The Singularity



It has become increasingly common to hear discussions of the upcoming “singularity”, or the point at which computers will overtake people in “intelligence”.  Ray Kurzweil has written extensively on this, for example. 


On the website for the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, there is a good short introduction to the idea.  Read it.  You can also wander around other parts of the Institute’s web site for more ideas on this issue.


Then write short answers to the following questions:


1.      Why do these people use the word “singularity”?

2.      If we manage our research right, what is one likely, very high-impact positive result of reaching the singularity?  Do not say, “a cure for cancer”.

3.      If we manage our research wrong, what is one likely, every high-impact negative result of reaching the singularity? 


Bring you answers to class and come prepared to discuss them.