The Coming Technological Singularity: 
                      How to Survive in the Post-Human Era
                                Vernor Vinge
                      Department of Mathematical Sciences
                         San Diego State University

                           (c) 1993 by Vernor Vinge
               (Verbatim copying/translation and distribution of this
              entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this
                            notice is preserved.)    
                    This article was for the VISION-21 Symposium
                       sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center 
                and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 30-31, 1993.
               It is also retrievable from the NASA technical reports
                         server as part of NASA CP-10129.
                    A slightly changed version appeared in the
                    Winter 1993 issue of _Whole Earth Review_.

                   Within thirty years, we will have the technological
              means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after,
              the human era will be ended.

                   Is such progress avoidable? If not to be avoided, can
              events be guided so that we may survive?  These questions
              are investigated. Some possible answers (and some further
              dangers) are presented.

         _What is The Singularity?_

              The acceleration of technological progress has been the central
         feature of this century. I argue in this paper that we are on the edge
         of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. The precise
         cause of this change is the imminent creation by technology of
         entities with greater than human intelligence. There are several means
         by which science may achieve this breakthrough (and this is another
         reason for having confidence that the event will occur):
            o The development of computers that are "awake" and
              superhumanly intelligent. (To date, most controversy in the
              area of AI relates to whether we can create human equivalence
              in a machine. But if the answer is "yes, we can", then there
              is little doubt that beings more intelligent can be constructed
              shortly thereafter.
            o Large computer networks (and their associated users) may "wake
              up" as a superhumanly intelligent entity.
            o Computer/human interfaces may become so intimate that users
              may reasonably be considered superhumanly intelligent.
            o Biological science may find ways to improve upon the natural
              human intellect.

              The first three possibilities depend in large part on 
         improvements in computer hardware. Progress in computer hardware has
         followed an amazingly steady curve in the last few decades [16]. Based
         largely on this trend, I believe that the creation of greater than
         human intelligence will occur during the next thirty years.  (Charles
         Platt [19] has pointed out the AI enthusiasts have been making claims
         like this for the last thirty years. Just so I'm not guilty of a
         relative-time ambiguity, let me more specific: I'll be surprised if
         this event occurs before 2005 or after 2030.)

              What are the consequences of this event? When greater-than-human
         intelligence drives progress, that progress will be much more rapid.
         In fact, there seems no reason why progress itself would not involve
         the creation of still more intelligent entities -- on a still-shorter
         time scale. The best analogy that I see is with the evolutionary past:
         Animals can adapt to problems and make inventions, but often no faster
         than natural selection can do its work -- the world acts as its own
         simulator in the case of natural selection. We humans have the ability
         to internalize the world and conduct "what if's" in our heads; we can
         solve many problems thousands of times faster than natural selection.
         Now, by creating the means to execute those simulations at much higher
         speeds, we are entering a regime as radically different from our human
         past as we humans are from the lower animals.

              From the human point of view this change will be a throwing away
         of all the previous rules, perhaps in the blink of an eye, an
         exponential runaway beyond any hope of control. Developments that
         before were thought might only happen in "a million years" (if ever)
         will likely happen in the next century. (In [4], Greg Bear paints a
         picture of the major changes happening in a matter of hours.)

              I think it's fair to call this event a singularity ("the
         Singularity" for the purposes of this paper). It is a point where our
         models must be discarded and a new reality rules. As we move closer
         and closer to this point, it will loom vaster and vaster over human
         affairs till the notion becomes a commonplace. Yet when it finally
         happens it may still be a great surprise and a greater unknown.  In
         the 1950s there were very few who saw it: Stan Ulam [27] paraphrased
         John von Neumann as saying:

              One conversation centered on the ever accelerating progress of
              technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the
              appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the
              history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them,
              could not continue.

              Von Neumann even uses the term singularity, though it appears he
         is still thinking of normal progress, not the creation of superhuman
         intellect. (For me, the superhumanity is the essence of the
         Singularity. Without that we would get a glut of technical riches,
         never properly absorbed (see [24]).)

              In the 1960s there was recognition of some of the implications of
         superhuman intelligence. I. J. Good wrote [10]:

              Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine
              that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any
              any man however clever.  Since the design of machines is one of
              these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could
              design even better machines; there would then unquestionably
              be an "intelligence explosion," and the intelligence of man
              would be left far behind.  Thus the first ultraintelligent
              machine is the _last_ invention that man need ever make, 
              provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to
              keep it under control.
              It is more probable than not that, within the twentieth century,
              an ultraintelligent machine will be built and that it will be
              the last invention that man need make.

