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The Singularity Is Near – Wikipedia

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology is a 2005 non-fiction book about artificial intelligence and the future of humanity by inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil.

The book builds on the ideas introduced in Kurzweil’s previous books, The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990) and The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999). This time, however, Kurzweil embraces the term the Singularity, which was popularized by Vernor Vinge in his 1993 essay “The Coming Technological Singularity” more than a decade earlier.

Kurzweil describes his law of accelerating returns which predicts an exponential increase in technologies like computers, genetics, nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence. Once the Singularity has been reached, Kurzweil says that machine intelligence will be infinitely more powerful than all human intelligence combined. Afterwards he predicts intelligence will radiate outward from the planet until it saturates the universe. The Singularity is also the point at which machines intelligence and humans would merge.

Kurzweil characterizes evolution throughout all time as progressing through six epochs, each one building on the one before. He says the four epochs which have occurred so far are Physics and Chemistry, Biology and DNA, Brains, and Technology. Kurzweil predicts the Singularity will coincide with the next epoch, The Merger of Human Technology with Human Intelligence. After the Singularity he says the final epoch will occur, The Universe Wakes Up.

Kurzweil explains that evolutionary progress is exponential because of positive feedback; the results of one stage are used to create the next stage. Exponential growth is deceptive, nearly flat at first until it hits what Kurzweil calls “the knee in the curve” then rises almost vertically. In fact Kurzweil believes evolutionary progress is super-exponential because more resources are deployed to the winning process. As an example of super-exponential growth Kurzweil cites the computer chip business. The overall budget for the whole industry increases over time, since the fruits of exponential growth make it an attractive investment; meanwhile the additional budget fuels more innovation which makes the industry grow even faster, effectively an example of “double” exponential growth.

Kurzweil says evolutionary progress looks smooth, but that really it is divided into paradigms, specific methods of solving problems. Each paradigm starts with slow growth, builds to rapid growth, and then levels off. As one paradigm levels off, pressure builds to find or develop a new paradigm. So what looks like a single smooth curve is really series of smaller S curves. For example, Kurzweil notes that when vacuum tubes stopped getting faster, cheaper transistors became popular and continued the overall exponential growth.

Kurzweil calls this exponential growth the law of accelerating returns, and he believes it applies to many human-created technologies such as computer memory, transistors, microprocessors, DNA sequencing, magnetic storage, the number of Internet hosts, Internet traffic, decrease in device size, and nanotech citations and patents. Kurzweil cites two historical examples of exponential growth: the Human Genome Project and the growth of the Internet. Kurzweil claims the whole world economy is in fact growing exponentially, although short term booms and busts tend to hide this trend.

A fundamental pillar of Kurzweil’s argument is that to get to the Singularity, computational capacity is as much of a bottleneck as other things like quality of algorithms and understanding of the human brain. Moore’s Law predicts the capacity of integrated circuits grows exponentially, but not indefinitely. Kurzweil feels the increase in the capacity of integrated circuits will probably slow by the year 2020. He feels confident that a new paradigm will debut at that point to carry on the exponential growth predicted by his law of accelerating returns. Kurzweil describes four paradigms of computing that came before integrated circuits: electromechanical, relay, vacuum tube, and transistors. What technology will follow integrated circuits, to serve as the sixth paradigm, is unknown, but Kurzweil believes nanotubes are the most likely alternative among a number of possibilities:

nanotubes and nanotube circuitry, molecular computing, self-assembly in nanotube circuits, biological systems emulating circuit assembly, computing with DNA, spintronics (computing with the spin of electrons), computing with light, and quantum computing.

Since Kurzweil believes computational capacity will continue to grow exponentially long after Moore’s Law ends it will eventually rival the raw computing power of the human brain. Kurzweil looks at several different estimates of how much computational capacity is in the brain and settles on 1016 calculations per second and 1013 bits of memory. He writes that $1,000 will buy computer power equal to a single brain “by around 2020” while by 2045, the onset of the Singularity, he says same amount of money will buy one billion times more power than all human brains combined today. Kurzweil admits the exponential trend in increased computing power will hit a limit eventually, but he calculates that limit to be trillions of times beyond what is necessary for the Singularity.

Kurzweil notes that computational capacity alone will not create artificial intelligence. He asserts that the best way to build machine intelligence is to first understand human intelligence. The first step is to image the brain, to peer inside it. Kurzweil claims imaging technologies such as PET and fMRI are increasing exponentially in resolution while he predicts even greater detail will be obtained during the 2020s when it becomes possible to scan the brain from the inside using nanobots. Once the physical structure and connectivity information are known, Kurzweil says researchers will have to produce functional models of sub-cellular components and synapses all the way up to whole brain regions. The human brain is “a complex hierarchy of complex systems, but it does not represent a level of complexity beyond what we are already capable of handling”.

Beyond reverse engineering the brain in order to understand and emulate it, Kurzweil introduces the idea of “uploading” a specific brain with every mental process intact, to be instantiated on a “suitably powerful computational substrate”. He writes that general modeling requires 1016 calculations per second and 1013 bits of memory, but then explains uploading requires additional detail, perhaps as many as 1019 cps and 1018 bits. Kurzweil says the technology to do this will be available by 2040. Rather than an instantaneous scan and conversion to digital form, Kurzweil feels humans will most likely experience gradual conversion as portions of their brain are augmented with neural implants, increasing their proportion of non-biological intelligence slowly over time.

Kurzweil believes there is “no objective test that can conclusively determine” the presence of consciousness. Therefore, he says nonbiological intelligences will claim to have consciousness and “the full range of emotional and spiritual experiences that humans claim to have”; he feels such claims will generally be accepted.

Kurzweil says revolutions in genetics, nanotechnology and robotics will usher in the beginning of the Singularity. Kurzweil feels with sufficient genetic technology it should be possible to maintain the body indefinitely, reversing aging while curing cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Much of this will be possible thanks to nanotechnology, the second revolution, which entails the molecule by molecule construction of tools which themselves can “rebuild the physical world”. Finally, the revolution in robotics will really be the development of strong AI, defined as machines which have human-level intelligence or greater. This development will be the most important of the century, “comparable in importance to the development of biology itself”.

Kurzweil concedes that every technology carries with it the risk of misuse or abuse, from viruses and nanobots to out-of-control AI machines. He believes the only countermeasure is to invest in defensive technologies, for example by allowing new genetics and medical treatments, monitoring for dangerous pathogens, and creating limited moratoriums on certain technologies. As for artificial intelligence Kurzweil feels the best defense is to increase the “values of liberty, tolerance, and respect for knowledge and diversity” in society, because “the nonbiological intelligence will be embedded in our society and will reflect our values”.

