What? The technology singularity is a speculative time at which technological progress accelerates beyond the ability of current-day human beings to understand.
Vinge’s Vision "Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly thereafter, the human era will be ended.“ Vernor Steffen Vinge , 1993
The Essay In his essay, The Technological Singularity , Professor Vinge argues that exponential growth in technology will reach a point beyond which we cannot even speculate about the consequences. Vinge's Singularity is that time horizon when we can no longer say anything useful about the future.
No limit: Science Fiction Vernor Vinge, in his series of stories 'The Peace War' and 'Marooned in Real Time' implicitly assumed that there was no limit to how far technology could progress, or that the limit was very very high. The pace of progress became very rapid, and then at some point mankind simply disappeared in some mysterious way. It is implied that they ascended to the next level of existence or something. From the point of view of the 20th century, mankind had become incomprehensively different.
Human Progress <ul><li>characterized by an accelerating rate of technological progress. </li></ul><ul><li>caused by a positive feedback loop: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>more brains to think, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>those brains have more knowledge to work with, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more time to spend on coming up with new ideas. </li></ul></ul>
Pace of change Vinge’s philosophy refers to the pace of technological change increasing to such a degree that a person who doesn't keep pace with it will rapidly find civilization to have become completely incomprehensible. (have you seen The Matrix?)
Rapture of the Nerds? The idea of a technological singularity is sometimes derided as the Rapture of the Nerds, a phrase invented by SF writer Ken MacLeod [ update : this isn’t true, see his comment ] and popularized by SF writers Charlie Stross and Cory Doctorow Steven Smithee, Black Belt Bayesian
The Book The singularity is near: when humans transcend biology By Ray Kurzweil
The Movie Non-biological intelligence will have access to its own design and will be able to improve itself in an increasingly rapid redesign cycle. We’ll get to a point where technical progress will be so fast that unenhanced human intelligence will be unable to follow it. That will mark the Singularity. The Movie Ray Kurzweil
<ul><li>Resources: </li></ul><ul><li>Singularity Summit </li></ul><ul><li>Singularity Institute </li></ul><ul><li>MIT Technology in Review </li></ul>