The Singularity Is Delayed

Math Contest: How Many Years Before the Singularity Comes in 2050

It used to be the singularity was expected around 2045. At least according to Ray Kurzweil’s 2005 book The Singularity Is Near. What singularity, you may ask? The point when the increase in the speed of innovation is so fast, everything happens at once. You can’t see beyond the singularity. Machines building machines.

Machines building machines. Artificial intelligence creating artificial super-intelligence. It can be the end of life as we know it

Artificial intelligence creating artificial super-intelligence. It can be the end of life as we know it, if the AI’s decide to get rid of humans (superstar AI academic Nick Bostrom puts this risk at “less than 50 percent”). Or it can be the end of death as we know it, if our minds can be uploaded to supercomputers, our heads transplanted to new bodies or nanobots in our bloodstream can keep our cells alive indefinitely (this is called trans-humanism). Blessing or curse, singularity-believers will tell you it’s coming soon.

Except now it appears the singularity is delayed. Nick Bostrom puts it at 2050 (he talks about human-level artificial intelligence, but that is part of the singularity) based on surveys with AI-researchers.

Wait! There’s a math problem here: If the singularity was supposed to come in 40 years twelve years ago and in 33 years today – in 2050, how many years will it be before the singularity is here?

Please e-mail your answer including how you came to that conclusion to: stromback@netopia.eu

The best and/or funniest response wins a signed copy of my book “21 Digital Myths” (also available in Spanish!).

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