              Good has captured the essence of the runaway, but does not pursue
         its most disturbing consequences. Any intelligent machine of the sort
         he describes would not be humankind's "tool" -- any more than humans
         are the tools of rabbits or robins or chimpanzees. 

              Through the '60s and '70s and '80s, recognition of the cataclysm
         spread [28] [1] [30] [4]. Perhaps it was the science-fiction writers
         who felt the first concrete impact.  After all, the "hard"
         science-fiction writers are the ones who try to write specific stories
         about all that technology may do for us.  More and more, these writers
         felt an opaque wall across the future. Once, they could put such
         fantasies millions of years in the future [23].  Now they saw that
         their most diligent extrapolations resulted in the unknowable ...
         soon. Once, galactic empires might have seemed a Post-Human domain.
         Now, sadly, even interplanetary ones are.

              What about the '90s and the '00s and the '10s, as we slide toward
         the edge? How will the approach of the Singularity spread across the
         human world view? For a while yet, the general critics of machine
         sapience will have good press. After all, till we have hardware as
         powerful as a human brain it is probably foolish to think we'll be
         able to create human equivalent (or greater) intelligence. (There is
         the far-fetched possibility that we could make a human equivalent out
         of less powerful hardware, if were willing to give up speed, if we
         were willing to settle for an artificial being who was literally slow
         [29]. But it's much more likely that devising the software will be a
         tricky process, involving lots of false starts and experimentation. If
         so, then the arrival of self-aware machines will not happen till after
         the development of hardware that is substantially more powerful than
         humans' natural equipment.)

              But as time passes, we should see more symptoms. The dilemma felt
         by science fiction writers will be perceived in other creative
         endeavors.  (I have heard thoughtful comic book writers worry about
         how to have spectacular effects when everything visible can be
         produced by the technically commonplace.) We will see automation
         replacing higher and higher level jobs. We have tools right now
         (symbolic math programs, cad/cam) that release us from most low-level
         drudgery. Or put another way: The work that is truly productive is the
         domain of a steadily smaller and more elite fraction of humanity. In
         the coming of the Singularity, we are seeing the predictions of _true_
         technological unemployment finally come true.

              Another symptom of progress toward the Singularity: ideas
         themselves should spread ever faster, and even the most radical will
         quickly become commonplace.  When I began writing, it seemed very easy
         to come up with ideas that took decades to percolate into the cultural
         consciousness; now the lead time seems more like eighteen months. (Of
         course, this could just be me losing my imagination as I get old, but
         I see the effect in others too.) Like the shock in a compressible
         flow, the Singularity moves closer as we accelerate through the
         critical speed.

              And what of the arrival of the Singularity itself? What can be 
         said of its actual appearance? Since it involves an intellectual
         runaway, it will probably occur faster than any technical revolution
         seen so far.  The precipitating event will likely be unexpected --
         perhaps even to the researchers involved. ("But all our previous
         models were catatonic! We were just tweaking some parameters....") If
         networking is widespread enough (into ubiquitous embedded systems), it
         may seem as if our artifacts as a whole had suddenly wakened.

              And what happens a month or two (or a day or two) after that? I 
         have only analogies to point to: The rise of humankind. We will be in
         the Post-Human era. And for all my rampant technological optimism,
         sometimes I think I'd be more comfortable if I were regarding these
         transcendental events from one thousand years remove ... instead of
         _Can the Singularity be Avoided?_

              Well, maybe it won't happen at all: Sometimes I try to imagine
         the symptoms that we should expect to see if the Singularity is not to
         develop.  There are the widely respected arguments of Penrose [18] and
         Searle [21] against the practicality of machine sapience.  In August
         of 1992, Thinking Machines Corporation held a workshop to investigate
         the question "How We Will Build a Machine that Thinks" [Thearling]. As
         you might guess from the workshop's title, the participants were not
         especially supportive of the arguments against machine intelligence.
         In fact, there was general agreement that minds can exist on
         nonbiological substrates and that algorithms are of central importance
         to the existence of minds.  However, there was much debate about the
         raw hardware power that is present in organic brains. A minority felt
         that the largest 1992 computers were within three orders of magnitude
         of the power of the human brain.  The majority of the participants
         agreed with Moravec's estimate [16] that we are ten to forty years
         away from hardware parity. And yet there was another minority who
         pointed to [6] [20], and conjectured that the computational competence
         of single neurons may be far higher than generally believed. If so,
         our present computer hardware might be as much as _ten_ orders of
         magnitude short of the equipment we carry around in our heads. If this
         is true (or for that matter, if the Penrose or Searle critique is
         valid), we might never see a Singularity. Instead, in the early '00s
         we would find our hardware performance curves begin to level off --
         this caused by our inability to automate the complexity of the design
         work necessary to support the hardware trend curves. We'd end up with
         some _very_ powerful hardware, but without the ability to push it
         further.  Commercial digital signal processing might be awesome,
         giving an analog appearance even to digital operations, but nothing
         would ever "wake up" and there would never be the intellectual runaway
         which is the essence of the Singularity. It would likely be seen as a
         golden age ... and it would also be an end of progress. This is very
         like the future predicted by Gunther Stent.  In fact, on page 137 of
         [24], Stent explicitly cites the development of transhuman
         intelligence as a sufficient condition to break his projections.

              But if the technological Singularity can happen, it will. Even 
         if all the governments of the world were to understand the "threat"
         and be in deadly fear of it, progress toward the goal would continue.
         In fiction, there have been stories of laws passed forbidding the
         construction of "a machine in the form of the mind of man" [12].  In
         fact, the competitive advantage -- economic, military, even artistic
         -- of every advance in automation is so compelling that passing laws,
         or having customs, that forbid such things merely assures that someone
         else will get them first.

              Eric Drexler [7] has provided spectacular insight about how far
         technical improvement may go. He agrees that superhuman intelligences
         will be available in the near future -- and that such entities pose a
         threat to the human status quo. But Drexler argues that we can embed
         such transhuman devices in rules or physical confinement such that
         their results can be examined and used safely.  This is I. J. Good's
         ultraintelligent machine, with a dose of caution. I argue that
         confinement is intrinsically impractical. For the case of physical
         confinement: Imagine yourself confined to your house with only limited
         data access to the outside, to your masters. If those masters thought
         at a rate -- say -- one million times slower than you, there is little
         doubt that over a period of years (your time) you could come up with
         "helpful advice" that would incidentally set you free. (I call this
         "fast thinking" form of superintelligence "weak superhumanity". Such a
         "weakly superhuman" entity would probably burn out in a few weeks of
         outside time. "Strong superhumanity" would be more than cranking up
         the clock speed on a human-equivalent mind.  It's hard to say
         precisely what "strong superhumanity" would be like, but the
         difference appears to be profound. Imagine running a dog mind at very
         high speed. Would a thousand years of doggy living add up to any human
         insight? (Now if the dog mind were cleverly rewired and _then_ run at
         high speed, we might see something different....) Most speculations
         about superintelligence seem to be based on the weakly superhuman
         model. I believe that our best guesses about the post-Singularity
         world can be obtained by thinking on the nature of strong
         superhumanity. I will return to this point later in the paper.)

              The other approach to Drexlerian confinement is to build _rules_
         into the mind of the created superhuman entity (Asimov's Laws). I
         think that performance rules strict enough to be safe would also
         produce a device whose ability was clearly inferior to the unfettered
         versions (and so human competition would favor the development of the
         those more dangerous models).  Still, the Asimov dream is a wonderful
         one: Imagine a willing slave, who has 1000 times your capabilities in
         every way. Imagine a creature who could satisfy your every safe wish
         (whatever that means) and still have 99.9% of its time free for other
         activities. There would be a new universe we never really understood,
         but filled with benevolent gods (though one of _my_ wishes might be to
         become one of them).