Kurzweil touches on the history of the Singularity concept, tracing it back to John von Neumann in the 1950s and I. J. Good in the 1960s. He compares his Singularity to that of a mathematical or astrophysical singularity. While his ideas of a Singularity is not actually infinite, he says it looks that way from any limited perspective.

During the Singularity, Kurzweil predicts that “human life will be irreversibly transformed” and that humans will transcend the “limitations of our biological bodies and brain”. He looks beyond the Singularity to say that “the intelligence that will emerge will continue to represent the human civilization.” Further, he feels that “future machines will be human, even if they are not biological”.

Kurzweil claims once nonbiological intelligence predominates the nature of human life will be radically altered: there will be radical changes in how humans learn, work, play, and wage war. Kurzweil envisions nanobots which allow people to eat whatever they want while remaining thin and fit, provide copious energy, fight off infections or cancer, replace organs and augment their brains. Eventually people’s bodies will contain so much augmentation they’ll be able to alter their “physical manifestation at will”.

Kurzweil says the law of accelerating returns suggests that once a civilization develops primitive mechanical technologies, it is only a few centuries before they achieve everything outlined in the book, at which point it will start expanding outward, saturating the universe with intelligence. Since people have found no evidence of other civilizations, Kurzweil believes humans are likely alone in the universe. Thus Kurzweil concludes it is humanity’s destiny to do the saturating, enlisting all matter and energy in the process.

As for individual identities during these radical changes, Kurzweil suggests people think of themselves as an evolving pattern rather than a specific collection of molecules. Kurzweil says evolution moves towards “greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love”. He says that these attributes, in the limit, are generally used to describe God. That means, he continues, that evolution is moving towards a conception of God and that the transition away from biological roots is in fact a spiritual undertaking.

Kurzweil does not include an actual written timeline of the past and future, as he did in The Age of Intelligent Machines and The Age of Spiritual Machines, however he still makes many specific predictions. Kurzweil writes that by 2010 a supercomputer will have the computational capacity to emulate human intelligence and “by around 2020” this same capacity will be available “for one thousand dollars”. After that milestone he expects human brain scanning to contribute to an effective model of human intelligence “by the mid-2020s”. These two elements will culminate in computers that can pass the Turing test by 2029. By the early 2030s the amount of non-biological computation will exceed the “capacity of all living biological human intelligence”. Finally the exponential growth in computing capacity will lead to the Singularity. Kurzweil spells out the date very clearly: “I set the date for the Singularityrepresenting a profound and disruptive transformation in human capabilityas 2045”.

A common criticism of the book relates to the “exponential growth fallacy”. As an example, in 1969, man landed on the moon. Extrapolating exponential growth from there one would expect huge lunar bases and manned missions to distant planets. Instead, exploration stalled or even regressed after that. Paul Davies writes “the key point about exponential growth is that it never lasts”[43] often due to resource constraints.

Theodore Modis says “nothing in nature follows a pure exponential” and suggests the logistic function is a better fit for “a real growth process”. The logistic function looks like an exponential at first but then tapers off and flattens completely. For example, world population and the United States’s oil production both appeared to be rising exponentially, but both have leveled off because they were logistic. Kurzweil says “the knee in the curve” is the time when the exponential trend is going to explode, while Modis claims if the process is logistic when you hit the “knee” the quantity you are measuring is only going to increase by a factor of 100 more.[44]

While some critics complain that the law of accelerating returns is not a law of nature[43] others question the religious motivations or implications of Kurzweil’s Singularity. The buildup towards the Singularity is compared with Judeo-Christian end-of-time scenarios. Beam calls it “a Buck Rogers vision of the hypothetical Christian Rapture”.[45] John Gray says “the Singularity echoes apocalyptic myths in which history is about to be interrupted by a world-transforming event”.[46]

The radical nature of Kurzweil’s predictions is often discussed. Anthony Doerr says that before you “dismiss it as techno-zeal” consider that “every day the line between what is human and what is not quite human blurs a bit more”. He lists technology of the day, in 2006, like computers that land supersonic airplanes or in vitro fertility treatments and asks whether brain implants that access the internet or robots in our blood really are that unbelievable.[47]

In regard to reverse engineering the brain, neuroscientist David J. Linden writes that “Kurzweil is conflating biological data collection with biological insight”. He feels that data collection might be growing exponentially, but insight is increasing only linearly. For example, the speed and cost of sequencing genomes is also improving exponentially, but our understanding of genetics is growing very slowly. As for nanobots Linden believes the spaces available in the brain for navigation are simply too small. He acknowledges that someday we will fully understand the brain, just not on Kurzweil’s timetable.[48]

Paul Davies wrote in Nature that The Singularity is Near is a “breathless romp across the outer reaches of technological possibility” while warning that the “exhilarating speculation is great fun to read, but needs to be taken with a huge dose of salt.”[43]

Anthony Doerr in The Boston Globe wrote “Kurzweil’s book is surprisingly elaborate, smart, and persuasive. He writes clean methodical sentences, includes humorous dialogues with characters in the future and past, and uses graphs that are almost always accessible.”[47] while his colleague Alex Beam points out that “Singularitarians have been greeted with hooting skepticism”[45] Janet Maslin in The New York Times wrote “The Singularity is Near is startling in scope and bravado”, but says “much of his thinking tends to be pie in the sky”. She observes that he’s more focused on optimistic outcomes rather than the risks.[49]

In 2006, Barry Ptolemy and his production company Ptolemaic Productions licensed the rights to The Singularity Is Near from Kurzweil. Inspired by the book, Ptolemy directed and produced the film Transcendent Man, which went on to bring more attention to the book.

Kurzweil has also directed his own adaptation, called The Singularity is Near, which mixes documentary with a science-fiction story involving his robotic avatar Ramona’s transformation into an artificial general intelligence. It was screened at the World Film Festival, the Woodstock Film Festival, the Warsaw International FilmFest, the San Antonio Film Festival in 2010 and the San Francisco Indie Film Festival in 2011. The movie was released generally on July 20, 2012.[50] It is available on DVD or digital download[51] and a trailer is available.[52]

The 2014 film Lucy is roughly based upon the predictions made by Kurzweil about what the year 2045 will look like, including the immortality of man.[53]

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The Singularity Is Near – Wikipedia

Singularity Hub – News and Insights from Singularity …

Singularity University, Singularity Hub, Singularity Summit, SU Labs, Singularity Labs, Exponential Medicine, Exponential Finance and all associated logos and design elements are trademarks and/or service marks of Singularity Education Group.

