By Nicholas Perugini, Trending Writer
The technological singularity is a hypothesis that one day we will create an Artificial Intelligence capable enough to improve itself without human intervention. This improved Artificial Intelligence (AI) will then improve itself at a rapid rate. It is theorized that when this happens, the AI will eventually achieve superintelligence and will be surpass all human intelligence. Ray Kurzweil, Google’s Chief Director of Engineering predicts that this happen sometime in 2045. The debate on the coming of super intelligent computers has been talked about by the likes of Elon Musk and even Stephen Hawking. The age of computers is soon upon us. However, does that mean the age of man will end?
No one is really sure; the future is hard to predict. Some fear the worst like Elon Musk. Over the summer he berated Facebook for its lack of control of an AI experiment where two computers began communicating with each in a language humans do not understand. The experiment was soon canceled and headlines took the internet proclaiming the incident as dangerous and reckless. Zuckerberg commented on these fears by saying people were overreacting and being “irresponsible” by “[trying] to drum these doomsday scenarios.” In response, Musk tweeted, “I have talked to Mark on this. His understanding on the subject is limited.” Though Musk is cautious about the future of A.I. and the coming singularity, some are excited for the possibilities humanity soon faces.
Max Tegmark, a Swedish-American cosmologist and founder of the Future of Life Institute, the purpose of which it to mitigate the risk of advanced AI to humanity, says he is optimistic for the creation of super intelligent AI. He sees it as a tool that can help us solve some of life’s most vexing problems like cancer, climate change, and resource management. Tegmark wants to make sure that the goals of a super intelligent AI are compatible with that of humanity’s. If our goals are aligned, then the benefits are unimaginable.
The future of Artificial Intelligence is still uncertain. The singularity is still a theory after all, not fact. Some of earth’s brightest minds are both optimistic and skeptical of the future of AI. Will mankind create its own advisory that threatens our very existence or will we create a new companion to help us explore the universe together? Only time will tell.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 26th print edition.
Contact Nicholas at