The Singularity

Raymond Kurzweil and others have suggested that the exponential process of technological development, especially those associated with digital systems development (Computer Science) and Biology will lead by mid-century to a singularity in the development of Human society. Namely, that human intelligence will trascend Biology. Here we list links to a number of resources which present Kurzweil's views:

"The Singularity is Near"

By Raymond Kurzweil; Viking Press, 2005, ISBN 0670033847

The Wikipedia Page

A video interview of Kurzweil on the same subject: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil (1/4)

A video on Kurzweil's view of the major milestone or epochs of Universe's History: The Six Epochs from The Singularity is Near

Amazon Page for Kurzweil's Book

IMDb Movie Page for Kurzweil's movie. The movie is in production & not yet released.

The essential points of Kurzweil's future's hypothesis are;

The Singularity hypothesis can not be dismissed out of hand. In fact, the advance of Science & Technology for the last three centuries has been on an undeniably & dizzyly accelerating pace. The advances in the last decade outdoing those of the previous half century. The advances of the last three centuries outshining those of the previous two thousand years. It is thus clear that this break neck & ever accelerating pace can not be sustained indefinitely with current notions of society & human beings. It is, thus reasonable to expect, at some point soon, a discontinuity, a singularity, of the structure of society and human beings make-up. In other words, we agree with the essence of the first point above.

We do not agree, however with the excessive specificity of the timing of the singularity. Namely, 2045. This prediction is based on reasonable predictions of how the hardware technologies will evolve. While hardware technologies have exhibited quite predictable trends for the last fifty years, they are ONLY enabling factors. Intelligence causative factors emerge from complex domains such as software & bioengineering. No such easily predictable trends exist for such complex domains.

We do not think that the nanotechnology based emergence of nano-bio admixture beings is the only evolutionary path for humans (& society). Again, this is hardware influenced thinking. As we will argue below a more foreseeable path lies in further development of currently under way advanced software notions.

Finally the last point betrays, once more, the innate ego centric tendencies of the human race. In fact, in an Universe of hundreds of billions of galaxies, each made up of hundreds of billions solar systems, it is extremely parochial to believe that we would be the first to get to the singularity. Now that we can clearly see the coming singularity we have to expect that other, possibly many, intelligent societies around the Universe would have reached & surpassed it. Such societies would have, from our limited point of view, magical & inesplicable powers.

It is our opinion that the singularity will occur by the evolution of silicon based minds. We can refer to this transition as S-bio emerging from C-bio. This in turn implies that: