Will computers crowd humans out of existence at the point of singularity? Are efforts to make and use them in smarter ways inappropriate, futile or dangerous?

Maybe — probably (not) — we don't know.

  • Maybe human existence and its intelligence is ruled by universal, and currently indiscernible, laws that absolutely prohibit reaching singularity — similar to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle identifying the fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle can be known.
  • Maybe we'll vanish leaving nothing else than our obituary as enabling crusaders towards singularity.
  • Maybe computers will honour us eternally for having brought them up, hosting us in retirement homes (or planets) just like we do for our esteemed elders.
  • Maybe nature's axis of evolution is on a higher dimension out of reach of our native perception (but not of our mathematical perception capabilities) and organic life is a prestage of a mechanic-digital species — making the homo sapiens sapiens act as the parent generation giving birth to an evolution step in a fifth rather than the familiar fourth (time) dimension. And just as a parent generation vanishes over time ceding its 3-dimensional existence space to its children along the fourth dimension, humans could be meant to cede their 4-dimensional existence space to their "children" along a fifth dimension.
  • Or we coexist, based on the possibility that the human type of existence cannot be reduced to chemicals in organic matter, but bears a Godly breath unattainable by wires and silicon — and computers valuing us for that reason, as we value them for their speed and storage space regarding pattern recognition and integration and of course resolving logics.

When confronted with the question about the purpose of the human existence, I base everything on a pragmatic dogma that the creator enjoys "art for art's sake", i.e. anything that reduces entropy. Mankind's characteristic curiosity and quest for innovation is a concrete manifest of this dogma.

In the course of this strive, the human brain has learnt to surmount its limitations by developing tools, which, in case of computers, increase the processing and storage power at its service.

So, in view of the fact that our best option is probably to aspire coexistence with superintelligence, the concepts promoted here are merely development steps towards some yet unknown "optimal" model of that coexistence.

A human brain's BIOS (basic input/output system) is currently confined to our senses — with maybe looming or promising advances in brain-computer interfaces (BCI, see Nick Bostrom's thoughts on this below).

The interesting part in this is not so much the question whether we can consciously operate machines using our thoughts, but whether we could "use" e.g. Wikipedia unconsciously. That is, connect our brain to Wikipedia and use its knowledge by means of ontological linked open data (LOD) that integrates with our unconscious mind. Such functionality could for example enable anyone to honor, heed and practice fine-grained Swiss societal customs and habits in a convincing manner without having ever learnt, considered or practiced any aspect about those Swiss customs in a conscious way previously.

That's why I consider dataspects' principal intent — making optimal use of computers to minimize mental overhead when learning and working — not only worthwhile but imperative.

From Nick Bostrom "Superintelligence", pages 54-60