What is technological singularity?

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The technological singularity, often referred to simply as the singularity, is a hypothetical future point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable consequences for human civilization1. This concept is often associated with the idea of an "intelligence explosion", where an upgradable intelligent agent (such as an AI) enters a "runaway reaction" of self-improvement cycles, each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an "explosion" in intelligence and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that qualitatively far surpasses all human intelligence1. The term "technological singularity" was first used in this context by the 20th-century Hungarian-American mathematician John von Neumann1. The concept and the term were later popularized by Vernor Vinge in his 1993 essay "The Coming Technological Singularity"1. According to Vinge, the singularity would signal the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence would continue to upgrade itself and could potentially erase the boundary between humanity and computers12. The singularity is often associated with advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), but it could also be brought about by other radical technological changes, such as developments in molecular nanotechnology1. However, without superintelligence, such changes would not qualify as a true singularity1. The implications of the singularity are profound and largely unknown. It could lead to a future in which machines can create their own technology, and humans may become obsolete3. Alternatively, the technological singularity could lead to a future in which humans and machines merge, creating a new form of intelligence3. Predicting when the singularity might occur is challenging, with estimates ranging from the next few decades to centuries away3. However, it's important to note that the concept of the singularity is still hypothetical and controversial, with some experts arguing that it is unlikely or even impossible4. Preparing for the singularity involves ensuring that we are creating AI that is beneficial to humanity, understanding AI and its capabilities to better control and manage it, and being prepared for the possibility that the singularity may occur3. Despite the potential risks, the singularity could also lead to incredible advances for humanity3.
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