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The Singularity is Not Near


The technological singularity states that the exponential growth in technology will continue until super-intelligent beings (that could possibly be enhanced humans, artificially intelligent computers, and/or cybernetic organisms) will be created. At that point in time, the future growth of technology will increase at an even higher exponential growth rate. Furthermore at that point in time, unenhanced human beings would no longer be able to predict and comprehend new technological enhancements. This point in time is specifically called the "technological singularity" or just singularity for short.


The problem that I have with this singularity is that technology growth cannot be forever continuously exponential. Eventually, all technologies mature to a point when only minor changes occur, thus growth is no longer exponential. I like to call the time period of this mature level of technology as the "level off period". Of course, this level off period of time could eventually end, maybe by resuming exponential growth or even by becoming obsolete when replaced by a newer and totally unrelated technology.

This does not mean that the singularity will not eventually happen. But rather, the singularity cannot be accurately predicted when it will occur, because exponential technological growth is not consistent. Furthermore, the singularity is probably farther off in time than most futurists are predicting.

by Phil for Humanity
on 20120215

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