              If the Singularity can not be prevented or confined, just how bad
         could the Post-Human era be? Well ... pretty bad. The physical
         extinction of the human race is one possibility. (Or as Eric Drexler
         put it of nanotechnology: Given all that such technology can do,
         perhaps governments would simply decide that they no longer need
         citizens!). Yet physical extinction may not be the scariest
         possibility.  Again, analogies: Think of the different ways we relate
         to animals. Some of the crude physical abuses are implausible, yet....
         In a Post-Human world there would still be plenty of niches where
         human equivalent automation would be desirable: embedded systems in
         autonomous devices, self-aware daemons in the lower functioning of
         larger sentients. (A strongly superhuman intelligence would likely be
         a Society of Mind [15] with some very competent components.) Some
         of these human equivalents might be used for nothing more than digital
         signal processing. They would be more like whales than humans. Others
         might be very human-like, yet with a one-sidedness, a _dedication_
         that would put them in a mental hospital in our era.  Though none of
         these creatures might be flesh-and-blood humans, they might be the
         closest things in the new enviroment to what we call human now. (I. J.
         Good had something to say about this, though at this late date the
         advice may be moot: Good [11] proposed a "Meta-Golden Rule",
         which might be paraphrased as "Treat your inferiors as you would be
         treated by your superiors."  It's a wonderful, paradoxical idea (and
         most of my friends don't believe it) since the game-theoretic payoff
         is so hard to articulate. Yet if we were able to follow it, in some
         sense that might say something about the plausibility of such kindness
         in this universe.)

              I have argued above that we cannot prevent the Singularity,
         that its coming is an inevitable consequence of the humans' natural
         competitiveness and the possibilities inherent in technology.  And yet
         ... we are the initiators. Even the largest avalanche is triggered by
         small things. We have the freedom to establish initial conditions,
         make things happen in ways that are less inimical than others. Of
         course (as with starting avalanches), it may not be clear what the
         right guiding nudge really is:

         _Other Paths to the Singularity: Intelligence Amplification_

              When people speak of creating superhumanly intelligent beings, 
         they are usually imagining an AI project. But as I noted at the
         beginning of this paper, there are other paths to superhumanity.
         Computer networks and human-computer interfaces seem more mundane than
         AI, and yet they could lead to the Singularity. I call this
         contrasting approach Intelligence Amplification (IA). IA is something
         that is proceeding very naturally, in most cases not even recognized
         by its developers for what it is. But every time our ability to access
         information and to communicate it to others is improved, in some sense
         we have achieved an increase over natural intelligence. Even now, the
         team of a PhD human and good computer workstation (even an off-net
         workstation!) could probably max any written intelligence test in

              And it's very likely that IA is a much easier road to the 
         achievement of superhumanity than pure AI. In humans, the hardest
         development problems have already been solved. Building up from within
         ourselves ought to be easier than figuring out first what we really
         are and then building machines that are all of that. And there is at
         least conjectural precedent for this approach.  Cairns-Smith [5] has
         speculated that biological life may have begun as an adjunct to still
         more primitive life based on crystalline growth.  Lynn Margulis [14]
         has made strong arguments for the view that mutualism is the great
         driving force in evolution.

              Note that I am not proposing that AI research be ignored or less
         funded. What goes on with AI will often have applications in IA, and
         vice versa.  I am suggesting that we recognize that in network and
         interface research there is something as profound (and potential wild)
         as Artificial Intelligence. With that insight, we may see projects
         that are not as directly applicable as conventional interface and
         network design work, but which serve to advance us toward the
         Singularity along the IA path.