2018 Singularity Education Group. All Rights Reserved.

Singularity University is not a degree granting institution.

Visit link:

Singularity Hub – News and Insights from Singularity …

Singularity University

Singularity University, Singularity Hub, Singularity Summit, SU Labs, Singularity Labs, Exponential Medicine, Exponential Finance and all associated logos and design elements are trademarks and/or service marks of Singularity Education Group.

2018 Singularity Education Group. All Rights Reserved.

Singularity University is not a degree granting institution.

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Singularity University

xkcd: Singularity

xkcd: Singularity

xkcd updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Singularity

((This strip is laid out like a Wikipedia contents table.))I love reading the Wikipedia talk entries for articles on individual citiesContents [hide]1 Origin of city’s name? 1.1 Idea for a better name1.2 Not how Wikipedia works2 Too much promotion of lake festival3 Should we mention the murders? 3.1 Not that notable3.2 All cities have murders4 Quote verification: even if Voltaire did visit (unlikely), why would he get so angry about our restaurants? 5 Discuss: new picture5.1 Current one looks awfully bleak5.2 Gray sky5.3 What about this one5.4 Also bleak5.5 Maybe this place just looks that way5.6 Found a better picture, more colourful5.7 That’s a shot from Disney’s Zootopia6 “Mining disasters” section too long6.1 Not really Wikipedia’s fault6.2 Why is this town so bad at mining?7 Infobox picture: I just realised you can see a murder happening in the background7.1 This city is terrible7.2 Photoshopped out murder7.3 Can someone just take a better picture7.4 Okay, uploaded a new picture7.5 Wait, never mind, I just noticed there’s a murder in this one, too8 1982 secession still in effect?9 I think the murderer is reverting my edits10 Why does this article take any position on correct condom use, let alone such a weird and ambiguous one?11 Train station “designed by Andrew Lloyd Webber”?11.1 They probably mean Frank Lloyd Wright11.2 I thought so too, but it’s apparently not a mistake11.3 Didn’t know he did architecture11.4 Roof collapse{{Title text: I don’t think the Lakeshore Air Crash Museum really belongs under ‘Tourist Attractions.’ It’s not a museum–it’s just an area near the Lake Festival Laser Show where a lot of planes have crashed.}}

This work is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

This means you’re free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). More details.

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xkcd: Singularity

http://singularityu.org/

Singularity University, Singularity Hub, Singularity Summit, SU Labs, Singularity Labs, Exponential Medicine, Exponential Finance and all associated logos and design elements are trademarks and/or service marks of Singularity Education Group.

2018 Singularity Education Group. All Rights Reserved.

Singularity University is not a degree granting institution.

Read more:

http://singularityu.org/

Singularity (operating system) – Wikipedia

Singularity is an experimental operating system (OS) which was built by Microsoft Research between 2003 and 2010.[1] It was designed as a high dependability OS in which the kernel, device drivers, and application software were all written in managed code. Internal security uses type safety instead of hardware memory protection.

The lowest-level x86 interrupt dispatch code is written in assembly language and C. Once this code has done its job, it invokes the kernel, which runtime system and garbage collector are written in Sing# (an extended version of Spec#, itself an extension of C#) and runs in unprotected mode. The hardware abstraction layer is written in C++ and runs in protected mode. There is also some C code to handle debugging. The computer’s basic input/output system (BIOS) is invoked during the 16-bit real mode bootstrap stage; once in 32-bit mode, Singularity never invokes the BIOS again, but invokes device drivers written in Sing#. During installation, Common Intermediate Language (CIL) opcodes are compiled into x86 opcodes using the Bartok compiler.

Singularity is a microkernel operating system. Unlike most historic microkernels, its components execute in the same address space (process), which contains software-isolated processes (SIPs). Each SIP has its own data and code layout, and is independent from other SIPs. These SIPs behave like normal processes, but avoid the cost of task-switches.

Protection in this system is provided by a set of rules called invariants that are verified by static program analysis. For example, in the memory-invariant states there must be no cross-references (or memory pointers) between two SIPs; communication between SIPs occurs via higher-order communication channels managed by the operating system. Invariants are checked during installation of the application. (In Singularity, installation is managed by the operating system.)

Most of the invariants rely on the use of safer memory-managed languages, such as Sing#, which have a garbage collector, allow no arbitrary pointers, and allow code to be verified to meet a given computer security policy.

Singularity 1.0 was completed in 2007. A Singularity Research Development Kit (RDK) was released under a shared source license allowing academic non-commercial use, and is available from CodePlex.[2] Version 1.1 was released in March 2007 and version 2.0 was released on November 14, 2008.

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Singularity (operating system) – Wikipedia

The Singularity Is Near – Wikipedia

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology is a 2005 non-fiction book about artificial intelligence and the future of humanity by inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil.

The book builds on the ideas introduced in Kurzweil’s previous books, The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990) and The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999). This time, however, Kurzweil embraces the term the Singularity, which was popularized by Vernor Vinge in his 1993 essay “The Coming Technological Singularity” more than a decade earlier.

Kurzweil describes his law of accelerating returns which predicts an exponential increase in technologies like computers, genetics, nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence. Once the Singularity has been reached, Kurzweil says that machine intelligence will be infinitely more powerful than all human intelligence combined. Afterwards he predicts intelligence will radiate outward from the planet until it saturates the universe. The Singularity is also the point at which machines intelligence and humans would merge.

Kurzweil characterizes evolution throughout all time as progressing through six epochs, each one building on the one before. He says the four epochs which have occurred so far are Physics and Chemistry, Biology and DNA, Brains, and Technology. Kurzweil predicts the Singularity will coincide with the next epoch, The Merger of Human Technology with Human Intelligence. After the Singularity he says the final epoch will occur, The Universe Wakes Up.

Kurzweil explains that evolutionary progress is exponential because of positive feedback; the results of one stage are used to create the next stage. Exponential growth is deceptive, nearly flat at first until it hits what Kurzweil calls “the knee in the curve” then rises almost vertically. In fact Kurzweil believes evolutionary progress is super-exponential because more resources are deployed to the winning process. As an example of super-exponential growth Kurzweil cites the computer chip business. The overall budget for the whole industry increases over time, since the fruits of exponential growth make it an attractive investment; meanwhile the additional budget fuels more innovation which makes the industry grow even faster, effectively an example of “double” exponential growth.

