"Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended." -- Vernor Vinge, 1993
Everybody knows that times are a changin'. The social and technological changes that took place in the 20th century were huge compared to those of the 19th century. In the last 50 years computers have gone from room sized monsters that could perform hundreds of calculations per second to book sized devices that perform billions of calculations per second. Every year the pace of change seems to get faster.
Although many people know this, what most people don't realise is that if you do a careful analysis of how quickly things are changing what you discover is that the rate of change is exponential. That is, the rate at which things are changing is quickly increasing. If this trend continues, and many people believe that it will, then the implications for our future are profound. And we're not talking about the distant future either. If you thought the rise of mobile phone technology and the internet over the last ten years was big, the changes that will take place over the next ten years will dwarf that. And the ten years after that... that's when things will start to get really wild. At some point people simply won't be able to keep up with the rate of change anymore. That's the singularity.
There are other singularity focused communities on Live Journal. The difference with this community is that we take a strictly scientific perspective. No new age mysticism will be found here. That doesn't rule out posts about things like consciousness. However, such posts will need to be backed up by references to work which has been published in reputable scientific research journals. As the saying goes, if you want to make amazing claims, then you need amazing evidence.