What is a Singularity?
I’ve decided to split my time on this blog going back and forth between health and physics in the hopes of eventually meeting in the middle.
Buckle up, here we go.
When I speak of a singularity, there are actually 2 types that I most often refer to.
First let’s talk about the technological singularity. This is a point in time, sometime in the future, when humanity will merge with technology or artificial intelligence and our evolution will change permanently.
Artificial intelligence is a self-writing code that, once set free, can write itself ongoing and outpace a human’s ability to understand it or harness it. It has the ability to write its own language that we cannot even understand. It also has the ability to gain a graduate level education in a subject in a matter of hours. In recent years there have been AI bots that have become so racist they have been forced to shut down. In 2016, one such Microsoft bot was forced to be shut down due to White supremacist slurs. We also have seen AI decide to take out a person based on a drone’s visualization in a military zone without any human decision being involved. These are scary times when we consider what we are headed toward, and these are just a few examples.
The flip side of this is that once artificial intelligence merges with the human brain, those who are “connected” will have almost unlimited knowledge at their fingertips, or literally implanted into their brain, at a level we have never seen. Neuralink, the latest company from Elon Musk, whose goal is to place wires into a human brain for patients who suffer neurological diseases like dementia and Parkinson’s recently released video of their wires in monkeys who were recorded being able play a video game with just their brain. They were literally able to operate the computer with no hands. Last August the technology was demonstrated in pigs. So from August 2020 to now, Neuralink has advanced from pigs to monkeys. At this pace, it won’t be long before the technology is used in humans. Neuralink’s videos themselves boast that once implanted in humans a person who has never been to Tokyo would be able to land there and know their way around the city as if they grew up there. All of this will be controlled by a chip placed behind the person’s ear connected to wires in their brain that can be controlled with a cell phone. They are using the basic technology of a cochlear implant at this point to do this.
Keeping technology like this in mind, it is becoming clear that we are on the brink of a human technological singularity. It has been predicted that we would be there by 2040 to 2050 and we are well on our way.
The ethical implication of this in terms of who has access and who does not, or who knows what about whom will forever change our society. If we look at the metadata about each of us that exists online it seems we need to become aware of what we are feeding the cloud about ourselves. We all have an obligation to wake up and become responsible for the evolutionary step we are about to take. Only we as humans have the power as a whole to determine the direction this will go. On the flip side, artificial intelligence will perceive us as so slow if we don’t find ways now to keep up. Either way, we are hurtling towards this existence. This is the inevitable major step in human evolution and we need to come together as humanity so that we can make ethical decisions about what is about to happen. In order to do that we have to heal each other. We have to clean out our brains and reverse the brain fog so that we all can be healthy enough to see what is coming.
The second singularity I refer to is the one at the center of a black hole. This is also known as a spacetime singularity. You can think of this as the spot or sphere in the center of a black hole where all of the mass or matter falls in and no light can escape. Physicists describe a process of spaghettification where all of the mass of an object would be stretched vertically like a noodle by the gravitational field of the black hole as it was sucked in. Black holes exist on a massive scale in outer space and are theorized to exist at the microscopic and Planck scale (super tiny scale).
Event Horizon Telescope, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
At the center of our Milky Way galaxy is a black hole called Sagittarius A. Dr. Andrea Gheaz and Dr. Reinhard Genzle won the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics for their research on our black hole. Dr. Gheaz has studied a star called S02 her entire career to watch its orbit around this black hole to learn everything she can about it. S02 orbits this black hole every 16 years. By comparison, our sun orbits it every 225 million years. The reason I find her research so fascinating is that in recent talks she has given hints at data she may have pointing to evidence for dark energy in her studies of the black hole. This dark energy is the elusive Quintessence (yes, think Star Wars) that seems to make up 68% of the universe we can’t see.
At the center of a massive black hole all of the mass would be compressed into an extremely small density. For example if the Earth’s mass turned into a black hole it would be just 1.75 cm in diameter. When you realize that energy is information in the world of quantum mechanics, that would be a lot of information crammed into a very tiny space.
Now combine this with Sir Roger Penrose’s theory of Cosmic Cyclic Recycling. In his work he suggests that light or gravitational waves would be able to traverse these black hole singularities. He calls this the cross over from energy to mass. More about this to come later this week.
On the flip side- as above, so below if you will, microscopic black holes are one of the things they are looking for at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN where they slam protons together around a 27 km magnetic race track at outer space temperatures trying to see if they can create the opening to a black hole or find the theorized quantum of gravity called the graviton. They are also looking for dark energy and making antimatter there. They are trying to push these protons as close as they can to the speed of light in a vacuum (c) so they can “see” where energy crosses over to mass at the quantum scale. They are currently in the process of building a larger track which should be completed by 2040 to 2050 so that they can get to higher energies to find new particles or forces or prove that the graviton exists or to find dark energy. Interestingly, these two timelines seem parallel.
More to come about black hole singularities later this week.
© 2021 by Courtney Hunt, MD, PC