The singularity: when machines become conscious

June 18th, 2008

The June 2008 IEEE Spectrum is a special report on The Singularity which has many short and provocative articles available online. This is what Wikipedia calls the technological singularity. The idea is that technological advances, especially those involving computers, seem to be accelerating and that at some point in the not too distant future, like in 20 years, we will be faces with the appearance of conscious machines with human or even super-human intelligence.

After all, Moore’s law says that the complexity of integrated circuits roughly doubles every two years. If we can maintain this exponential growth, and it’s held since the early 1970s, something big is bound to happen.

Of course, this is a popular scenario for science fiction books and films. As someone who has worked in the field of AI for more than 35 years, I’m skeptical. But these articles are fun to read and are very stimulating.