In this century, humanity is predicted to undergo a transformative experience, the likes of which have not been seen since we first began to speak, fashion tools, and plant crops. This experience goes by various names - "Intelligence Explosion," "Accelerando," "Technological Singularity" - but they all have one thing in common.
They all come down to the hypothesis that accelerating change, technological progress, and knowledge will radically change humanity. In its various forms, this theory cites concepts like the iterative nature of technology, advances in computing, and historical instances where major innovations led to explosive growth in human societies.
Many proponents believe that this "explosion" or "acceleration" will take place sometime during the 21st century. While the specifics are subject to debate, there is general consensus among proponents that it will come down to developments in the fields of computing and artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.
In addition, there are differences in opinion as to how it will take place, whether it will be the result of ever-accelerating change, a runaway acceleration triggered by self-replicating and self-upgrading machines, an "intelligence explosion" caused by the https://interestingengineering.com/should-we-fear-artificial-superintelligence">birth of an advanced and independent AI, or the result of biotechnological augmentation and enhancement.
Opinions also differ on whether or not this will be felt as a sudden switch-like event or a gradual process spread out over time which might not have a definable beginning or inflection point. But either way, it is agreed that once the Singularity does occur, life will never be the same again. In this respect, the term "singularity" - which is usually used in the context of black holes - is quite apt because it too has an event horizon, a point in time where our capacity to understand its implications breaks down.
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