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The Singularity is a predicted future time most often characterized by unprecedented technological progress and incomprehensibility to pre-Singularity observers. For most, it is the specific advent of minds smarter than present-day humans through technological means, and the society-changing effects believed to follow such an event. Others view the Singularity differently.
Another school of thought, promoted heavily by Ray Kurzweil, claims that technological progress follows a pattern of exponential growth, suggesting rapid technological change in the 21st century and the singularity occurring by 2045. Kurzweil considers the advent of superhuman intelligence to be part of an overall exponential trend in human technological development seen originally in Moore’s Law and extrapolated into a general trend in Kurzweil’s own Law of Accelerating Returns. The Singularity occurs when the exponential curve of technological progress becomes arbitrary close to vertical.
The Singularity is a popular subject in futurological predictions, both in science fiction and non-fiction works. While transhumanists generally regard the Singularity as a positive event and work to hasten its arrival, some view the Singularity as dangerous, undesirable, or unlikely to occur. Those who believe the Singularity is at least possible often debate how (or whether) the Singularity can be influenced by present actions, what the most practical means for initiating the Singularity are, and, if it is believed to be dangerous, how the Singularity can be made safer.