j
jackson
Jun 24, 2014

What is technological singularity?

I’ve read a few forward thinking articles that refer to the future event of “technological singularity.” What precisely are they referring to when they use this term?

jimlynch
06/26/2014
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

"The technological singularity, or simply the singularity, is a hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement, or brain-computer interfaces will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence, radically changing civilization, and perhaps human nature.[1] Because the capabilities of such an intelligence may be difficult for a human to comprehend, the technological singularity is often seen as an occurrence (akin to a gravitational singularity) beyond which the future course of human history is unpredictable or even unfathomable.[2]

The first use of the term "singularity" in this context was by mathematician John von Neumann. In 1958, regarding a summary of a conversation with von Neumann, Stanislaw Ulam described "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue".[3] The term was popularized by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement, or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity.[4] Futurist, and inventor of the portable reading machine for the blind, Ray Kurzweil cited von Neumann's use of the term in a foreword to von Neumann's classic The Computer and the Brain."
jellyfish25
06/25/2014

Vinge's definitions is ring most true for me.

"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.” -Vinge

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