The Technological Singularity, “Ray Kurzweil” is near!
“Raymond “Ray” Kurzweil (/ˈkɜrzwaɪl/ Kurz-wyl; born February 12, 1948) is an American author of the Technological Singularity book called The Singularity is Near, inventor, futurist, and director of engineering at Google. Aside from futurology, he is involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. Kurzweil is generally recognized as a public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements, due to his stances on life extension technologies, his efforts to forecast future advances in technology, and his interest in the concept of the technological singularity. At the same time, he has attracted significant criticism from scientists and thinkers.”- WikiPedia
The technological singularity is the plot of the rate of technological developments since the beginning of technology versus time. The curve starts in a linear mode where the technological development rate continued for thousands of years in a linear fashion. During recent times, this curve has accelerated beyond a linear curve into a more parabolic curve.
Ray Kurtzwell and other futurists have predicted that this curve will accelerate further until it becomes almost an infinitely accelerating curve. When it reaches the point of virtual growth, this is called the technological singularity since what happens when it reaches this point is not predictable at any point of time that came before it. Technology will appear to the past observers as complete magic.
The Technological Singularity, Can it go on forever?
The interpretation of most futurists is that the technological singularity curve will go on forever. Any species reaching the technological singularity will expand throughout the universe at the speed of light until it reaches the bounds or even breaks the bounds of the universe. It implies that the sufficiently advanced race will be able to find ways of breaking clear of the universe and find ways to bend, break, defy, and defeat the laws of the universe.
The Technological Singularity and the S-Curve
My interpretation of the technological singularity is that at some point in the distant future the technological curve will end as an S-Curve similar to the way single technology development curves end as an S-Curve. In essence, the technological explosion in my interpretation will end with a whimper and not as an infinitely accelerating explosion.
Technological Singularity, When will it end?
I make no predictions of when the technology curve will turn into an S-Curve. I believe we are at least a century or two away from this end. In fact, I hope I am wrong. Worshiping our robotic overlords would be a funny ending to a race that thinks it’s superior to all other species on the planet.
Most people are even under the delusion that they are the only intelligent race in the universe and if proven wrong they would immediately set out to destroy it if they could, so perhaps limits aren’t a bad thing!