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Singularity or Bust: A Film by Raj Dye

Singularity or Bust: In 2009, film-maker and former AI programmer Raj Dye spent his summer following futurist AI researchers Ben Goertzel and Hugo DeGaris around Hong Kong and Xiamen, documenting their doings and gathering their perspectives. The result, after some work by crack film editor Alex MacKenzie, was the 45 minute documentary Singularity or Bust — a uniquely edgy, experimental Singularitarian road movie, featuring perhaps the most philosophical three-foot-tall humanoid robot ever, a glance at the fast-growing Chinese research scene in the late aughts, and even a bit of a real-life love story. The film was screened in theaters around the world, and won the Best Documentary award at the 2013 LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood and the LA Lift Off Festival.


My favorite quote from Singularity or Bust is from Ben Goertzel:

“When I started my career as a scientist I was interested in a bunch of big problems: how to make space craft to travel to other stars; how to make time-machines to go back in time; theoretical physics and simulating immune systems; artificial life; how to make people live forever; and how to make thinking machines… So I figured I can solve all these at one time. But it proved significantly more difficult than anticipated. So in my late twenties I focused 80% of my time on one thing – on trying to make thinking machines…”


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  • thefermiparadox

    I have had this documentary film on my IMBD watchlist for a couple of years now. I swear I searched the internets for it in the past. Does anyone know if the full film has always been online and free since 2010?

  • As far as I know it became available on line a day or two before I posted it here.

  • thefermiparadox

    Just read Ben’s article on H+. He has been waiting as well. The director waited until now to release online.

  • thefermiparadox

    Just read that while on the googles. thank you.

  • AgeisticFool

    A little dark for me. Interesting thought about Cosmists and Terrists….unless we can find a way to efficiently recycle all of Earth’s resources, we will have to go to the stars eventually anyway. We all should be cosmists…at least with our current state of technology. I think we will be injecting ourselves with intelligent nanobots that interact with our consciousness and enhance out intelligence before we have a physical humanoid robot. Ben Goertzel is a powerhouse in the AI field and is always interesting. Let’s hope Americans wake up and realize it is vital to invest robustly in AI.

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