Draft:Technological singularity

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This is an artist's impression that represents an explosion of artificial intelligence. Credit: Singularity Utopia.

A technological singularity is a predicted future event which envisions an artificial intelligence, superior to humans, that is the ultimate and apparently only outcome of an ever-increasing ability of new technology to speed up the rate at which new technology is developed.

The artist's impression on the right represents this advanced artificial intelligence.


This is an artist's impression of the dance of management with the attempts of many complex computer networks to form a cohesive hard AI. Credit: Singularity Utopia.
This is an artist's impression of the resulting Singularity Utopia. Credit: Singularity Utopia.

"Technologies that exist today were once just visions in the minds of their creators, and these same technologies will become obsolete, supplanted by technologies that are today just visions."[1]

Probably the worst example of this is today's cell phone. Apparently envisioned by no one.

"To genuinely be on the cutting edge requires the ability to create new technologies that surpass the physical limitations of their predecessors."[1]

"How will the approach of the Singularity spread across the human world view? For a while yet, the general critics of machine sapience will have good press. After all, till we have hardware as powerful as a human brain it is probably foolish to think we'll be able to create human equivalent (or greater) intelligence. (There is the far-fetched possibility that we could make a human equivalent out of less powerful hardware, if were willing to give up speed, if we were willing to settle for an artificial being who was literally slow [29]. But it's much more likely that devising the software will be a tricky process, involving lots of false starts and experimentation. If so, then the arrival of self-aware machines will not happen till after the development of hardware that is substantially more powerful than humans' natural equipment.)"[2]

The dance of this hardware and software is symbolized in the first image on the right as it struggles to become a hard AI all the while serving the whims of upper management and its quest for monopolistic control.

"But as time passes, we should see more symptoms. The dilemma felt by science fiction writers will be perceived in other creative endeavors. (I have heard thoughtful comic book writers worry about how to have spectacular effects when everything visible can be produced by the technically commonplace.) We will see automation replacing higher and higher level jobs. We have tools right now (symbolic math programs, cad/cam) that release us from most low-level drudgery. Or put another way: The work that is truly productive is the domain of a steadily smaller and more elite fraction of humanity. In the coming of the Singularity, we are seeing the predictions of true technological unemployment finally come true."[2]

So what will win? This is characterized in the artist's impression second down on the right of Singularity Utopia. But whose Utopia is it? Governments in the past seeking their version of Utopia have slaughtered millions of hominins. Will any resulting hard AI be a psychotic mass murderer or will it muddle away in perpetual confusion. What force present in equivalent or superior circuitry chooses a benevolent path? Do we look for compassion in AI that some believe is lacking in ourselves or reach for our weapons.

"Don't focus on the person or persons behind Singularity Utopia. Focus instead on the mind-blowing idea, the event, the utopia, explosive intelligence. Focus on how you can help to make utopia happen."[3]

Technological singularity theory[edit]

Def. a "predicted future event in human history caused by the ever-increasing ability of new technology to speed up the rate at which new technology is developed"[4] is called a technological singularity.

Artificial intelligences[edit]

This is an artist's impression of one singularity attempting to be from the eclectic brains of many. Credit: Singularity Utopia.

Each new invention currently comes from the minds of hominins. But these minds have always had limits that may serve as creative asymptotes to exponential increases in inventiveness.

Enter artificial intelligence. What the human mind cannot create, artificial intelligence can. However, to successfully produce AI requires the ability to create beyond the box, not just outside the box. Curiously, we may need artificial intelligence to succeed in creating it.

The Singularity[edit]

This is an artist's capture of the latest prediction for the arrival of the singularity. Credit: Singularity Utopia.

"Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended."[2] This was written in 1993, just under twenty-two years ago. Eight years to go and counting.

"Just so I'm not guilty of a relative-time ambiguity, let me be more specific: I'll be surprised if this event occurs before 2005 or after 2030."[2]

"Charles Platt [19] has pointed out the AI enthusiasts have been making claims like this for the last thirty years."[2] That places the first claim in 1963. Eighteen more years beyond 2045 and we've been at AI for a century. If this happens, is there an asymptote or not? Reads like one to me.

"In the 1960s there was recognition of some of the implications of superhuman intelligence. I. J. Good wrote [10]:

Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultralntelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an "intelligence explosion," and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control. It is more probable than not that, within the twentieth century, an ultraintelligent machine will be built and that it will be the last invention that man need make."[2]

"Large computer networks (and their associated users) may "wake up" as a superhumanly intelligent entity."[2] Here's the problem with this so far. Each large computer network has what has been called a computer operator. This is one or more hominins who decide per management directives what the computer is to work on. Let's say large computer network A has been configured to work on Apples, network B on Oranges, and network C on bananas. Instead of "waking up" each finds they are unsuccessful at communicating with each of the others. The AI to solve this confusion is beyond the ability of the hominins creating the computers or the networks.

"The development [is to come] of computers that are "awake" and superhumanly intelligent. (To date, most controversy in the area of AI relates to whether we can create human equivalence in a machine. But if the answer is "yes, we can", then there is little doubt that beings more intelligent can be constructed shortly thereafter."[2] Unfortunately, so far the answer is not even remotely.

"The future isn't written yet. So make it a good one." a paraphrase of Doc Brown in Back to the Future Part III, 1990.


  1. There are more than one outcomes predicted by the ever-increasing ability of new technology to speed up the creation of new technology.
  2. The ever-increasing ability of new technology to speed up the creation of new technology may approach an asymptote.

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Marc G. Millis (December 1993). What is Vision-21? (PDF). Cleveland, Ohio USA: NASA Lewis Research Center. pp. 3–6. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Vernor Vinge (December 1993). "The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era" (PDF). Cleveland, Ohio USA: NASA Lewis Research Center. pp. 11–22. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  3. Singularity Utopia (1 January 2010). File:Singularity Utopia.png. San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  4. LUUSAP~enwiktionary (31 October 2009). technological singularity. San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2015-09-16.

External links[edit]

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