Kurzweil says evolutionary progress looks smooth, but that really it is divided into paradigms, specific methods of solving problems. Each paradigm starts with slow growth, builds to rapid growth, and then levels off. As one paradigm levels off, pressure builds to find or develop a new paradigm. So what looks like a single smooth curve is really series of smaller S curves. For example, Kurzweil notes that when vacuum tubes stopped getting faster, cheaper transistors became popular and continued the overall exponential growth.

Kurzweil calls this exponential growth the law of accelerating returns, and he believes it applies to many human-created technologies such as computer memory, transistors, microprocessors, DNA sequencing, magnetic storage, the number of Internet hosts, Internet traffic, decrease in device size, and nanotech citations and patents. Kurzweil cites two historical examples of exponential growth: the Human Genome Project and the growth of the Internet. Kurzweil claims the whole world economy is in fact growing exponentially, although short term booms and busts tend to hide this trend.

A fundamental pillar of Kurzweil’s argument is that to get to the Singularity, computational capacity is as much of a bottleneck as other things like quality of algorithms and understanding of the human brain. Moore’s Law predicts the capacity of integrated circuits grows exponentially, but not indefinitely. Kurzweil feels the increase in the capacity of integrated circuits will probably slow by the year 2020. He feels confident that a new paradigm will debut at that point to carry on the exponential growth predicted by his law of accelerating returns. Kurzweil describes four paradigms of computing that came before integrated circuits: electromechanical, relay, vacuum tube, and transistors. What technology will follow integrated circuits, to serve as the sixth paradigm, is unknown, but Kurzweil believes nanotubes are the most likely alternative among a number of possibilities:

nanotubes and nanotube circuitry, molecular computing, self-assembly in nanotube circuits, biological systems emulating circuit assembly, computing with DNA, spintronics (computing with the spin of electrons), computing with light, and quantum computing.

Since Kurzweil believes computational capacity will continue to grow exponentially long after Moore’s Law ends it will eventually rival the raw computing power of the human brain. Kurzweil looks at several different estimates of how much computational capacity is in the brain and settles on 1016 calculations per second and 1013 bits of memory. He writes that $1,000 will buy computer power equal to a single brain “by around 2020” while by 2045, the onset of the Singularity, he says same amount of money will buy one billion times more power than all human brains combined today. Kurzweil admits the exponential trend in increased computing power will hit a limit eventually, but he calculates that limit to be trillions of times beyond what is necessary for the Singularity.

Kurzweil notes that computational capacity alone will not create artificial intelligence. He asserts that the best way to build machine intelligence is to first understand human intelligence. The first step is to image the brain, to peer inside it. Kurzweil claims imaging technologies such as PET and fMRI are increasing exponentially in resolution while he predicts even greater detail will be obtained during the 2020s when it becomes possible to scan the brain from the inside using nanobots. Once the physical structure and connectivity information are known, Kurzweil says researchers will have to produce functional models of sub-cellular components and synapses all the way up to whole brain regions. The human brain is “a complex hierarchy of complex systems, but it does not represent a level of complexity beyond what we are already capable of handling”.

Beyond reverse engineering the brain in order to understand and emulate it, Kurzweil introduces the idea of “uploading” a specific brain with every mental process intact, to be instantiated on a “suitably powerful computational substrate”. He writes that general modeling requires 1016 calculations per second and 1013 bits of memory, but then explains uploading requires additional detail, perhaps as many as 1019 cps and 1018 bits. Kurzweil says the technology to do this will be available by 2040. Rather than an instantaneous scan and conversion to digital form, Kurzweil feels humans will most likely experience gradual conversion as portions of their brain are augmented with neural implants, increasing their proportion of non-biological intelligence slowly over time.

Kurzweil believes there is “no objective test that can conclusively determine” the presence of consciousness. Therefore, he says nonbiological intelligences will claim to have consciousness and “the full range of emotional and spiritual experiences that humans claim to have”; he feels such claims will generally be accepted.

Kurzweil says revolutions in genetics, nanotechnology and robotics will usher in the beginning of the Singularity. Kurzweil feels with sufficient genetic technology it should be possible to maintain the body indefinitely, reversing aging while curing cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Much of this will be possible thanks to nanotechnology, the second revolution, which entails the molecule by molecule construction of tools which themselves can “rebuild the physical world”. Finally, the revolution in robotics will really be the development of strong AI, defined as machines which have human-level intelligence or greater. This development will be the most important of the century, “comparable in importance to the development of biology itself”.

Kurzweil concedes that every technology carries with it the risk of misuse or abuse, from viruses and nanobots to out-of-control AI machines. He believes the only countermeasure is to invest in defensive technologies, for example by allowing new genetics and medical treatments, monitoring for dangerous pathogens, and creating limited moratoriums on certain technologies. As for artificial intelligence Kurzweil feels the best defense is to increase the “values of liberty, tolerance, and respect for knowledge and diversity” in society, because “the nonbiological intelligence will be embedded in our society and will reflect our values”.

Kurzweil touches on the history of the Singularity concept, tracing it back to John von Neumann in the 1950s and I. J. Good in the 1960s. He compares his Singularity to that of a mathematical or astrophysical singularity. While his ideas of a Singularity is not actually infinite, he says it looks that way from any limited perspective.

During the Singularity, Kurzweil predicts that “human life will be irreversibly transformed” and that humans will transcend the “limitations of our biological bodies and brain”. He looks beyond the Singularity to say that “the intelligence that will emerge will continue to represent the human civilization.” Further, he feels that “future machines will be human, even if they are not biological”.

Kurzweil claims once nonbiological intelligence predominates the nature of human life will be radically altered: there will be radical changes in how humans learn, work, play, and wage war. Kurzweil envisions nanobots which allow people to eat whatever they want while remaining thin and fit, provide copious energy, fight off infections or cancer, replace organs and augment their brains. Eventually people’s bodies will contain so much augmentation they’ll be able to alter their “physical manifestation at will”.

Kurzweil says the law of accelerating returns suggests that once a civilization develops primitive mechanical technologies, it is only a few centuries before they achieve everything outlined in the book, at which point it will start expanding outward, saturating the universe with intelligence. Since people have found no evidence of other civilizations, Kurzweil believes humans are likely alone in the universe. Thus Kurzweil concludes it is humanity’s destiny to do the saturating, enlisting all matter and energy in the process.

