Here is the easiest way to visualize it.
- After many millennia “Writing and language”
- Just a few more millennia “Advanced Mathematics”
- Many centuries later “Science”
- Just a few more centuries “Engines”
- Many decades later “Nuclear Power”
- Just a few more decades “Home Computers”
- Many years later “Hand-held Computers”
- Just a few more years “Smartphones”
- Soon to come “Quantum Computers”
- Soon after that “Brain Implants”
- The new normality “Full Cybernetic Humans”
- The new abnormality “AI Super Intelligence”
- Then …… Singularity
Simple to display and easy to understand. A singularity is the conclusion of exponential growth in a given field of study. Critical Mass of a learned technology and the direction it was moving in.
The thing to look for is the “Event” that causes the singularity. That which triggers change so massive and widespread that nothing in our world escapes it. The last thing we will see before it overwhelms us is the “Event Horizon”.
So the question is, what does it look like and when will it happen? This depends on what we accidentally release, which technology slips out of our hands.
There are many possibilities, but this is the one that I think is coming:
An Intelligence Singularity: The sudden full predominance of a thinking agent such as an AI or enhanced Human being. It’s knowledge and understanding of math, science, biology and the universe increasing rapidly, reaching a level of perception that is vastly beyond our discernment. Nothing we know, or control will mean anything to such a being.
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race … it would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.” — Stephen Hawking
“I don’t want to really scare you, but it was alarming how many people I talked to who are highly placed people in AI who have retreats that are sort of ‘bug out’ houses, to which they could flee if it all hits the fan.” — James Barrat
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. Unless you have direct exposure to groups like Deepmind, you have no idea how fast-it is growing at a pace close to exponential. The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.
— Elon Musk
“A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.” — Alan Perlis