              Here are some possible projects that take on special 
         significance, given the IA point of view:
            o Human/computer team automation: Take problems that are normally
              considered for purely machine solution (like hill-climbing
              problems), and design programs and interfaces that take a
              advantage of humans' intuition and available computer hardware.
              Considering all the bizarreness of higher dimensional
              hill-climbing problems (and the neat algorithms that have been
              devised for their solution), there could be some very interesting
              displays and control tools provided to the human team member.
            o Develop human/computer symbiosis in art: Combine the graphic
              generation capability of modern machines and the esthetic
              sensibility of humans. Of course, there has been an enormous
              amount of research in designing computer aids for artists, as
              labor saving tools.  I'm suggesting that we explicitly aim for a
              greater merging of competence, that we explicitly recognize the
              cooperative approach that is possible. Karl Sims [22] has done
              wonderful work in this direction.
            o Allow human/computer teams at chess tournaments. We already
              have programs that can play better than almost all humans. But
              how much work has been done on how this power could be used by a
              human, to get something even better? If such teams were allowed
              in at least some chess tournaments, it could have the positive
              effect on IA research that allowing computers in tournaments had
              for the corresponding niche in AI.
            o Develop interfaces that allow computer and network access without
              requiring the human to be tied to one spot, sitting in front of a
              computer. (This is an aspect of IA that fits so well with known
              economic advantages that lots of effort is already being spent on
            o Develop more symmetrical decision support systems. A popular
              research/product area in recent years has been decision support
              systems. This is a form of IA, but may be too focussed on
              systems that are oracular. As much as the program giving the user
              information, there must be the idea of the user giving the
              program guidance.
            o Use local area nets to make human teams that really work (ie,
              are more effective than their component members). This is
              generally the area of "groupware", already a very popular
              commercial pursuit. The change in viewpoint here would be to
              regard the group activity as a combination organism. In one
              sense, this suggestion might be regarded as the goal of inventing
              a "Rules of Order" for such combination operations. For instance,
              group focus might be more easily maintained than in classical
              meetings. Expertise of individual human members could be isolated
              from ego issues such that the contribution of different members
              is focussed on the team project. And of course shared data bases
              could be used much more conveniently than in conventional
              committee operations. (Note that this suggestion is aimed at team
              operations rather than political meetings. In a political
              setting, the automation described above would simply enforce the
              power of the persons making the rules!)
            o Exploit the worldwide Internet as a combination human/machine
              tool. Of all the items on the list, progress in this is
              proceeding the fastest and may run us into the Singularity before
              anything else. The power and influence of even the present-day
              Internet is vastly underestimated. For instance, I think our
              contemporary computer systems would break under the weight of
              their own complexity if it weren't for the edge that the USENET
              "group mind" gives the system administration and support people!)
              The very anarchy of the worldwide net development is evidence of
              its potential. As connectivity and bandwidth and archive size and
              computer speed all increase, we are seeing something like Lynn
              Margulis' [14] vision of the biosphere as data processor
              recapitulated, but at a million times greater speed and with
              millions of humanly intelligent agents (ourselves).

              The above examples illustrate research that can be done within 
         the context of contemporary computer science departments. There are
         other paradigms. For example, much of the work in Artificial
         Intelligence and neural nets would benefit from a closer connection
         with biological life. Instead of simply trying to model and understand
         biological life with computers, research could be directed toward the
         creation of composite systems that rely on biological life for
         guidance or for the providing features we don't understand well enough
         yet to implement in hardware. A long-time dream of science-fiction has
         been direct brain to computer interfaces [2] [28]. In fact, there is
         concrete work that can be done (and has been done) in this area:
            o Limb prosthetics is a topic of direct commercial applicability.
              Nerve to silicon transducers can be made [13].  This is an
              exciting, near-term step toward direct communcation.
            o Similar direct links into brains may be feasible, if the bit
              rate is low: given human learning flexibility, the actual
              brain neuron targets might not have to be precisely selected.
              Even 100 bits per second would be of great use to stroke
              victims who would otherwise be confined to menu-driven
            o Plugging in to the optic trunk has the potential for bandwidths
              of 1 Mbit/second or so. But for this, we need to know the
              fine-scale architecture of vision, and we need to place an
              enormous web of electrodes with exquisite precision.  If we want
              our high bandwidth connection to be _in addition_ to what paths
              are already present in the brain, the problem becomes vastly more
              intractable. Just sticking a grid of high-bandwidth receivers
              into a brain certainly won't do it.  But suppose that the
              high-bandwidth grid were present while the brain structure was
              actually setting up, as the embryo develops.  That suggests:
            o Animal embryo experiments. I wouldn't expect any IA success
              in the first years of such research, but giving developing brains
              access to complex simulated neural structures might be very
              interesting to the people who study how the embryonic brain
              develops.  In the long run, such experiments might produce
              animals with additional sense paths and interesting intellectual
              Originally, I had hoped that this discussion of IA would yield 
         some clearly safer approaches to the Singularity. (After all, IA
         allows our participation in a kind of transcendance.) Alas, looking
         back over these IA proposals, about all I am sure of is that they
         should be considered, that they may give us more options. But as for
         safety ...  well, some of the suggestions are a little scarey on their
         face. One of my informal reviewers pointed out that IA for individual
         humans creates a rather sinister elite. We humans have millions of
         years of evolutionary baggage that makes us regard competition in a
         deadly light. Much of that deadliness may not be necessary in today's
         world, one where losers take on the winners' tricks and are coopted
         into the winners' enterprises. A creature that was built _de novo_
         might possibly be a much more benign entity than one with a kernel
         based on fang and talon. And even the egalitarian view of an Internet
         that wakes up along with all mankind can be viewed as a nightmare

              The problem is not that the Singularity represents simply the 
         passing of humankind from center stange, but that it contradicts some
         of our most deeply held notions of being. I think a closer look at the
         notion of strong superhumanity can show why that is.

