Kurzweil Says Singularity in AI + Chip Advances Coming – No Mention of Cybersecurity

Here is Neil deGrasse Tyson  vs. Ray Kurzweil on “The Singularity”


The conversation starts with John von Neumann (with Ray claiming von Neumann the creator of computer)

The idea is John von Neumann¹ created the first computers (great Mathematician who helped build the atomic bomb with this task of building a computer since the calculations necessary were immense)

The Singularity is sort of an extension of Gordon Moore’s law of processing power doubles and price is halved every 18 months.

He claims that the “wireless cloud” will become an extension of our brain in 2029 due to the ever increasing processing power of our computers (and mobile phones)

How is he claiming so precise a date?

1981 Ray Kurzweil looked at price performance ratio and it is predictable exponential number.

One thing is our intuition is linear (most people think linear) not exponential. Only theoretical mathematicians think exponential (and physicists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson)

In linear numbers 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 — 30 is easily reproduced,

but when you double each point like this 1-2-4-8-16-32-64-128-256 … the 30th point  is at a Billion. specifically 1,073,741,824  (i.e. 2^30)

Our brain has computational ability of  1*10^14 processing power.

And then conversation goes to when we connect our brains directly to the computation and capacity of the cloud, which in essence connects us to many other computational brains.

These are of course major leaps of deduction with not a lot of wriggle room for other concepts.

I found several items interesting in their conversation though (no matter the potential of a singularity in the distant future)

A) we think in linear terms – which means what I have learned elsewhere – as humans are experiential in nature we want to experience it ourselves before believing something.

B) major changes discussion:

Major changes creep up on us, first it is clunky and does not work very well(and lots of people dismiss it) but as the technology improves everyone takes it for granted and the new tech “has been there all along”

(adding the following on 2/25) That is the pro for the “singularity” the con is here Andrew McAfee http://andrewmcafee.org/2012/05/flops-are-not-intelligence-the-type-error-of-the-singularity/

Image also from the website:


Andrew says just counting the  FLOPS (Floating-point Operations Per Second) and conflating it with intelligence does not mean intelligence will improve at that point. Obviously this is a mistake, intelligence is not just in counting how fast a cycle is.

Most important points(from Andrew’s site):


{The AI professionals were pretty adamant that faster machines were not automatically smarter machines, and that all the work they were doing to accomplish amazing feats like speech recognition, automatic translation, robot mobility and manipulation, driverless driving, and so on was not causing computers to become any more human.}



What I found most interesting is these thought leaders in their fields do not take into account the criminal element, or at least the mischievous IT element.

On Sunday in Spain, Barcelona hosted the mobile world conference.

So I want to pivot to smartphones and Samsung analysis² to bring some real life facts into the discussion.


Android’s law – the lag time between an Android update and the launch of of phones based on is getting shorter.


The two graphs are IBIS world predictions for number of mobile Internet connections and percentage of services conducted online within US from 2005 – 2019.

We have jumped from near zero in 2005 to close to ~250 mil in 2015 and going to 300 mil by 2019 and that is just in the US.  (315 mil is total population so 300mil is likely as near to 100% as we get, since there will always be some people without smartphones.


Cloud computing will increasingly be a convenience and will improve user’s lives more and more. Gartner is predicting the smartphones with personal cloud computing will “outsmart the users by 2017”.

Taking more and more control of our lives may be coming with the apps becoming more intertwined (such as fitness apps), health apps, and more.

The cloud and data stored on the cloud will provide them with the computational ability to make sense of the information has four phases:

  1. Sync Me
  2. See Me
  3. Know Me
  4. Be Me

Notice in this analysis report on Samsung : It is expected over the next five years, cognizant computing will become one of the strongest market forces affecting the entire ecosystems and value chain across IT.

Fitness will lead the way with food control a good second.

The less expensive smartphones will permeate the rest of the market, as the high end market has plateaued.

New users are declining as out of 315 million people in US 159.8 million owned a smartphone by end of January 2014.  the remaining people without a smartphone are older (65+) or have less income (less than $50k)

Let’s get back to today (or to be precise Sunday’s mobileworld conference in Barcelona.

Samsung’s first press conference using VR livecast at livestream.com³

Samsung revealed the new S7 that will be release to some retailers on March 11th

Last month the SDK(software Development Kit) ws opened on the Edge7 – (“not open source” but others can program to it)

The average person looks at their phone 150 times per day.

“Download a bunch of great 3rd party apps to customize your phone”

the S7 can be 30 minute submerged under water

has MicroSD slot integrated.

30% larger pixels captured than iPhone6S

Samsung claims multiple camera advancements -(dual pixel – panorama)


The reason I wanted to spend a little bit of time with these Samsung improvements is the year over year changes(and they revealed them recently):

Processor improvements 30.4 % higher on S7 to the S6.


GPU improvements 63.9% improvement from the S6



How about software additions?  car connected Apps



Third party connections

As well as SamsungKnox the security portion which is an enterprise app :



You can see that a 30% increase of processing power year over year will double the power in 2.4 years which is pretty good (not counting the gpu increases and camera improvements) you could make a case for every 2 years or even Moore’s law of 18 months is still in effect if you count all improvements – camera, processor, gpu.


I am glad to see that security was discussed in Samsung’s presentation at the mobile conference (with a product offering of SamsungKnox even if it was not a focus).


When the inexorable  advance of technology is moving forward it is easy to get enamored with this phenomenon. The singularity may come sooner than 2029 or later, but we will move to the cloud more and more  including apps and parts of our lives.

I think it behooves us to get the security portion of our lives correct while we are building this new cloud utopia.

Now let’s pivot to general cybersecurity software issues, here is an article from Rand Blog – which was also  hosted at Huffington Post(4). Lillian Ablon and Sherry Ryan wrote that if software vulnerabilities were reduced by half cybersecurity costs would decrease by 25% for companies.


{ Despite the best efforts of security professionals within organizations and the broader security community to advocate for creating more secure software and regularly patching vulnerabilities, their voices may not be enough. More needs to be done to drive systematic change in how software is developed and vulnerabilities are addressed.  }


Then they write a “simple iPhone app” has a few thousand lines of code, whereas an Operating System has 40-50 million lines of code.

Unfortunately there is a gap between knowing how to code and coding securely.

So it looks like there will be many more “Patch Tuesday’s” the day where Microsoft and many other software companies roll up their software patches to send to everyone at once. (instead of bringing out patches 1 per day).

And so even with a “SINGULARITY” there will be people who will not patch and will not connect to the cloud with the latest apps. So those people will be susceptible to attacks from criminals.

We will have the techno haves with the techno have nots. The have nots are not up to speed with Cybersecurity methods.

The problem will be we will have insecure software, so we will have Zero-day attacks. http://oversitesentry.com/zero-day-attacks-and-why-patching-means-catching-up/  and thus cyberattackers will always be there since the 100% secure app is not possible.

Security is to be mitigated not solved –

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  1. http://www.atomicarchive.com/Bios/vonNeumann.shtml  Small biography of John von Neumann (1903 – 1957)
  2. http://www.slideshare.net/TayPick/smartphone-industry-samsung-market-analysis
  3. http://livestream.com/accounts/687825/samsungunpacked2016
  4. http://www.rand.org/blog/2016/02/how-you-can-be-cybersecuritys-strongest-asset.html

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