Singularity (technology)

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The term technological singularity is used in futurist and transhumanist circles to refer to the phenomenon and resulting effects of reaching a critical threshold of positive-feedback technological change. Those who forecast such an event see it as involving fundamental merger or melding of humans and technology resulting in a new type of being with greatly enhanced mental and physical capabilities. As such, it is seen as the next step in the evolutionary process, involving a leap beyond the stage of purely biological entities.

A number of futurists, including Ray Kurzweil, Vernor Vinge, and others, hold that such an event will likely occur within the next few decades, that is, within the lifetime of most people born today. Forecasts of the coming singularity are generally based upon the exponential growth of information technologies and other sciences.

The possibility of such an event has not been without its detractors who hold either that the forecasts are not realistic or that the uncritical pursuit of same carries grave dangers.