As for individual identities during these radical changes, Kurzweil suggests people think of themselves as an evolving pattern rather than a specific collection of molecules. Kurzweil says evolution moves towards “greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love”. He says that these attributes, in the limit, are generally used to describe God. That means, he continues, that evolution is moving towards a conception of God and that the transition away from biological roots is in fact a spiritual undertaking.

Kurzweil does not include an actual written timeline of the past and future, as he did in The Age of Intelligent Machines and The Age of Spiritual Machines, however he still makes many specific predictions. Kurzweil writes that by 2010 a supercomputer will have the computational capacity to emulate human intelligence and “by around 2020” this same capacity will be available “for one thousand dollars”. After that milestone he expects human brain scanning to contribute to an effective model of human intelligence “by the mid-2020s”. These two elements will culminate in computers that can pass the Turing test by 2029. By the early 2030s the amount of non-biological computation will exceed the “capacity of all living biological human intelligence”. Finally the exponential growth in computing capacity will lead to the Singularity. Kurzweil spells out the date very clearly: “I set the date for the Singularityrepresenting a profound and disruptive transformation in human capabilityas 2045”.

A common criticism of the book relates to the “exponential growth fallacy”. As an example, in 1969, man landed on the moon. Extrapolating exponential growth from there one would expect huge lunar bases and manned missions to distant planets. Instead, exploration stalled or even regressed after that. Paul Davies writes “the key point about exponential growth is that it never lasts”[43] often due to resource constraints.

Theodore Modis says “nothing in nature follows a pure exponential” and suggests the logistic function is a better fit for “a real growth process”. The logistic function looks like an exponential at first but then tapers off and flattens completely. For example, world population and the United States’s oil production both appeared to be rising exponentially, but both have leveled off because they were logistic. Kurzweil says “the knee in the curve” is the time when the exponential trend is going to explode, while Modis claims if the process is logistic when you hit the “knee” the quantity you are measuring is only going to increase by a factor of 100 more.[44]

While some critics complain that the law of accelerating returns is not a law of nature[43] others question the religious motivations or implications of Kurzweil’s Singularity. The buildup towards the Singularity is compared with Judeo-Christian end-of-time scenarios. Beam calls it “a Buck Rogers vision of the hypothetical Christian Rapture”.[45] John Gray says “the Singularity echoes apocalyptic myths in which history is about to be interrupted by a world-transforming event”.[46]

The radical nature of Kurzweil’s predictions is often discussed. Anthony Doerr says that before you “dismiss it as techno-zeal” consider that “every day the line between what is human and what is not quite human blurs a bit more”. He lists technology of the day, in 2006, like computers that land supersonic airplanes or in vitro fertility treatments and asks whether brain implants that access the internet or robots in our blood really are that unbelievable.[47]

In regard to reverse engineering the brain, neuroscientist David J. Linden writes that “Kurzweil is conflating biological data collection with biological insight”. He feels that data collection might be growing exponentially, but insight is increasing only linearly. For example, the speed and cost of sequencing genomes is also improving exponentially, but our understanding of genetics is growing very slowly. As for nanobots Linden believes the spaces available in the brain for navigation are simply too small. He acknowledges that someday we will fully understand the brain, just not on Kurzweil’s timetable.[48]

Paul Davies wrote in Nature that The Singularity is Near is a “breathless romp across the outer reaches of technological possibility” while warning that the “exhilarating speculation is great fun to read, but needs to be taken with a huge dose of salt.”[43]

Anthony Doerr in The Boston Globe wrote “Kurzweil’s book is surprisingly elaborate, smart, and persuasive. He writes clean methodical sentences, includes humorous dialogues with characters in the future and past, and uses graphs that are almost always accessible.”[47] while his colleague Alex Beam points out that “Singularitarians have been greeted with hooting skepticism”[45] Janet Maslin in The New York Times wrote “The Singularity is Near is startling in scope and bravado”, but says “much of his thinking tends to be pie in the sky”. She observes that he’s more focused on optimistic outcomes rather than the risks.[49]

In 2006, Barry Ptolemy and his production company Ptolemaic Productions licensed the rights to The Singularity Is Near from Kurzweil. Inspired by the book, Ptolemy directed and produced the film Transcendent Man, which went on to bring more attention to the book.

Kurzweil has also directed his own adaptation, called The Singularity is Near, which mixes documentary with a science-fiction story involving his robotic avatar Ramona’s transformation into an artificial general intelligence. It was screened at the World Film Festival, the Woodstock Film Festival, the Warsaw International FilmFest, the San Antonio Film Festival in 2010 and the San Francisco Indie Film Festival in 2011. The movie was released generally on July 20, 2012.[50] It is available on DVD or digital download[51] and a trailer is available.[52]

The 2014 film Lucy is roughly based upon the predictions made by Kurzweil about what the year 2045 will look like, including the immortality of man.[53]

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Technological singularity – Wikipedia

The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity)[1] is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence (ASI) will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.[2] According to this hypothesis, an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) would enter a “runaway reaction” of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence. Stanislaw Ulam reports a discussion with John von Neumann “centered on the accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue”.[3] Subsequent authors have echoed this viewpoint.[2][4] I. J. Good’s “intelligence explosion” model predicts that a future superintelligence will trigger a singularity.[5] Emeritus professor of computer science at San Diego State University and science fiction author Vernor Vinge said in his 1993 essay The Coming Technological Singularity that this would signal the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence would continue to upgrade itself and would advance technologically at an incomprehensible rate.[5]

Four polls, conducted in 2012 and 2013, suggested that the median estimate was a one in two chance that artificial general intelligence (AGI) would be developed by 20402050.[6][7]

In the 2010s, public figures such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk expressed concern that full artificial intelligence could result in human extinction.[8][9] The consequences of the singularity and its potential benefit or harm to the human race have been hotly debated.

