RoboFuture? Ten questions about machine intelligence: a common-sense perspective on the Singularity

By Michael Lee

Ever since HG Wells wrote The War of the Worlds in 1897, various works of science fiction have speculated about the take-over of humanity by advanced robots or machines. Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has gone several steps ahead of science fiction by working out an elaborate philosophy and pathway to a future governed by machine intelligence.

Kurzweil postulates that the Singularity will happen in 2045 when “the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed”. It will represent, he claims, the “culmination of the merger of our biological thinking and existence with our technology…There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine or between physical and virtual reality.”The non-biological intelligence created in the year of the Singularity, he states, will be one billion times more powerful than all human intelligence today.

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