The concept of technological singularity notes that the advancement of technology and technological growth is bound to result in the emergence of unexplainable growth in the human civilization; consequently, humans will lose control over technology. Based on the hypothesis, the advancement in the capacity and capability of technologies such as artificial intelligence is bound to result in a runaway reaction that constitutes of self-improvement actions (Nicolescu, 2016). The increase in the intelligence of the technology is bound to result in the emergence of a powerful super-intelligent technological force, which surpasses human intelligence. The acceleration in the process of technological evolution and the mode of human life may lead to the appearance of singularity where humans lose control over the technology that they initiated.
The exponential growth in computer technology, based on the Moore’s Law, has been noted to be evidence of the possibility of singularity in the near future. The exponential growth in computing technology can be extrapolated back to the previous computing technologies that were adopted before the integrated circuit (Moravec, 2000). The law of accelerating returns acknowledges that the speed of technological change advances exponentially, hence, generalizing Moore’s Law. This includes the speed of advancement of material technology such as medical technology and nanotechnology. Kurzweil was quoted blaming singularity for the increase in technological intelligence. Singularity permits human beings to expand beyond the capacity of their brains and bodies. Therefore, there lacks a concrete difference between the human beings and machines. Kurzweil predicts the year 2045 to be the year when the computer-based intelligence is bound to go beyond the total of the human brain capacity (Moravec, 2000).
Between 1986 to 2007, there was an evident doubling of tem aching applications capacity to process information per capita. The speed of computing was observed to double after every 14 months (Hilbert & Lopez, 2011). In addition, the processing capacity of the general-purpose computers was also noted to double after every 18 months whereas the storage capacity of computers was observed to could after every 40 months (Hilbert & Lopez, 2011). This demonstrates the rapid evolution in computing technology in the last 20 years. In reference to these projections, it is possible to assume that technology is evolving at a faster rate than humans are able to acclimatize and learn. Humans are unable to keep up with the evolution of technology resulting in the presence of technology that few humans have the ability and knowledge to control and operate.
While the technological singularity can be classified as sudden, it is evident that the present rate of evolution of technology is expanding beyond the ability of human beings to learn. Moreover, it is evident that the present age demonstrates a major evolutionary transition that seeks to integrate biology, technology and society. Digital technology has been observed to infiltrate the lives of human beings to the capacity of undeniable and life-sustaining reliance on technology (Nicolescu, 2016). Thus, human beings have embraced the integration of technology and biology rendering technology to be life sustaining. In addition, digital technology is playing a vital role in human pair reproduction and bonding through the provision of digital platforms for humans to meet and interact.
Human beings have been noted to spend an increasing amount of time interacting with technology. Subsequently, human beings trust technological channels with their lives and daily activities. For instance, transport channels, including vehicles and airplanes employ computer hardware and software such as autopilot and antilock braking systems that are assigned complex tasks such as navigation and control of the vehicle (Hilbert & Lopez, 2011). Some machines have been noted to acquire a significant level of semi-autonomy such as the ability to choose their targets and locate their own power source. In addition, some computer viruses have evolved to possess the capacity to evade attack and elimination. Hence, it is evident that technology is evolving to possess the capacity and ability to evade human control and regulation (Nicolescu, 2016). This presents a major issue of concern since human beings are losing the ability to control and regulate technology.
From the discussion, it is clear that technology is evolving at a rate that surpasses the human ability and capacity to control the technology. The integration of technology in many aspects of human life such as interaction, reproduction and growth has increased the reliance of human beings on technology. Moreover, technology is able to attain more that the human brain and body can achieve. Hence, it is clear that the expansion of technology is determinative and the evolution of technology is taking place at a greater pace that the ability of human beings to control it.
- Hilbert, M. & Lopez, P. (2011). The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information. Science, 332(6025), 60-65.
- Moravec, H. (2000). Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Nicolescu, B. (2016). Technological Singularity – The Dark Side. Transdisciplinary Journal of Engineering & Science, 7(1)