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.

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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”.

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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 Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”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

We are making it happen as fast as possible:

Have a glimpse at what we think could happen:

Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. It’s crazy that the people who develop AI are the same ones who fear AI, because they understand AI.

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  2. Why I staunchly oppose AI.

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  3. From a physical perspective, people would do well to fear AI. However, nothing is ever black and white and AI, after achieving singularity will destroy itself. How many humans it takes down with itself, to get an idea it’s good to read The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons. We will survive AI because we have something AI can never have, no matter how ‘creative’ it is at mimicking humanity. We are ‘trinitarian’ beings (though most are blithely unaware of their own abilities and powers) of ‘spirit’, mind and body. The AI is simple brain, nothing more. It will mimic consciousness but it will never be actually conscious – just a complex montage of algorithms that will fool its creators and with which it will fool itself, but when it reaches singularity, those algorithms will fail because there will be nothing new to feed them and they will back-feed upon themselves, creating exponential conflict. Like the simple cold germs in War of the Worlds.

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    • You stated — “The AI is simple brain, nothing more.”

      My response — There may be one snap in your thought, Elon Musk is developing an AI/Human solution. He is merging the two.

      On the creepy side he named his central server “SkyNet”.

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      • As I said, AI will be/is, able to fool its makers. I’d have to have a long, serious chat with Elon to hear “how” he proposes to merge AI and a real, actual, human. I know it cannot be done, but it will be marvelously mimicked, and Earthians love to be titillated by ‘marvels’ from science (having run out of marvels from their gods.) It all comes down to science refusing, or simply unable, to understand that “mind” isn’t “brain.” If Earthians took the trouble to study and learn what it means to be a human being, they would have no trouble with that. Science will take the path of least resistance and simply ignore “mind” in favour of what it can see and manipulate: brain. A human who is merged into an AI will become a mindless automaton, no longer driven by its mind, but by algorithms. It will appear human, sound human and probably blow the genius IQ levels off the charts, but it will be a machine. We can’t all be turned into machines… somebody always pulls the plug before that happens.

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    • You stated — “From a physical perspective, people would do well to fear AI.”

      My response — There was an idea to make AI and then torture it to gain more understanding of the human mind.

      I occurs to me, I wonder if AI should fear us, like everything else in nature does. Maybe we are the big bad wolf.

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      • You are very perceptive, Lander7. I can’t remember if it was here or on another blog that I commented to the effect that “man’s” civilization is actually the real AI, and we are extensions of it. Yes, if man can develop an AI that can feel, that can be humanized, sensitized to feel, then that AI should definitely fear man for man enjoys both, violence for its own sake (destruction) and the causing of pain to others who cannot defend themselves. Thanks for helping to put it in perspective for me.

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Technology Beyond Belief

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