U.S. Navy reaches out to gamers to troubleshoot post-singularity world

The next time someone tells you that playing video games doesn’t have real-world applications, you might be able to say that your gaming skills assisted the U.S. Navy. As originally reported by Engadget, the U.S. Navy has put out a call for participants for its Maritime Singularity MMOWGLI -(massively multiplayer online war game leveraging the internet).

Technological singularity hypothesizes that if and when artificial superintelligence is invented, it will set off a swift chain reaction that will change human society forever, and not necessarily for the better. As it develops strategies for dealing with the possibility of a post-singularity world, the U.S. Navy thinks that gamers are ideal for problem-solving the future.

Dr. Eric Gulovsen, director of disruptive technology at the Office of Naval Research, claimed that technology has already reached the point where singularity is in the foreseeable future. “What we can’t see — yet — is what lies over that horizon. That’s where we need help from players. This is a complex, open-ended problem, so we’re looking for people from all walks of life — Navy, non-Navy, technologist, non-technologist — to help us design our Navy for a ‘post-singularity’ world,” he said.

If Maritime Singularity is set up like the Navy’s previous MMOWGLIs, such as the recent effort to foster a “more prosperous and secure South China Sea,” participants will come up with opportunities and challenges pertaining to singularity and play out various scenarios.

If the Navy’s interest in singularity doesn’t sound enough like dystopian science fiction already, the game’s blurb certainly sounds like it was ripped from the back cover of a William Gibson novel:

“A tidal wave of change is rapidly approaching today’s Navy. We can ride this wave and harness its energy, or get crushed by it. There is no middle ground. What is the nature of this change? The SINGULARITY. We can see the SINGULARITY on the horizon. What we can’t see, YET, is what lies OVER that horizon. That’s where you come in.”

Maritime Singularity is open for signups now, and will run for a week beginning March 27. For more information, check out the overview video above.


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