What is the Singularity?

Simply put, the Technological Singularity is the theory that Artificial Intelligence will one day become so advanced that it exceeds Human Intelligence. This theory directly relates to Moore’s law, which states that computing power roughly doubles every two years. This is the driving force behind the human race’s ability to create new more advanced Artificial Intelligence which could one day lead to the Singularity.

What will happen when the Singularity occurs?

Here’s where things turn from Science to Science Fiction. And at this point there is no way for us to really know what could happen. All we know for sure is that the Singularity will result in unfathomable changes to human civilization as we know it. In fact, that’s the only way we will know that the Singularity has occured. Stephen Hawking says “We may face an intelligence explosion that ultimately results in machines whose intelligence exceeds ours by more than ours exceeds that of snails.” Robin Hanson, an economist at George Mason University, believes that “Wages could fall so far that most humans could not live on them”, and that “Life in a robot economy would not be merely a sped-up version of our lives today” And our fearless leader Ray Kurzweil says that “machine intelligence will be infinitely more powerful than all human intelligence combined.” and that “intelligence will radiate outward from the planet until it saturates the universe.” These are all simply predictions, but don’t seem quite as far fetched as the Matrix. But hey, maybe Lana and Lilly Wachowski were right all along.  

How can we prepare for the Singularity?

Well, since we don’t really know what the future holds for us after the Singularity we can’t really say how to prepare for it. So rather, how can we prepare for the future of Artificial Intelligence? One of the most important things we can do is remember that we shape the future and to not allow the future shape us as a civilization. Steven Hawking and Tesla CEO (and real life Tony Stark) Elon Musk have both backed a set of 23 principles humanity needs to abide by to ensure humanity benefits from Artificial Intelligence rather than the other way around. These AI principles include topics ranging from values/ethics to safety and research.

When will the Singularity happen?

The Singularity will occur on March 21st, 2044 at 11:43AM PST… just kidding. If you’ve read this far you should know that we cannot accurately predict when the Singularity will happen. But Ray Kurzweil predicts that computers will be as intelligent as humans by 2025 and will surpass us, entering the Singularity around the year 2045.