The technological singularity refers to a hypothetical scenario in which technological advances virtually explode. The most popular scenario is the creation of super-intelligent algorithms that recursively create ever higher intelligences.
It took many decades for these ideas to spread from science fiction to popular science magazines and finally to attract the attention of professional philosophers and scientists. I will give an introduction to this intriguing potential future.
After explaining what the technological singularity is, the history of this idea, related developments and movements, and different versions and paths toward the singularity, I will address the question of its plausibility and time-frame.
In particular, I will introduce Moore’s exponential law, Solomonoff’s hyperbolic law, Hanson’s acceleration of economic doubling patterns, and Kurzweil’s epochs of evolution.
Obstacles towards a singularity, its negotiability and wide-ranging implications will also be covered.