What is the singularity?
I honestly was not aware of this topic so I set out to do some research to open my mind and man was my mind blown. Basically what I understand is that the singularity is a point in time when technology will surpass human intelligence and humans will start to become the minority in intelligence.
Vernor Vinge introduced the term Technological Singularity in his science fiction novel Marooned in Realtime(1986) and later developed the concept in his essay the Coming Technological Singularity (1993). His definition of Singularity is widely known as the event horizon thesis and in essence says that trans or post-human minds will imply a weirder future than we can imagine:
“Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. […] I think it’s fair to call this event a singularity. 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.” (1)
Will it happen?
From what I read on the Singularity I can say that not only will it happen but it’s already here and quite honestly right around the corner from fully being rooted. Take a look around you, what would we do if the internet was to go down? What if Google was no more? What if all our tablets and smart phones went belly up?
The signs are all around us, movies like Transcendence, Terminator, The Matrix, iRobot. Companies like DARPA and other military contractors working on completely autonomous drones, the DARPA SyNAPSE Program and the Japanese building human like robots that can interact with us already.
To throw a monkey wrench in the mix … Snowden made light to some of the little corners of all this dark world and all those little things when put together starts to add up.
Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s pre-eminent scientists, has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence. He told the BBC:
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
Prof Hawking says the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful, but he fears the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans. (2)
It is estimated that by 2029, the Human brain will be fully reverse engineered and software and technology will replace the limits of the human abilities and only grow from there. Many experts are noting that it will be like an Alien invasion but only that it will be from inside our civilization. seeing how things are rolling along, the singularity point is also linked to IoT (Internet of Things), Hadoop and other current technologies. So in closing, not only do I think that this will happen but that it is already happening, it started back with the first computer and has only been gaining traction by the second.
With new technologies like Cortana, Siri and Google assistants taking in all our daily on goings, thoughts, movement habits, eating habits and more and with all the back end systems that can work with algorithms that can correlate all these data points to understand how we think as humans. Imagine if when we do get to the point where we have a super computer that can take the SyNAPSE system with all this data. The event while awesome for the good things that it will bring; it also comes with the dark side that we all know too well when power hungry people have unlimited access to technologies to control and dominate things go crazy, ask John Connor 😉
This bring to mind Transhumanism but I guess that is a whole different topic to get into. I will keep researching and posting more. This is an interesting topic that I recommend reading on.
The singularity is coming — are you ready | Dr. Jonathan White
Ray Kurzweil: The Coming Singularity
William Hertling: The Singularity is closer than it appears!
Michio Kaku on Singularity | Science is the Engine of Prosperity!
- The Coming Technological Singularity
- Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind