The term “singularity” indicates a moment in the future when Artificial Intelligence could potentially transcend the power of the human mind. Ever since the inception of the idea of intelligent robots, public opinion has been divided about this phenomenon.
In the beginning, people probably considered the singularity a “doomsday” — a moment when machines would take control of the world. However, as AI entered through the back door in almost all aspects of our lives for the last couple of decades, fear of advanced robots seems to be decreased. Of course, many have stopped believing that the singularity could ever happen. Still, other passionate futurists are waiting patiently that day to come.
We have already seen breakthroughs like human-alike robots, machines that can defeat humans in game playing, deep learning that helps us process vast amounts of data and can generate and mimic many real-life concepts.
It is beyond doubt that artificial intelligence will one day reach the capacity of the human brain. The question remains — when?
Highly respected specialist and futurist who is also Google’s director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, is one of the best predictors who estimated that the singularity could occur by 2045.
He also pointed out that this is a process that has already begun. As we put our knowledge into computers and store our things on the Cloud, a computer will inevitably become smart as a human.
Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Steven Hawking are some of the brilliant people who never liked the idea of singularity. Many warn of the potential threat if machines get out of control. In the future, robots could become independent machines and start using all the superior knowledge against humans. Humans would no longer be able to defeat them.
Still, experts like Kurzweil believe that this scenario is just science fiction.
The singularity should be perceived from a different angle. If the idea of artificial intelligence from the beginning has been to create a synthetic brain that will help humans in many aspects of life, then this is the moment when technology will finally triumph.
Imagine a brain capable of completing the most complex tasks without rest, waste or making mistakes. Such intelligence could keep us safe, always have available data and predict essential events. With smarter AI, humans can also become more intelligent — Kurzweil believes that it will be possible to connect human neocortex, a part of the brain, to the Cloud. It sounds quite unreal, but we would be able to directly connect our thoughts with artificial intelligence.
The technology could allow us to cure Alzheimer’s disease, drive a car without accidents, enjoy music better, or do other things that can make our lives more beautiful.
Instead of thinking that the singularity will take over the world, it may be better to observe it in the way the futurists do — as the unity of humans and machines.