By 2045, artificial intelligence (AI) has reached a level of development that is beginning to reshape human society and culture in profound ways. This year marks the date of the so-called technological singularity postulated by futurist Ray Kurzweil.* Although Kurzweil tended to be overly optimistic in a number of specific future predictions,** his basic premise of exponential growth in technology proved to be accurate.
In the past, limited processing power meant that robots would often spend minutes identifying an object or situation and the interaction required. By 2045, however, these calculations can be performed in near real-time, enabling a much more human-like response. Although a few technological hurdles remain, this is close to what many would consider to be artificial general intelligence (AGI).*
In South Africa's Kruger national park, a major conservation area, nearly 60% of the species under its protection have been lost. In the same region, 35% of proteaceae flowering plants have disappeared including the country's national flower, the King Protea.*
In the Arctic, nearly 70% of polar bears have disappeared due to the shrinking of summer ice caused by global warming. By 2080 they will disappear from Greenland entirely, and from the northern Canadian coast, leaving only dwindling numbers in the interior Arctic archipelago.
On a more cheery note, one could ask, not when the richest and most technologically advanced nations reach the singularity, but when will everybody have access to (e.g.) clean water? I recently became aware of one of your colleagues teaches a very interesting course on technology aimed at the poorest people:
Yes and yes. My own prediction is that by most measures, there will not be nearly as much technological change in the 21st century as there was in the 20th. I see many aspects of civilization as approaching the right-hand-side of a sigmoid (in the best case) or bell curve (in the worst case).
Many of the goals of transhumanism and the expected results of a technological singularity can be achieved without AI or diamondoid molecular nanotechnology. It is just requires more organization and effort but there are other technologies being worked on now to make it happen. [up several comments is the reference to my article on a mundane singularity which is how to make it happen without diamondoid mechnosynthesis or even much nanotech beyond what is already working and without AI)
Maybe that the ultimate computer that could go near in resolving P=NP and could also simulate a human brain may be a parrallel computer with an growing number of processors like cells multiplicating in the human body. If enough processors could use a Monte-Carlos or Las-Vegas or a Genetic algorithm in order to approximate a solution to a SAT or something in the NP class it could be a good candidate for a intelligent being that could resolve at least a sub set of NP. Maybe that, we human use randomness with a lot a computing power for making discovery in science for example.
Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics (LQCD) was a promising field in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This allowed researchers to simulate objects and processes in near-perfect detail, using resolutions based on the fundamental physical laws. By the 2010s, for example, individual proton masses could be determined at error margins close to one percent. During the 2020s, exascale computing helped to further refine the nuclear forces and uncover exotic "new physics" beyond the Standard Model.
The first person to use the concept of a "singularity" in the technological context was John von Neumann. Stanislaw Ulam reports a 1958 discussion with von Neumann "centered on the accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue". Subsequent authors have echoed this viewpoint.
The concept and the term "singularity" were popularized by Vernor Vinge first in 1983 in an article that claimed that once humans create intelligences greater than their own, there will be a technological and social transition similar in some sense to "the knotted space-time at the center of a black hole", and later in his 1993 essay The Coming Technological Singularity, in which he wrote that it would signal the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence would continue to upgrade itself and would advance technologically at an incomprehensible rate. He wrote that he would be surprised if it occurred before 2005 or after 2030. Another significant contributor to wider circulation of the notion was Ray Kurzweil's 2005 book The Singularity is Near, predicting singularity by 2045.
Some scientists, including Stephen Hawking, have expressed concern that artificial superintelligence (ASI) could result in human extinction. The consequences of the singularity and its potential benefit or harm to the human race have been intensely debated.
Prominent technologists and academics dispute the plausibility of a technological singularity and the associated artificial intelligence explosion, including Paul Allen, Jeff Hawkins, John Holland, Jaron Lanier, Steven Pinker, Theodore Modis, and Gordon Moore. One claim made was that the artificial intelligence growth is likely to run into decreasing returns instead of accelerating ones, as was observed in previously developed human technologies. 2b1af7f3a8