By Komron Aripov
It’s cliché, however still stands true: if someone asked you 20 years ago whether you are going to use a mysterious entity under the name of “Google” to get answers to your questions, or maybe publish your pictures to an audience of 1.3 billion users on a platform named “Facebook”, would you answer yes?
No, because you most probably weren’t alive 20 years ago, but that’s not the point.
The point is, it gets exponentially harder to predict the future as you keep adding years to your estimates. We have many theories of what the next fifty years will hold, and the singularity is one of them.
In a nutshell, it’s the point in time when computer intelligence will surpass human intelligence to unfathomable amount. Imagine a computer is built, that can upgrade itself in cycles. As the goal of such a machine is to improve itself faster, these cycles will become shorter and the upgrades getting smarter as the computer is also improving. At some point, this will result in infinite upgrade cycle and the explosion of intelligence that will far surpass that of humans and alter it in ways we couldn’t have imagined. *evil laugh*
The general outcomes are distinct though. It will be either human versus machine, or human plus machine and if the latter happens, our civilization will have the resources to sustain itself for an eternity. What we really don’t know is when it’s going to happen – in 20 years, 30 years, a century, or maybe never.
POPULATION OF GENIUSES
Imagine this theory holds true. It could either go very wrong, but it also could go very well. The great geniuses like Einstein, who analyzed and opened a whole new world in their respective fields could be anyone of the billions of people on Earth. We could have revelations on the level of the general theory of relativity made daily and that is just the beginning of what technological singularity could offer.
People who would have “upgraded” to such intelligence would essentially become gods on a level of thinking that is incomprehensible to biological life form.
If that scares you – you are not alone. It scares me too.
Of course, this all sounds too good to be true. One of the most recognized people in this field of futurism is Ray Kurzweil. In his vision, he tells us these events will take place in 2045, exactly 28 years from now. However, one thing I think he and his followers fail to understand is that the functions of the human brain are still very much unknown, and until neurobiologists fully understand how the brain works, singularity will be just a funny sounding word.
To the people that agree more with a prominent figure than a fourteen-year-old: “The Singularity is Near” by Ray Kerzweil is a great book on the topic and this article is just my 2 cents. Just to give you some perspective: this idea of an “intelligence super explosion” dates all the way back to the 1950s, and trust me on this one, it’s long from over.
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