The singularity. What is it? Broadly defined, the singularity refers to the merging of humanity with technology. Popularized by Sci-fi and the base for most modern cinema, the truth is that we are getting closer and closer to the singularity as time progresses. This pace is especially picking up momentum in today’s age as technology feeds off technology at exponential rates.
The speed at which technology is changing and the diverseness of subjects which it encompasses are beginning to pass us like a blur. Its too fast to be seen and too vast to be digested at a whole.
Consider this: The total amount of data generated by the world over the last 2 years was equivalent to 90% of all the data ever created by us since the beginning of time. As time goes on, this will only increase as an increasing number of people gain access to the internet and more innovation occurs in the tech.sector.
In light of these explosive leaps and bounds, we need to ask ourselves a simple yet pregnant question. Are we capable of assimilating all this information? How we will learn the new tools to function in this kind of a society when most of us don’t even know how to write a line of code? One of the answers to this conundrum of assimilating this barrage of information is technology itself.
The human brain has not had a real upgrade in 50,000 years. But our collaborative nature and intuitive curiosity has allowed us to climb down from the trees and take trips into outer space. As this concept continues to evolve and gain rapidity, the day is not far that we will evolve to become an interstellar species, capable of making our mark on the Kardashev scale.
As this happens will we need to consider how we can adapt to this new environment. Evolution no longer can be reserved to the realm of natural selection, but needs to be adapted to our requirements at a rate at which we need it to be absorbed. It is here that the concept of singularity makes its entrance.
To understand the significance of the singularity requires us to commence by digesting some humble pie. Despite all our strengths, we are nothing more than one of the biological organisms who are centric to this specific biosphere. Along with being mortal and finite, we are also extremely fragile and vulnerable.As long as we are fixed to this planet, we will be shackled to not only the constraints of our limited prowess but also by our emotionally led mindset.
If we are to transcend this slow pace of evolution, we can no longer depend on the limitations that are set by the laws of nature. As we make headway in our understanding of the sciences and the conquering of our surroundings, we need an evolutionary stampede.
The concept might be hard to swallow at first. But then the realisation of this idea is based on our current reality. Consider the fact that today more and more people have artificial limbs.
Robotics and 3D printing not only allow invalides to regain their mobility but also allow us to ameliorate our own with the help of exoskeletons.
The singularity looks at taking this concept many steps further from a physical, cognitive and emotional perspective. In other words, it is a lever by which humanity can rise above nature itself.
To understand the nuances of this concept, requires the talents of a mind far superior than mine. It is for this reason that I will end this introduction to the Singularity and invite you to read this mind opening blog post, from the Transcendent Man himself, Ray Kurzweil.