         _Strong Superhumanity and the Best We Can Ask for_

              Suppose we could tailor the Singularity. Suppose we could attain
         our most extravagant hopes. What then would we ask for:
         That humans themselves would become their own successors, that
         whatever injustice occurs would be tempered by our knowledge of our
         roots. For those who remained unaltered, the goal would be benign
         treatment (perhaps even giving the stay-behinds the appearance of
         being masters of godlike slaves).  It could be a golden age that also
         involved progress (overleaping Stent's barrier). Immortality (or at
         least a lifetime as long as we can make the universe survive [9]
         [3]) would be achievable.  

              But in this brightest and kindest world, the philosophical 
         problems themselves become intimidating. A mind that stays at the same
         capacity cannot live forever; after a few thousand years it would look
         more like a repeating tape loop than a person.  (The most chilling
         picture I have seen of this is in [17].)  To live indefinitely long,
         the mind itself must grow ... and when it becomes great enough, and
         looks back ... what fellow-feeling can it have with the soul that it
         was originally?  Certainly the later being would be everything the
         original was, but so much vastly more. And so even for the individual,
         the Cairns-Smith (or Lynn Margulis) notion of new life growing
         incrementally out of the old must still be valid.

              This "problem" about immortality comes up in much more direct
         ways.  The notion of ego and self-awareness has been the bedrock of
         the hardheaded rationalism of the last few centuries. Yet now the
         notion of self-awareness is under attack from the Artificial
         Intelligence people ("self-awareness and other delusions").
         Intelligence Amplification undercuts the importance of ego from
         another direction.  The post-Singularity world will involve extremely
         high-bandwidth networking. A central feature of strongly superhuman
         entities will likely be their ability to communicate at variable
         bandwidths, including ones far higher than speech or written messages.
         What happens when pieces of ego can be copied and merged, when the
         size of a selfawareness can grow or shrink to fit the nature of the
         problems under consideration?  These are essential features of strong
         superhumanity and the Singularity. Thinking about them, one begins to
         feel how essentially strange and different the Post-Human era will be
         -- _no matter how cleverly and benignly it is brought to be_.

              From one angle, the vision fits many of our happiest dreams:
         a place unending, where we can truly know one another and understand
         the deepest mysteries.  From another angle, it's a lot like the worst
         case scenario I imagined earlier in this paper.

              Which is the valid viewpoint? In fact, I think the new era is
         simply too different to fit into the classical frame of good and
         evil. That frame is based on the idea of isolated, immutable minds
         connected by tenuous, low-bandwith links. But the post-Singularity
         world _does_ fit with the larger tradition of change and cooperation
         that started long ago (perhaps even before the rise of biological
         life). I think there _are_ notions of ethics that would apply in such
         an era. Research into IA and high-bandwidth communications should
         improve this understanding.  I see just the glimmerings of this now,
         in Good's Meta-Golden Rule, perhaps in rules for distinguishing self
         from others on the basis of bandwidth of connection. And while mind
         and self will be vastly more labile than in the past, much of what we
         value (knowledge, memory, thought) need never be lost. I think
         Freeman Dyson has it right when he says [8]: "God is what mind becomes
         when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension."

         [I wish to thank John Carroll of San Diego State University and Howard
         Davidson of Sun Microsystems for discussing the draft version of this
         paper with me.]

         _Annotated Sources [and an occasional plea for bibliographical help]_

     [1] Alfvén, Hannes, writing as Olof Johanneson, _The End of Man?_, 
            Award Books, 1969 earlier published as "The Tale of the Big
            Computer", Coward-McCann, translated from a book copyright 1966
            Albert Bonniers Forlag AB with English translation copyright 1966
            by Victor Gollanz, Ltd.

     [2] Anderson, Poul, "Kings Who Die", _If_, March 1962, p8-36.
            Reprinted in _Seven Conquests_, Poul Anderson, MacMillan Co., 1969.

     [3] Barrow, John D. and Frank J. Tipler, _The Anthropic Cosmological
            Principle_, Oxford University Press, 1986.

     [4] Bear, Greg, "Blood Music", _Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact_,
            June, 1983. Expanded into the novel _Blood Music_, Morrow, 1985

     [5] Cairns-Smith, A. G., _Seven Clues to the Origin of Life_, Cambridge 
            University Press, 1985.