I. J. Good speculated in 1965 that artificial general intelligence might bring about an intelligence explosion. Good’s scenario runs as follows: as computers increase in power, it becomes possible for people to build a machine that is more intelligent than humanity; this superhuman intelligence possesses greater problem-solving and inventive skills than current humans are capable of. This superintelligent machine then designs an even more capable machine, or re-writes its own software to become even more intelligent; this (ever more capable) machine then goes on to design a machine of yet greater capability, and so on. These iterations of recursive self-improvement accelerate, allowing enormous qualitative change before any upper limits imposed by the laws of physics or theoretical computation set in.[10]

John von Neumann, Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil define the concept in terms of the technological creation of super intelligence. They argue that it is difficult or impossible for present-day humans to predict what human beings’ lives would be like in a post-singularity world.[5][11]

Some writers use “the singularity” in a broader way to refer to any radical changes in our society brought about by new technologies such as molecular nanotechnology,[12][13][14] although Vinge and other writers specifically state that without superintelligence, such changes would not qualify as a true singularity.[5] Many writers also tie the singularity to observations of exponential growth in various technologies (with Moore’s law being the most prominent example), using such observations as a basis for predicting that the singularity is likely to happen sometime within the 21st century.[13][15]

Many prominent technologists and academics dispute the plausibility of a technological singularity, including Paul Allen, Jeff Hawkins, John Holland, Jaron Lanier, and Gordon Moore, whose law is often cited in support of the concept.[16][17][18]

The exponential growth in computing technology suggested by Moore’s law is commonly cited as a reason to expect a singularity in the relatively near future, and a number of authors have proposed generalizations of Moore’s law. Computer scientist and futurist Hans Moravec proposed in a 1998 book[19] that the exponential growth curve could be extended back through earlier computing technologies prior to the integrated circuit.

Ray Kurzweil postulates a law of accelerating returns in which the speed of technological change (and more generally, all evolutionary processes[20]) increases exponentially, generalizing Moore’s law in the same manner as Moravec’s proposal, and also including material technology (especially as applied to nanotechnology), medical technology and others.[21] Between 1986 and 2007, machines’ application-specific capacity to compute information per capita roughly doubled every 14 months; the per capita capacity of the world’s general-purpose computers has doubled every 18 months; the global telecommunication capacity per capita doubled every 34 months; and the world’s storage capacity per capita doubled every 40 months.[22]

Kurzweil reserves the term “singularity” for a rapid increase in artificial intelligence (as opposed to other technologies), writing for example that “The Singularity will allow us to transcend these limitations of our biological bodies and brains … There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine”.[23] He also defines his predicted date of the singularity (2045) in terms of when he expects computer-based intelligences to significantly exceed the sum total of human brainpower, writing that advances in computing before that date “will not represent the Singularity” because they do “not yet correspond to a profound expansion of our intelligence.”[24]

Some singularity proponents argue its inevitability through extrapolation of past trends, especially those pertaining to shortening gaps between improvements to technology. In one of the first uses of the term “singularity” in the context of technological progress, Stanislaw Ulam tells of a conversation with John von Neumann about accelerating change:

One conversation centered on the ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.[3]

Kurzweil claims that technological progress follows a pattern of exponential growth, following what he calls the “law of accelerating returns”. Whenever technology approaches a barrier, Kurzweil writes, new technologies will surmount it. He predicts paradigm shifts will become increasingly common, leading to “technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history”.[25] Kurzweil believes that the singularity will occur by approximately 2045.[26] His predictions differ from Vinge’s in that he predicts a gradual ascent to the singularity, rather than Vinge’s rapidly self-improving superhuman intelligence.

Oft-cited dangers include those commonly associated with molecular nanotechnology and genetic engineering. These threats are major issues for both singularity advocates and critics, and were the subject of Bill Joy’s Wired magazine article “Why the future doesn’t need us”.[4][27]

Some critics assert that no computer or machine will ever achieve human intelligence, while others hold that the definition of intelligence is irrelevant if the net result is the same.[28]

Steven Pinker stated in 2008:

… There is not the slightest reason to believe in a coming singularity. The fact that you can visualize a future in your imagination is not evidence that it is likely or even possible. Look at domed cities, jet-pack commuting, underwater cities, mile-high buildings, and nuclear-powered automobilesall staples of futuristic fantasies when I was a child that have never arrived. Sheer processing power is not a pixie dust that magically solves all your problems. …[16]

University of California, Berkeley, philosophy professor John Searle writes:

[Computers] have, literally …, no intelligence, no motivation, no autonomy, and no agency. We design them to behave as if they had certain sorts of psychology, but there is no psychological reality to the corresponding processes or behavior. … [T]he machinery has no beliefs, desires, [or] motivations.[29]

Martin Ford in The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future[30] postulates a “technology paradox” in that before the singularity could occur most routine jobs in the economy would be automated, since this would require a level of technology inferior to that of the singularity. This would cause massive unemployment and plummeting consumer demand, which in turn would destroy the incentive to invest in the technologies that would be required to bring about the Singularity. Job displacement is increasingly no longer limited to work traditionally considered to be “routine”.[31]

Theodore Modis[32][33] and Jonathan Huebner[34] argue that the rate of technological innovation has not only ceased to rise, but is actually now declining. Evidence for this decline is that the rise in computer clock rates is slowing, even while Moore’s prediction of exponentially increasing circuit density continues to hold. This is due to excessive heat build-up from the chip, which cannot be dissipated quickly enough to prevent the chip from melting when operating at higher speeds. Advancements in speed may be possible in the future by virtue of more power-efficient CPU designs and multi-cell processors.[35] While Kurzweil used Modis’ resources, and Modis’ work was around accelerating change, Modis distanced himself from Kurzweil’s thesis of a “technological singularity”, claiming that it lacks scientific rigor.[33]

Others[36] propose that other “singularities” can be found through analysis of trends in world population, world gross domestic product, and other indices. Andrey Korotayev and others argue that historical hyperbolic growth curves can be attributed to feedback loops that ceased to affect global trends in the 1970s, and thus hyperbolic growth should not be expected in the future.[37][38]

In a detailed empirical accounting, The Progress of Computing, William Nordhaus argued that, prior to 1940, computers followed the much slower growth of a traditional industrial economy, thus rejecting extrapolations of Moore’s law to 19th-century computers.[39]

In a 2007 paper, Schmidhuber stated that the frequency of subjectively “notable events” appears to be approaching a 21st-century singularity, but cautioned readers to take such plots of subjective events with a grain of salt: perhaps differences in memory of recent and distant events could create an illusion of accelerating change where none exists.[40]

Paul Allen argues the opposite of accelerating returns, the complexity brake;[18] the more progress science makes towards understanding intelligence, the more difficult it becomes to make additional progress. A study of the number of patents shows that human creativity does not show accelerating returns, but in fact, as suggested by Joseph Tainter in his The Collapse of Complex Societies,[41] a law of diminishing returns. The number of patents per thousand peaked in the period from 1850 to 1900, and has been declining since.[34] The growth of complexity eventually becomes self-limiting, and leads to a widespread “general systems collapse”.

