Will humanity be better off with or without the passing of Singularity?


Quick Answer

Humanity will be better off without the passing of singularity. Fears of singularity include the following: possible extinction of humankind, slavery, World War III, economic collapse, big brother artificial intelligence, alienation and loss of humanity, environmental catastrophe, loss of history, knowledge and spatial resolution, and fear of change.

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Full Answer

Singularity is the hypothetical future creation of superintelligent machines. Superintelligence refers to technologically created cognitive capabilities far beyond what is humanly possible. Should the singularity take place, technology will develop beyond our capacity to predict its outcomes. The world will be altered beyond recognition by the application of superintelligence to humanity and/or human challenges - including disease, poverty and mortality. Singularity has been preceded by massive revolutions in genetics, nanotechnology and robotics (GNR). According to singularity theory, self-directed computers will lay the foundation for superintelligence with an exponential rather than incremental increase expected.

With the proposed mechanisms of adding superintelligence to humans, including brain-computer interfaces, biological modification of the brain, implantation of artificial intelligence (AI) brains and genetic engineering, post-singularity, mankind and the world in general would be extremely different. Futurists such as Ray Kurzweil, author of “The Singularity is Near” have projected that in a post-singularity era, humans would live much of their time in virtual reality, which would be quite different from normal reality. Based on mathematical calculations of exponential technological advancement, Kurzweil foresees singularity coming to pass by 2045.

It is feared that singularity would lead to extinction of humans, as they might not be needed in the future. With computers and other machines doing the work, some fear mankind will be reduced to a mere slave. This would also be an ingredient for economic collapse because of overproduction resulting from a robotized society. Singularity can lead to the production of sophisticated tools that could be used to destroy humanity.

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