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The Technological Singularity

(The University of Chicago - Maya Lim)

- Overview

Even if you're not very tech-savvy, you've probably heard of "Singularity". The technological singularity refers to a theoretical future event in which rapid technological innovation leads to the birth of uncontrollable superintelligence, thereby changing civilization as we know it. Machine intelligence becomes superior to humans, leading to unforeseen consequences.

The singularity has been the talk of the town for decades, but its popularity has increased in the 21st century as AI technology advances.

  • "The development of fully AI could herald the end of humanity" Professor Stephen Hawking
  • [AI is] "Our Greatest Existential Threat" Elon Musk

The idea that human history is approaching a "singularity" - that ordinary humans will one day be intelligent by AI machines or cognitively-enhanced organisms, or both - has moved from the realm of science fiction to serious debate middle. 

Some singularity theorists predict that if the field of AI continues to develop at its current dizzying pace, the singularity may emerge by mid-century.

In recent years, many prominent figures and thought leaders have made such statements, which has undoubtedly increased the level of public anxiety about AI machines. 

At the heart of this anxiety is the fear that as machines become smarter and their ability to "think" and "analyze" increases, these machines will inevitably become smarter than humans. This event is often described as a technological singularity.


[More to come ...]

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