Jaron Lanier refutes the idea that the Singularity is inevitable. He states: “I do not think the technology is creating itself. It’s not an autonomous process.”[42] He goes on to assert: “The reason to believe in human agency over technological determinism is that you can then have an economy where people earn their own way and invent their own lives. If you structure a society on not emphasizing individual human agency, it’s the same thing operationally as denying people clout, dignity, and self-determination … to embrace [the idea of the Singularity] would be a celebration of bad data and bad politics.”[42]

Economist Robert J. Gordon, in The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (2016), points out that measured economic growth has slowed around 1970 and slowed even further since the financial crisis of 2008, and argues that the economic data show no trace of a coming Singularity as imagined by mathematician I.J. Good.[43]

In addition to general criticisms of the singularity concept, several critics have raised issues with Kurzweil’s iconic chart. One line of criticism is that a log-log chart of this nature is inherently biased toward a straight-line result. Others identify selection bias in the points that Kurzweil chooses to use. For example, biologist PZ Myers points out that many of the early evolutionary “events” were picked arbitrarily.[44] Kurzweil has rebutted this by charting evolutionary events from 15 neutral sources, and showing that they fit a straight line on a log-log chart. The Economist mocked the concept with a graph extrapolating that the number of blades on a razor, which has increased over the years from one to as many as five, will increase ever-faster to infinity.[45]

The term “technological singularity” reflects the idea that such change may happen suddenly, and that it is difficult to predict how the resulting new world would operate.[46][47] It is unclear whether an intelligence explosion of this kind would be beneficial or harmful, or even an existential threat,[48][49] as the issue has not been dealt with by most artificial general intelligence researchers, although the topic of friendly artificial intelligence is investigated by the Future of Humanity Institute and the Machine Intelligence Research Institute.[46]

While the technological singularity is usually seen as a sudden event, some scholars argue the current speed of change already fits this description.[citation needed] In addition, some argue that we are already in the midst of a major evolutionary transition that merges technology, biology, and society. Digital technology has infiltrated the fabric of human society to a degree of indisputable and often life-sustaining dependence. A 2016 article in Trends in Ecology & Evolution argues that “humans already embrace fusions of biology and technology. We spend most of our waking time communicating through digitally mediated channels… we trust artificial intelligence with our lives through antilock braking in cars and autopilots in planes… With one in three marriages in America beginning online, digital algorithms are also taking a role in human pair bonding and reproduction”. The article argues that from the perspective of the evolution, several previous Major Transitions in Evolution have transformed life through innovations in information storage and replication (RNA, DNA, multicellularity, and culture and language). In the current stage of life’s evolution, the carbon-based biosphere has generated a cognitive system (humans) capable of creating technology that will result in a comparable evolutionary transition. The digital information created by humans has reached a similar magnitude to biological information in the biosphere. Since the 1980s, “the quantity of digital information stored has doubled about every 2.5 years, reaching about 5 zettabytes in 2014 (5×10^21 bytes). In biological terms, there are 7.2 billion humans on the planet, each having a genome of 6.2 billion nucleotides. Since one byte can encode four nucleotide pairs, the individual genomes of every human on the planet could be encoded by approximately 1×10^19 bytes. The digital realm stored 500 times more information than this in 2014 (…see Figure)… The total amount of DNA contained in all of the cells on Earth is estimated to be about 5.3×10^37 base pairs, equivalent to 1.325×10^37 bytes of information. If growth in digital storage continues at its current rate of 3038% compound annual growth per year,[22] it will rival the total information content contained in all of the DNA in all of the cells on Earth in about 110 years. This would represent a doubling of the amount of information stored in the biosphere across a total time period of just 150 years”.[50]

In February 2009, under the auspices of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), Eric Horvitz chaired a meeting of leading computer scientists, artificial intelligence researchers and roboticists at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California. The goal was to discuss the potential impact of the hypothetical possibility that robots could become self-sufficient and able to make their own decisions. They discussed the extent to which computers and robots might be able to acquire autonomy, and to what degree they could use such abilities to pose threats or hazards.[51]

Some machines are programmed with various forms of semi-autonomy, including the ability to locate their own power sources and choose targets to attack with weapons. Also, some computer viruses can evade elimination and, according to scientists in attendance, could therefore be said to have reached a “cockroach” stage of machine intelligence. The conference attendees noted that self-awareness as depicted in science-fiction is probably unlikely, but that other potential hazards and pitfalls exist.[51]

Some experts and academics have questioned the use of robots for military combat, especially when such robots are given some degree of autonomous functions.[52][improper synthesis?]

In his 2005 book, The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil suggests that medical advances would allow people to protect their bodies from the effects of aging, making the life expectancy limitless. Kurzweil argues that the technological advances in medicine would allow us to continuously repair and replace defective components in our bodies, prolonging life to an undetermined age.[53] Kurzweil further buttresses his argument by discussing current bio-engineering advances. Kurzweil suggests somatic gene therapy; after synthetic viruses with specific genetic information, the next step would be to apply this technology to gene therapy, replacing human DNA with synthesized genes.[54]

K. Eric Drexler, one of the founders of nanotechnology, postulated cell repair devices, including ones operating within cells and utilizing as yet hypothetical biological machines, in his 1986 book Engines of Creation. According to Richard Feynman, it was his former graduate student and collaborator Albert Hibbs who originally suggested to him (circa 1959) the idea of a medical use for Feynman’s theoretical micromachines . Hibbs suggested that certain repair machines might one day be reduced in size to the point that it would, in theory, be possible to (as Feynman put it) “swallow the doctor”. The idea was incorporated into Feynman’s 1959 essay There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.[55]

Beyond merely extending the operational life of the physical body, Jaron Lanier argues for a form of immortality called “Digital Ascension” that involves “people dying in the flesh and being uploaded into a computer and remaining conscious”.[56] Singularitarianism has also been likened to a religion by John Horgan.[57]

In his obituary for John von Neumann, Ulam recalled a conversation with von Neumann about the “ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.”[3]

In 1965, Good wrote his essay postulating an “intelligence explosion” of recursive self-improvement of a machine intelligence. In 1985, in “The Time Scale of Artificial Intelligence”, artificial intelligence researcher Ray Solomonoff articulated mathematically the related notion of what he called an “infinity point”: if a research community of human-level self-improving AIs take four years to double their own speed, then two years, then one year and so on, their capabilities increase infinitely in finite time.[4][58]

In 1981, Stanisaw Lem published his science fiction novel Golem XIV. It describes a military AI computer (Golem XIV) who obtains consciousness and starts to increase his own intelligence, moving towards personal technological singularity. Golem XIV was originally created to aid its builders in fighting wars, but as its intelligence advances to a much higher level than that of humans, it stops being interested in the military requirement because it finds them lacking internal logical consistency.

In 1983, Vinge greatly popularized Good’s intelligence explosion in a number of writings, first addressing the topic in print in the January 1983 issue of Omni magazine. In this op-ed piece, Vinge seems to have been the first to use the term “singularity” in a way that was specifically tied to the creation of intelligent machines:[59][60] writing

We will soon create intelligences greater than our own. When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity, an intellectual transition as impenetrable as the knotted space-time at the center of a black hole, and the world will pass far beyond our understanding. This singularity, I believe, already haunts a number of science-fiction writers. It makes realistic extrapolation to an interstellar future impossible. To write a story set more than a century hence, one needs a nuclear war in between … so that the world remains intelligible.

Vinge’s 1993 article “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era”,[5] spread widely on the internet and helped to popularize the idea.[61] This article contains the statement, “Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.” Vinge argues that science-fiction authors cannot write realistic post-singularity characters who surpass the human intellect, as the thoughts of such an intellect would be beyond the ability of humans to express.[5]

In 2000, Bill Joy, a prominent technologist and a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, voiced concern over the potential dangers of the singularity.[27]

In 2005, Kurzweil published The Singularity is Near. Kurzweil’s publicity campaign included an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.[62]

In 2007, Eliezer Yudkowsky suggested that many of the varied definitions that have been assigned to “singularity” are mutually incompatible rather than mutually supporting.[13][63] For example, Kurzweil extrapolates current technological trajectories past the arrival of self-improving AI or superhuman intelligence, which Yudkowsky argues represents a tension with both I. J. Good’s proposed discontinuous upswing in intelligence and Vinge’s thesis on unpredictability.[13]

In 2009, Kurzweil and X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis announced the establishment of Singularity University, a nonaccredited private institute whose stated mission is “to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.”[64] Funded by Google, Autodesk, ePlanet Ventures, and a group of technology industry leaders, Singularity University is based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. The not-for-profit organization runs an annual ten-week graduate program during the northern-hemisphere summer that covers ten different technology and allied tracks, and a series of executive programs throughout the year.

In 2007, the joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress released a report about the future of nanotechnology. It predicts significant technological and political changes in the mid-term future, including possible technological singularity.[65][66][67]

Former President of the United States Barack Obama spoke about singularity in his interview to Wired in 2016:[68]

One thing that we haven’t talked about too much, and I just want to go back to, is we really have to think through the economic implications. Because most people aren’t spending a lot of time right now worrying about singularitythey are worrying about “Well, is my job going to be replaced by a machine?”

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Singularity | Definition of Singularity by Merriam-Webster

plural singularities

a : a separate unit

2 : the quality or state of being singular

3 : a point at which the derivative of a given function of a complex variable does not exist but every neighborhood of which contains points for which the derivative does exist

4 : a point or region of infinite mass density at which space and time are infinitely distorted by gravitational forces and which is held to be the final state of matter falling into a black hole

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Singularity | Definition of Singularity by Merriam-Webster

plural singularities

a : a separate unit

2 : the quality or state of being singular

3 : a point at which the derivative of a given function of a complex variable does not exist but every neighborhood of which contains points for which the derivative does exist

4 : a point or region of infinite mass density at which space and time are infinitely distorted by gravitational forces and which is held to be the final state of matter falling into a black hole

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Singularity University, Singularity Hub, Singularity Summit, SU Labs, Singularity Labs, Exponential Medicine, Exponential Finance and all associated logos and design elements are trademarks and/or service marks of Singularity Education Group.

2018 Singularity Education Group. All Rights Reserved.

Singularity University is not a degree granting institution.

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Singularity University, Singularity Hub, Singularity Summit, SU Labs, Singularity Labs, Exponential Medicine, Exponential Finance and all associated logos and design elements are trademarks and/or service marks of Singularity Education Group.

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Singularity University is not a degree granting institution.

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Singularity | Definition of Singularity by Merriam-Webster

plural singularities

a : a separate unit

2 : the quality or state of being singular

3 : a point at which the derivative of a given function of a complex variable does not exist but every neighborhood of which contains points for which the derivative does exist

4 : a point or region of infinite mass density at which space and time are infinitely distorted by gravitational forces and which is held to be the final state of matter falling into a black hole

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Singularity | Singularity

Singularity enables users to have full control of their environment. Singularity containers can be used to package entire scientific workflows, software and libraries, and even data. This means that you dont have to ask your cluster admin to install anything for you – you can put it in a Singularity container and run. Did you already invest in Docker? The Singularity software can import your Docker images without having Docker installed or being a superuser. Need to share your code? Put it in a Singularity container and your collaborator wont have to go through the pain of installing missing dependencies. Do you need to run a different operating system entirely? You can swap out the operating system on your host for a different one within a Singularity container. As the user, you are in control of the extent to which your container interacts with its host. There can be seamless integration, or little to no communication at all. What does your workflow look like?

Its pretty simple. You can make and customize containers locally, and then run them on your shared resource. As of version 2.3, you can even pull Docker image layers into a new Singularity image without sudo permissions. Singularity also allows you to leverage the resources of whatever host you are on. This includes HPC interconnects, resource managers, file systems, GPUs and/or accelerators, etc. Singularity does this by enabling several key facets:

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This release includes fixes for several high and medium severity security issues. It also contains a whole slew of bug…

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Singularity – Microsoft Research

Singularity was a multi-year research project focused on the construction of dependable systems through innovation in the areas of systems, languages, and tools. We built a research operating system prototype (called Singularity), extended programming languages, and developed new techniques and tools for specifying and verifying program behavior.

Advances in languages, compilers, and tools open the possibility of significantly improving software. For example, Singularity uses type-safe languages and an abstract instruction set to enable what we call Software Isolated Processes (SIPs). SIPs provide the strong isolation guarantees of OS processes (isolated object space, separate GCs, separate runtimes) without the overhead of hardware-enforced protection domains. In the current Singularity prototype SIPs are extremely cheap; they run in ring 0 in the kernels address space.

Singularity uses these advances to build more reliable systems and applications. For example, because SIPs are so cheap to create and enforce, Singularity runs each program, device driver, or system extension in its own SIP. SIPs are not allowed to share memory or modify their own code. As a result, we can make strong reliability guarantees about the code running in a SIP. We can verify much broader properties about a SIP at compile or install time than can be done for code running in traditional OS processes. Broader application of static verification is critical to predicting system behavior and providing users with strong guarantees about reliability.

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