People have grossly misunderstood the Singularity if they think it is already happening or has happened. The Singularity is not a seamless merging of humans and technology, neither is it about mind-uploading. The Singularity is an intelligence explosion, we are considering utterly colossal intelligence.
I was inspired to clarify what the Singularity is because wearable computing pioneer Thad Starner, who is also the technical manager of Google Glass, recently stated:
“I would argue that we’re currently living the singularity, where the tool stops and the mind begins will start becoming blurry.”
Yes humans and technology will merge, in fact we are merging, but a merger of humans and technology is not the Singularity. The reason why we don’t yet have the Singularity can be demonstrated by several points:
- 1. Our lack of immortality shows how our medical technology is not very proficient. The fact that people die in various ways despite our general desire to stay alive shows how medical technology is not very smart, in fact our level of intelligence regarding medical technology is positively dumb. Considering how stem cell applications will likely develop over the next 20 or 30 years (2033 – 2043), you can see our current life-extending medical tech is very non-Singular. While people are unavoidably mortal we do not have the Singularity. The Singularity however is more than mere medical immortality, hence these additional points:
- 2. Our enslavement via resource-scarcity is another marker regarding deficient intelligence and deficient technology. Resource-scarcity clearly marks the absence of the intelligence explosion. Deficiency of technology entailing a necessity to work so that you can survive, the necessity to provide food and shelter, it is a necessity arising from a primitive level of technology, it is a pre-Singularity level of technology. The restrictiveness of scarcity controlling your life isn’t a smart way to live, it isn’t a smart way to utilise your existence. When brute survival dominates your life there is no freedom to truly explore your mind. Resource-scarcity shapes our lives in a very unintelligent manner, scarcity is unintelligent, which means crimes exist, money exists, and jobs exist. When the Singularity happens there will be no need to work, everything will be automated, there will be no money; everything will be free in a libertarian and financial sense. Constraints upon liberty only happen to ensure populations are subjugated, a subjugation which ensures compliance with wealth inequality. Deficient freedom depends upon wealth imbalance regarding a minority of people being very rich while the majority are poor. Freedom is restricted thereby forcing people to accept wealth inequality. Freedom is restricted to ensure people do not rebel against wealth inequality, which means financial liberty and existential liberty are inextricably interlinked. Furthermore, in a scarcity situation, stupidity is socio-politically enhanced because unintelligent people are less likely to question wealth inequality, which is an emphasis of stupidity exacerbating the non-existence of the intelligence explosion. When the Singularity happens there will be no scarcity of any valuable item you desire, thus no need to dominate the populace regarding compliance with wealth inequality, there will be no need for socio-economic engineering of stupidity. There will be total freedom.
- 3. Post-Scarcity, which is addressed in point number 2, is an alternate name for the Singularity, but similar to the Singularity people sometimes say we already have Post-Scarcity, they wrongly think Post-Scarcity has already happened but it isn’t evenly distributed. The meaning of Post-Scarcity must therefore be clarified. Post-Scarcity is an alternate viewpoint of the Singularity akin to differing views of a person’s head, for example the back of a person’s head compared to the face view. Both views reveal a head but different viewpoints present different pictures. Post-Scarcity is LIMITLESSNESS, it is not merely about better management of abundant resources, thereby entailing everything is free. Post-Scarcity is a level of limitless so pronounced, so deeply entrenched, it would be utterly impossible to restrict the resource availability. The abundance is so SUPER that no management or distribution of resources whatsoever is needed. The Singularity (Post-Scarcity) is a state of limitlessness regarding any resource, with the principle focus on limitless intelligence because all resources flow from intelligence.
- 4. Finally to summarise the meaning of the Singularity, here is a list of points, in no particular order, which all need to be fulfilled for the Singularity to be happening:
● All crime and violence are abolished because crime and violence depend wholly on scarcity for their existence. All governments have ceased to exist. No governance is required regarding the abolition of violence and crime because Post-Scarcity simply cuts off, at the source, the impetus for anti-social tendencies. Scarcity is the source of all anti-social tendencies thus by abolishing scarcity you abolish everything which exists due to scarcity, thus governments will cease to exist because governments exist wholly to manage scarcity, governments manage the social dysfunction arising from scarcity, governments ensure great wealth for a minority of people in a scarcity situation, whereas in a Post-Scarcity situation everyone can have limitless wealth.
● Everything is free, nobody needs to work, anyone can have anything they want.
● Everyone is immortal if they want to be. Furthermore access to medical immortality is no more difficult than clicking your fingers or blinking.
● Everything desirable is limitless, thus there are no limits on computation, no limits on intelligence, no limits on travel, which means anyone could easily print a super-intelligent spaceship then travel to the end-edge (if there is one) of the universe, whereupon they will easily create a new universe if they want to. Perhaps limitlessness regarding universe-creation is the best way to describe the Singularity because currently we don’t even know how to 3D-print one planet or one duplicate universe. When the Singularity happens it will be easy to create limitless universes, thus if you are mortal and if you cannot print a universe then it is safe to say the intelligence explosion has not happened.
The Singularity is Post-Scarcity, it’s the point where intelligence ceases to be scarce, it’s a technological explosion of intelligence to end all aspects of scarcity, which should happen no later than year 2045. Technology continually allows us to do more for less. The Singularity is about a mind-bending amount of utterly astronomical ultra-efficient technology, which entails extreme super-power at essentially zero cost. The Singularity was definitely not happening in the year 2013. It is extremely unlikely the Singularity will happen before year 2025. I think the Singularity will actually happen very close to 2045.
About the Author:
Singularity Utopia writes for Singularity-2045, a Post-Scarcity orientated website dedicated to increasing awareness regarding the coming technological utopia. The goal is to make the Singularity happen sooner instead of later.