One thing that stuck with me after reading Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near was the idea that evolution moves towards greater complexity. His argument was that this evolution extends beyond life, that the creation of subatomic particles and then elements, then molecules, then proteins, etc. to life, now extends beyond life to computers.
The point came back to me when I asked Midjourney to create an image in the style of a Where’s Waldo book. My son has a series of books like this with hidden objects and he enjoys spending endless time looking through it at different scenes.
It took a few attempts, but Midjourney was able to come up with a few images that mimicked the style. I bounced around the image analyzing all of the mini scenes that were occurring and trying to decipher them.
Every corner had some interesting scene that projected a story. Now, this really isn’t anything but my brain trying to interpret what the service output as a story but it shows how complexity can now be scaled up.
Quantum computing might bring about the next level of complexity. Sure, we look at this technology as a means to solve complex problems quickly, but used in the reverse, we can add several orders of magnitude of increased complexity for the same computation.
What this complexity could mean for us is the potential for an endlessly interesting utopia where we can explore and grown. Of course, it could also mean an endlessly difficult to navigate future where we feel shutout as the world evolves beyond us. To that we can say that the pets of today live better than the pets of yesterday.