Why Scientists Say Our World Will Be Unrecognizable By 2075

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As the years pass, technological advancements grow exponentially. Since the 1960s, computer speeds have doubled every year-and-a-half to two years.

This rapid technological progress, though many believe is unsustainable, has raised concerns about an intelligence explosion among computer interfaces that would render humans extinct.

The worries about the ever-growing machine intelligence have given rise to a potential risk to society known as "technological singularity."

What is the theory of technological singularity?

According to Britannica, technological singularity “would involve computer programs becoming so advanced that artificial intelligence transcends human intelligence, potentially erasing the boundary between humanity and computers.”

Sometimes referred to as “the singularity” to distinguish it from mathematics, simply put, singularities occur when computers become so smart that artificial intelligence (AI) would surpass human intelligence. This would render the human brain inferior and erase the boundaries between humans and technology.

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John von Neumann, a well-known mathematician, computer scientist, physicist and engineer, was first to introduce the concept of "singularity" as it relates to technology in 1958 during a discussion with Stanislaw Ulam, a scientist who discovered the concept of cellular automaton.

That conversation centered around the acceleration of technology and how it would impact human life. It was proposed that if the field of artificial intelligence continued at its present pace, human affairs as we know them would cease to exist.

The popularization of singularity came in 1993 when Verner Vinge, a sci-fi author and professor, claimed in an article that people were creating superintelligence that they could not contend with on a human level.

Vinge believed that this superhuman intelligence would result in a technological and social move similar to the space-time at the center of a black hole — a place where matter is reduced to an infinitely small point and time and space don’t truly exist anymore.

Over time, the idea of technological singularity has become much broader to include visions of apocalyptic changes, tempered by the idea of salvation through technology.

There are many studies that have been conducted around technological singularity. Most of them seek to determine not if, but when, singularity will be achieved, and the vast majority predict it will occur in the 21st century.



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When could we reach technological singularity?

There are several opinions out there about when technological singularity could be reached. Ray Kurzweil, an American author and futurist, predicted in his 2005 book, "Singularity is Near," that it will happen by 2045.

In a 2013 survey of 550 AI researchers, 10% thought it would happen by 2022, but were clearly wrong. Half of the study's participants thought 2040 was the year we would reach technological singularity. But no one surveyed thought it would happen after 2075.

But not everyone believes it will happen at all. A 2019 survey of 32 AI experts showed that 21% did not believe that the singularity would ever occur. But the rest, similar to the 2013 poll, expect it to occur no later than 2075.

There are some scientists, such as Stephen Hawking, who believed that if and when technological singularity does occur, it will be detrimental, leading to human extinction.

Many prominent technologists, like Paul Allen, believe the notion of artificial intelligence taking over is far-fetched. This is based on the premise that as time goes by, the intelligence explosion we’ve witnessed will decelerate, as we’ve seen with other human technologies.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.