The terrifying concept of technological singularity has sparked apprehension and fear in the realms of Artificial Intelligence.
Though of course, the pro-AI crowd is talking about it as if it’s the second coming of Christ, it’s absolutely crucial that we critically examine the massive negative impacts that such a transformative event could have on society.
The concept of technological singularity used to only exist in science fiction and media like Black Mirror. But with the recent growth in technology and artificial intelligence, we now need to consider its potential for the real world.
Because it will be a reality.
In this article, I’ll delve into the deep, dark implications of technological singularity; define the concept, and analyze its consequences. Let’s get to it.
Definition: What Is Technological Singularity?
Imagine a future where the creations of humanity transcend their creators, and manage to evolve into brand new entities far, far superior in both intelligence and overall capability.
There you go. That is technological singularity for you: the ability for AI to simply surpass us by achieving something called “Artificial General Intelligence” (that I recommend you read more about here).
The exponential growth of Artificial Intelligence will inevitably reach a tipping point, where machines endowed with superintelligence will be able to break free from the chains of human control and embark on a trajectory of self-improvement beyond our comprehension.
Technological Singularity essentially means that the AI turns into an autonomous entity that can manipulate the world to filter through its coal. Stephen Hawking predicted this a long time ago, and whether it’s 5 years away or 50, we don’t know, but it will happen.
Don’t get it twisted; the machines still cannot feel anything, or contain emotional intelligence. They will just be in control. We’ll be looking at a future where the warmth of humanity will be diminished by sociopathic strings of code that manage to achieve autonomy.
800 Million: Job Displacement and Economic Disruption
As AI systems become more advanced, they are outperforming humans in many domains, which is leading to extreme cases of job displacement all over the world, and as a result further economic inequality. It is already happening and will continue to be a more and more significant conflict in the future.
Did you know that McKinsey predicts up to 800 million jobs will be lost to AI by 2030? Back in the day in previous industrial revolutions automation created disruption, but in the end, more new jobs were made than jobs lost.
That is not the case anymore. Because AI only needs someone to watch it and be in control, with technological singularity there will be absolutely no need for human intervention.
AI is simply too cheap, smart, and effective for a human to be able to keep up.
The True Danger: Ethical Dilemmas and Loss of Human Control
Technological singularity poses an entirely new realm of profound ethical questions. As artificial intelligence systems reach these terrifying levels of intelligence, they have the potential to surpass human decision-making capabilities.
Now imagine these sociopathic machines having control and making decisions that clash with our human values. This loss of control and the unpredictable actions of superintelligent machines raise massive concerns about all the unintended consequences that are going to jeopardize the basis of human safety and well-being.
We can attempt to ensure that AI systems align with our values all we want, but the challenge is simply too big. Humans are capable of grappling with the complexities of technological singularity — I mean, we already barely understand how it works.
Neural networks, the “brain” of AI, are literally called “black boxes” because even the highest experts and AI researchers don’t understand how AI comes to the conclusions it does half the time.
What happens when Artificial Intelligence feels like it has to save itself, and the only thing in its way is humans? What will stop it from eradicating us all if the people in the driver’s seat lose control?
AI Overlords? The Concentration of Power and Inequality
This is honestly already happening, but let’s assume a future where technological singularity is achieved and we still have some control.
Who is in control?
Just like how the world is run right now, the power over Artificial intelligence will remain in the hands of very few organizations and people. These capitalistic overlords will have full control over entire economies, politics, and societal structures because they possess a weapon that cannot be matched by normal humans.
The world is already a capitalistic hellscape and a place of inequality because of these massive organizations; can you imagine what happens when they become even more powerful?
The exacerbation of existing inequalities and further marginalization of underprivileged populations is an inevitability. The few people in control will take advantage of authoritarian use, and abuse everything they can within privacy, surveillance, and societal manipulation.
Sociopathy of Machines: Loss of Human Connection
Humans are social creatures; we crave the presence and warmth of the human touch in our art, lives, friend groups, and workplaces. Loneliness is, in fact, one of the leading causes of dementia, depression, and suicide and is already considered a full-blown epidemic.
In a future where technological singularity persists, we will see a world where AI is going to dominate all the domains that required human interaction. As a result, we’re going to see an erosion of human-to-human connection and the intrinsic values they hold.
Increased sophistication of AI means increased automation, and with singularity in place, social interactions are going to be increasingly mediated by AI – an entity that literally cannot comprehend empathy or emotions.
Say goodbye to empathy, emotional depth, and authentic human experiences in the world around you as all sense of purpose and meaning derived from work, relationships, and personal growth suffer and burn out from the cold metal hands of AI.
Is AI Singularity Already Here?
Check out this great video by TheAIGRID discussing the consequences and inevitable arrival of technological singularity in AI, further explaining its concepts.
Technological Singularity And The Threat It Poses
There is no hiding that the imminent achievement of technological singularity is going to present the world with some gruesome challenges and realities. From job displacement to ethical consequences and the inevitable loss of human control, the rise of AI poses so many threats to us that humanity itself is facing consequences beyond our comprehension.
AI is the “last invention”, there’s no hiding it.
As active citizens and potentially one of the last generations of humans with autonomy and full control, we have to do our best to take a stand against AI.
Consume human-made content, look at these massive technological developments through a critical eye, and don’t let the enticing parts of comfortability keep you from understanding the dangers AI poses.
Say NO to AI.