Technological Singularity: humans are dominated by machines?

We may be condemned by the technology development to create machines that surpass our own intelligence?

As technology , robotics and artificial intelligence advances , the more the question haunts us : will one day build machines that can overcome us, create autonomy and eventually enslave us ?

The fiction , both literary as film , brings us many examples and projections of a possible future . Between apocalyptic and integrated , there are forecasts and predictions of the most varied , both of whom believed in the harmonious coexistence of humans and robots as those who take for granted the extermination of the human race .

Philosophers and scientists discuss this issue increasingly concerned about ethical issues and prevention when it comes to the technological evolution , after all , what happens if we lose control of our machines ? And if we take autonomous decisions for their systems , so they finally acquire consciousness?

The consensus says that the current debate is simply impossible to predict what may happen . After all , maybe this scenario will never happen and men will never grant such control to machines.

And even in the worst case , we can not predict the behavior of intelligent robots . We would see an uprising like in the movies " Terminator" or a bondage of humanity , transformed into battery for computer systems , as in " The Matrix " ?

The technological singularity

The idea that sometime in the future artificial intelligence will surpass human received the term technological singularity from the text of the scientist and writer Vernor Vinge . The article " The Coming Technological Singularity : How to Survive in the Post -Human Era" , 1993 , considers the impending event , expected to occur before 2030 , and that will radically transform civilization .

Vinge compares the technological singularity to the emergence of human intelligence in the world and points out the possibilities of how that development can happen . The author lists four scientific fields that can lead to overshooting of men by machines : the advancement of artificial intelligence systems , computer networks become self-conscious , the interfaces between man and machine become so complex that would produce an evolutionary stage of man and expansion natural human intelligence through improved techniques of biological science .

These considerations , Vinge seems more interested in discussing the probabilities of evolution of artificial intelligence . One of the theoretical justifications to explain this possibility is Moore's Law , in force for more than 30 years , according to which every 18 months the processing power of computers doubles . According to the author , this rate is only a matter of time until the man create machines able to think like us.

With greater processor, software can be developed so that computing systems can analyze data and make decisions autonomously. If today's machines are already used in the construction of parts, cars and computer chips , it's not hard to imagine them designing better and more advanced models , should they have greater autonomy and intelligence.

With the possibility of machines and robots self-replication , and on top of knowing how to improve themselves , humans would become obsolete for the advancement of technology . Once the processes involved in the sector are greater than the capacity of human understanding , arrive at the point of technological singularity , with human intelligence surpassed by artificial.

Threat to humanity

Although theorizing about the possible future scenarios , Vinge does not advocate the technological singularity as a certainty and inevitability. The author argues that maybe the technology does not create the conditions for this historic event , and scientists predict that we are approaching a fundamental physical limit with regard to the ability of processors - they may not be much more advanced than they are today .

However , the possibility that this could happen generates much discussion , especially about the dangers and threats that the situation poses to humanity . The biggest fear is that men lose control over the machines , and they can revolt against humans , causing a war , slavery or even the extermination of our race .

On a less apocalyptic perspective, we can become too dependent on the intelligence of machines to solve more complex and global order, which would force us to accept the decisions of these systems social issues - which is not too far fetched considering how well the trust has information received by computational means.

Other threats may arise through the use of artificial intelligence to propagate segregation of class, digital , social and economic exclusion, especially in non- democratic regions , poorer or under totalitarian regimes . It is possible to imagine even a Big Brother controlled by networked machines .


Even those who believe that man can set how Asimov's laws to ensure control of robots by humans is considering that if artificial intelligence to overcome the human, the machine would not have reason to remain submissive to us.

For now, all we can anticipate the future is just speculation and theories that seem even outputs works of science fiction. However, they reveal dilemmas increasingly present in the scientific, philosophical and academia, which suggests it might be time to take the red pill and become aware about the course of humanity.