Regarding the Singularity political letter writing campaign, in relation to the reply from David Willetts MP, I've composed a proposal for a "Singularity Investigatory Committee". I will ask David the following two questions, in response to his letter:
1. I would like the Government (BIS) to create a "Singularity Investigatory Committee" for the purpose of ascertaining the merits or not of the Singularity. The goal of the committee will be to analyze firstly if the Singularity is likely to occur within the next 35 years, and secondly to analyze the positive or negative socioeconomic impact. I'm firmly convinced the impact of the Singularity, and awareness of the pending impact, will have extremely beneficial consequences for Humanity. The majority of scientists believe the Singularity will occur, but the moot point is whether it will occur in 35 years or perhaps 100 years. My suggested investigatory committee should be assembled from scientists, technologists, economists, psychologists, and sociologists. Nick Bostrom (director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University) would be a good starting point regarding the appropriate people to recruit for the committee. Here is the hyperlink for the Future of Humanity Institute: http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/. I also strongly suggest Philip Sadler CBE, Martin Rees (Baron Rees of Ludlow), and Dr Aubrey de Grey (www.sens.org/) should be considered essential members of a prospective Singularity committee. Can the Government please consider creating a "Singularity Investigatory Committee"?
Here's some information about Martin Rees http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~mjr/ and here is some information about Philip Sadler http://www.philipsadler.co.uk/about/ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sustainable-Growth-Post-Scarcity-Philip-Sadler/dp/toc/0566091585
2. David, you state there has been criticism of the Singularity in The Economist. I suggest such criticism is now outdated because the available links (regarding articles in the The Economist) indicate supportive viewpoints. The most notable Economist-hyperlink, regarding a supportive view, relates to the White House’s CIO Vivek Kundra. In an Economist video (http://bcove.me/5rxjkwxr see embed below) Vivek Kundra was asked if he believed in the Singularity; and he replied "absolutely". The following article from The Economist (published 2008), regarding how machines could easily outsmart their makers by year 2030, is also noteworthy: http://www.economist.com/node/12075526. Do you recognize that criticism of the Singularity is not as pronounced as you suggested?
ahh, this video may be 404ed. See also: http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2011/03/artificial_intelligence?page=1