Last Updated: August 18, 2017

Definition - What does Singularity mean?

The singularity in the context of technology, is a hypothetical future event that is related to the advent of true artificial intelligence, what philosophers in the field call strong AI. The singularity describes that moment in humanity’s history, in this case the future, where technology changes so much that it becomes more intelligent than humans, and it will be largely due to the development of an AI that is able to exponentially better itself or create better versions of itself.

The singularity is also known as the technological singularity.

Techopedia explains Singularity

The singularity is a point in the future, an event horizon of sorts, where humans no longer have control of technology, hence it becomes incomprehensible, simply because humans are no longer the ones controlling it. It will be under the control of a superior artificial intelligence. According to Vernor Vinge, who introduced the term in his fictional novel "Marooned in Realtime," when humans achieve the technological means to create superhuman intelligence, shortly after the human era will be ended.

Recognized writers on the singularity such as Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil argue that it is difficult to nearly impossible for current humans to create a superintelligence, but not impossible. They also make the analogy that the singularity is akin to the event horizon of a black hole where modern physics break down, meaning that mankind does not have the ability to predict what would happen after the development of the superintelligence, since presumably the superintelligence would take over and what it is capable of is well beyond human comprehension.

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