Vernor Vinge on the Singularity
Vernor Vinge Department of Mathematical Sciences San Diego State University (c) 1993 by Vernor Vinge (This article may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes if it is copied in its entirety, including this notice.) The original version of this article was presented at the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 30-31, 1993. A slightly changed version appeared in the Winter 1993 issue of Whole Earth Review. Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Is such progress avoidable? What is The Singularity? The acceleration of technological progress has been the central feature of this century. There may be developed computers that are "awake" and superhumanly intelligent. The first three possibilities depend in large part on improvements in computer hardware. What are the consequences of this event? What about the '90s and the '00s and the '10s, as we slide toward the edge?
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