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The last invention

A cause for celebration and recognition
  (+1, -8)(+1, -8)
(+1, -8)
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My mind races but fails to invent something new; all I can think of is what others have done before. I believe that the world of invention is rapidly coming to the end where everything will have been invented at which time newness will actually be a repeat of something old.

What is proposed here is an award to be presented to the last inventor. The award may be a cash prize or statute inscribed with the name, date and description of the world’s last invention. The award will symbolize and recognize that peope have the unique ability to conceive of something different from nature, of things that have never existed or have been done before. The award will be presented during a world-wide, televised and on-line ceremony to the last inventor. Invited to attend the ceremony will be all the world’s greatest inventors who will come to praise by speeches and presentations, the importance of the last invention. The ceremony will have music and dancing to entertain the audience until the end of the program when the award is finally presented to the genius who conceives of then reduces to practice the ultimate invention.

Who will be that genius and when will it happen?

el dueno

el dueno, Oct 27 2010

TLO - The Last One http://en.wikipedia...Last_One_(software)
Wiki Article about TLO [Dub, Oct 27 2010]

The Quiet Earth http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089869/
An interesting film about the last invention. [DrBob, Oct 28 2010]

Did the patent office ever close, or did the head of the US Patent Office ever resign because there was "nothing left to invent"? http://msgboard.sno...;f=101;t=000020;p=0
[hippo, Oct 28 2010]

The Nature of Technology by W. Brian Arthur http://books.google...m=7&ved=0CC8Q6AEwBg
Repetitive and a bit pomo but some pretty sound basic principles and analyses. [pocmloc, Oct 28 2010]


       Perhaps, but mankind's capacity for laziness seems infinite.   

       If someone invented a button that could solve all of peoples problems, six weeks later they would start working on an easier way to press that ridiculously designed awful button.
leinypoo13, Oct 27 2010

       I believe with the right invention, we could cut the interim time down to 3 or 4 weeks.
daseva, Oct 27 2010

       I took that last invention, added skids so it could be used on ice, made the top out of wicker (using locally available materials), added a side set of cutting teeth, and the whole thing is now orange. At half the cost, twice the height and half the girth it is useful for all sorts of things the original last invention was not.
bungston, Oct 27 2010

       {Somewhat reminds me of TLO - The Last One - a piece of software claiming to be the last piece of software you'll ever need - It produced other software} I disagree with the main tenet of this idea. I think there're loads of new ideas out there waiting to be found... The key is either some new technology (e.g. some recent discovery) - or the imagination to consider a re-use of some current technology that no-one's thought of, yet.

       That said, every patent payment should feed into a fund to encourage others - The interest payments should fund a World-Wide Science scholarship. So, [+].
Dub, Oct 27 2010

       /newness will actually be a repeat of something old. /   

       the most common newnesses are repeats of something old. only very rarely is there a true brand new.
bungston, Oct 27 2010

       Creating artificial intelligence (with intelligence greater than a human) will be the last 'necessary' invention because it will be able to do all the inventing for us. Singularitarians believe this should occur circa 2045.
xaviergisz, Oct 27 2010

       And they are wrong.   

       You have to laugh, or you'll go mad, eh ?
8th of 7, Oct 27 2010

       I don't get it. The "last invention" will go behind your back and invent something, whether you like it or not. So the reward would have to be returned. Sorry. End of Story.
blissmiss, Oct 27 2010

       //Creating artificial intelligence (with intelligence greater than a human) will be the last 'necessary' invention because it will be able to do all the inventing for us. Singularitarians believe this should occur circa 2045.//   

Do you really think that an artificial mind will be able to dream, to want, to be able to experience nessecity.
<shrugs> I can see an AI able to find all of the things overlooked by science and invention, make a bunch of repeats of something old with maybe a few new twists thrown in but I think that it will be missing both the mum and dad of true invention.

       Scary thought if I'm wrong.   

       //The "last invention" will go behind your back and invent something//

Ooh, not necessarily, blissy. Especially if the last invention is a really interesting new weapon of some kind that wipes us all out. Of course, that wouldn't really be the "cause for celebration and recognition" that el dueno was looking for (unless you are a plant of course - see the 'Decline of Civilisation Index' posted previously) and making the award might prove problematic.
DrBob, Oct 27 2010

       //Do you really think that an artificial mind will be able to dream, to want, to be able to experience nessecity.//   

       I believe human *level* artificial intelligence is possible. However AI will think differently from us, so we *may* have something to offer each other. For example, we could be the dreamers and they could be the engineers.
xaviergisz, Oct 27 2010

       Or they could dream in a way that makes us look like hollow automatons.
pocmloc, Oct 27 2010

       Seems like they said something similar to this effect around 1900.   

       After the singularity we'll have to reinvent grindstones and the wheel again.
RayfordSteele, Oct 28 2010

       Emergence. Things don't come about as isolated, Platonic Things, context is everything, and as soon as you've invented a thing that makes another thing easier, it opens new doors to new problems, new opportunities and new avenues for invention.   

       Things emerge within their context, and indoing so, change that context, enabling new things to emerge. There will be no Last Invention, just a continuing wave of continual change, at the leading edges of which, new stuff will be created, and at the trailing edge, old stuff will become obsolete.
zen_tom, Oct 28 2010

       I would / could never believe that man's infinite capacity for making and breaking things can actually come to an end, unless mankind itself comes to an end. (nor would I want to celebrate!)
xandram, Oct 28 2010

       "Everything that can be invented has been invented." -- Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, in 1899.   

       Sorry, people who think this have no idea how inventions are invented. Anything that exists today can be combined with anything else and make a new invention. Most of what is created is junk, but the possible permutations are endless. When a new worthwhile thing is created, you can then possibly combine it with anything else in creation to create something new.   

       So let's say you create an AI that is smarter than humans. Well that is interesting and has been done in limited ways, but how does it think? Is that the "right" way? Look at people, most of whom think. Some are smart in some way and stupid in others. Which is the "right" way to think?   

       The last invention will be made by the last thought.
MisterQED, Oct 28 2010

       // Which is the "right" way to think? //   


       Any more stupid questions you need answering ?
8th of 7, Oct 28 2010

       I think we should just award it to 21Quest by default. Or perhaps it will be Vernon, who had started writing up the patent years ago and is only now getting to the last page.
RayfordSteele, Oct 29 2010


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