What is the Technological Singularity?

I found this short article and (phenomenal) video on the That’s Really Possible website.  The video features Jason Silva on the technological singularity.  The video (at the bottom of the page) can also be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv_T5QKkh1Y

What is the Technological Singularity?

Artist picture of the Singularity 

The Technological Singularity is the point in the predicted near future when technology allows the artificial increase of intelligence to a level far beyond that of current human intelligence. It is best described as an intelligence explosion; the event horizon which can not be predicted beyond.

The result of such an intelligence explosion would cause changes to life as we know it far beyond what is foreseeable at current human intelligence levels. On this site we liken it to the creation of a god, for it will quite literally immediately make anything possible beyond comprehension, and certainly everything listed in the above blue menu; it will likely enable us to understand our own existence, and gain abilities of what religions currently depict Gods have.
The singularity has most prominently been promoted by Ray Kurzweil, a popular and respected scientist , inventor and futurist. Bill Gates has referred to Kurzweil as one of the best thinkers of the future of technology. Kurzweil predicts that the Singularity is likely to occur as soon as 2045. For those who are sceptical that such an event could happen so soon, he asserts the ongoing phenomenon of exponential growth. Exponential growth is the acceleration of technological advances at the rate of doubling every 18 months; for examples of this view our page about exponential growth.
The singularity is closely related to the creation of an Artificial General Intelligence, better explained as a computer which can think for itself; once this is created, it can certainly be further improved if only by means of its own solutions. Ray Kurzweil predicts that a computer will have the ability to ‘think for itself’ likely by the year 2029. It is not for certain that the singularity will occur at this time, or if further advances will still need to be made.

singularity universityMany other technologies will likely be produced before the Singularity occurs; this is what adds complexity to predictions of how the Singularity will occur. The advent of these technologies will change the world to an extent which makes many wonder if humanity will even reach the Singularity. The avenue which is the alternate to our progression towards the Singularity is the one where we cause our own destruction. Some believe that this will happen through a superior artificial intelligence choosing to eradicate the human race (the terminator scenario). However, it is much more likely that instead we progress into the future by merging ourselves with technology (Transhumanism), and so the Singularity will not be an intelligence explosion for only one independent machine, but it will be an intelligence explosion which ripples throughout the merger of both man and machine.

The singularity may not occur simply due to the creation of one super-intelligent machine or human mind. It may instead be a time when exponential growth has reached such a speed that all of the combined advances of the period become so cumbersome that the future beyond that immediate period becomes impossible to predict. What we can predict though is what is possible as we approach that unpredictable even horizon. On this website we feature all of the technological advances which are certain to occur between now and the Singularity.

Below is a great video featuring Jason Silva which at the beginning provides an explanation of the Singularity.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming Singularity? Please comment below. Also, this page is continually being updated so please suggest any additions or amendments you may have.
Video info:
Published on Nov 7, 2012

This was the QA discussion following my speech at Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas, taking place at the Opera House. Enjoy!

Follow me on twitter: @JasonSilva


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