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The coming technological singularity: How to survive in the post-human eraThe acceleration of technological progress has been the central feature of this century. I argue in this paper that we are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. The precise cause of this change is the imminent creation by technology of entities with greater than human intelligence. There are several means by which science may achieve this breakthrough (and this is another reason for having confidence that the event will occur): (1) the development of computers that are 'awake' and superhumanly intelligent (to date, most controversy in the area of AI relates to whether we can create human equivalence in a machine. But if the answer is 'yes, we can', then there is little doubt that beings more intelligent can be constructed shortly thereafter); (2) large computer networks (and their associated users) may 'wake up' as a superhumanly intelligent entity; (3) computer/human interfaces may become so intimate that users may reasonably be considered superhumanly intelligent; and (4) biological science may find ways to improve upon the natural human intellect. The first three possibilities depend in large part on improvements in computer hardware. Progress in computer hardware has followed an amazingly steady curve in the last few decades. Based largely on this trend, I believe that the creation of greater than human intelligence will occur during the next thirty years.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Vinge, Vernor
(San Diego State Univ. San Diego, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Lewis Research Center, Vision 21: Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering in the Era of Cyberspace
Subject Category
Astronautics (General)
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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