The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive the Post-Human Era [30 Year Assessment]

This 1993 paper by Vernor Vinge, retrieved from the NASA Technical Reports Server, makes bold predictions about the state of technology today.

Shift to Singularity

Vinge details a monumental technological shift underway that throughout the remaining ’90s, 2000s, 2010s creating a pathway for:

  • Creating awake, super intelligent computers
  • Transforming large computer networks into a single intelligent entity
  • Developing deeply integrated computer-human interfaces Enhancing human intellect through biological science

30 Year Anniversary

Thirty years later, the premise is up for evaluation. Though Vinge predicts the shift to singularity would happen within 30 years (which would make it past due), he does allow some wiggle room.

He’d be surprised if singularity occurred before 2005, he writes, and if it wasn’t reached by 2030.

How have the predictions panned out so far?

Super Intelligent Computers

While computing technology has advanced significantly, we haven’t reached the point of sentient computers with consciousness or self awareness.

Intelligent Networks

Large computer networks have become more impressive and integrated but they haven’t merged into a single super intelligent network.

Computer/Human Interfaces

There’s been remarkable progress in this area, but mostly for medical applications.

Biological Enhancements

There have been advances in genetics and neurosciences but we’re not yet significantly augmenting intellect biologically for superhuman cognition.

Read the Report

Read the full paper here