     [6] Conrad, Michael _et al._, "Towards an Artificial Brain", 
            _BioSystems_, vol23, pp175-218, 1989.

     [7] Drexler, K. Eric, _Engines of Creation_, Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1986.

     [8] Dyson, Freeman, _Infinite in All Directions_, Harper && Row, 1988.

     [9] Dyson, Freeman, "Physics and Biology in an Open Universe", _Review
            of Modern Physics_, vol 51, pp447-460, 1979.

    [10] Good, I. J., "Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent 
            Machine", in _Advances in Computers_, vol 6, Franz L. Alt and
            Morris Rubinoff, eds, pp31-88, 1965, Academic Press.

    [11] Good, I. J., [Help! I can't find the source of Good's Meta-Golden
            Rule, though I have the clear recollection of hearing about it
            sometime in the 1960s. Through the help of the net, I have found
            pointers to a number of related items. G. Harry Stine and Andrew
            Haley have written about metalaw as it might relate to
            extraterrestrials: G. Harry Stine, "How to Get along with
            Extraterrestrials ... or Your Neighbor", _Analog Science Fact-
            Science Fiction_, February, 1980, p39-47.]
    [12] Herbert, Frank, _Dune_, Berkley Books, 1985. However, this novel was
            serialized in _Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact_ in the 1960s.

    [13] Kovacs, G. T. A. _et al._, "Regeneration Microelectrode Array for
            Peripheral Nerve Recording and Stimulation", _IEEE Transactions
            on Biomedical Engineering_, v 39, n 9, pp 893-902.

    [14] Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, _Microcosmos, Four Billion Years of
            Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors_, Summit Books, 1986.

    [15] Minsky, Marvin, _Society of Mind_, Simon and Schuster, 1985.

    [16] Moravec, Hans, _Mind Children_, Harvard University Press, 1988.

    [17] Niven, Larry, "The Ethics of Madness", _If_, April 1967, pp82-108.
            Reprinted in _Neutron Star_, Larry Niven, Ballantine Books, 1968.

    [18] Penrose, R., _The Emperor's New Mind_, Oxford University Press, 1989.

    [19] Platt, Charles, Private Communication.

    [20] Rasmussen, S. _et al._, "Computational Connectionism within Neurons: 
            a Model of Cytoskeletal Automata Subserving Neural Networks", in
            _Emergent Computation_, Stephanie Forrest, ed., p428-449, MIT
            Press, 1991.

    [21] Searle, John R., "Minds, Brains, and Programs", in _The Behavioral and
            Brain Sciences_, v.3, Cambridge University Press, 1980. The
            essay is reprinted in _The Mind's I_, edited by Douglas R.
            Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett, Basic Books, 1981. This
            reprinting contains an excellent critique of the Searle essay.

    [22] Sims, Karl, "Interactive Evolution of Dynamical Systems", Thinking 
            Machines Corporation, Technical Report Series (published in _Toward
            a Practice of Autonomous Systems: Proceedings of the First European
            Cnference on Artificial Life_, Paris, MIT Press, December 1991.

    [23] Stapledon, Olaf, _The Starmaker_, Berkley Books, 1961 (but from 
            the forward probably written before 1937). 

    [24] Stent, Gunther S., _The Coming of the Golden Age: A View of the End
            of Progress_, The Natural History Press, 1969.

    [25] Swanwick Michael, _Vacuum Flowers_, serialized in _Isaac Asimov's
            Science Fiction Magazine_, December(?) 1986 - February 1987.
            Republished by Ace Books, 1988.

    [26] Thearling, Kurt, "How We Will Build a Machine that Thinks", a workshop
            at Thinking Machines Corporation. Personal Communication.

    [27] Ulam, S., Tribute to John von Neumann, _Bulletin of the American 
            Mathematical Society_, vol 64, nr 3, part 2, May, 1958, p1-49.

    [28] Vinge, Vernor, "Bookworm, Run!", _Analog_, March 1966, pp8-40.
            Reprinted in _True Names and Other Dangers_, Vernor Vinge, Baen
            Books, 1987.

    [29] Vinge, Vernor, "True Names", _Binary Star Number 5_, Dell, 1981.
            Reprinted in _True Names and Other Dangers_, Vernor Vinge, Baen
            Books, 1987.

    [30] Vinge, Vernor, First Word, _Omni_, January 1983, p10.