Computer Science & Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, UK and Center For Inquiry, Amherst NY