Oct 07, 2009, 11:40AM

The Future Will be Binary

Futurists, the Singularity Summit, and the coming Robot take over.

The singularity grows nigh. A happy band of technophiles, futurists, transhumanists, and, yes, singulatarians gathered in New York City this past weekend to talk about prospects for life before and after the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligence. The phenomenon gets its name from science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who analogized a future full of super-smart artificial intelligence(s) (AIs) to the way black holes work. Black holes are singularities—surrounded by event horizons past which outside observers simply cannot see. Self-improving super-smart AIs will so radically speed up the pace of technological change that it is simply impossible to describe what the future would look like afterwards.


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