by Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
The short version:
If computing power doubles every two years,
what happens when computers are doing the research?
Computing power doubles every two years.
Computing power doubles every two years of work.
Computing power doubles every two subjective years of work.
Two years after computers reach human equivalence, their power doubles again. One year later, their speed doubles again.
Six months – three months – 1.5 months … Singularity.
It’s expected in 2035. (Oops, make that 2025.)
Ok, so that is what it’s about. There is an old idea that the soul is infinite. Things can go at any damn rate they like the soul will match it. In fact these perhaps dubious scientific notions have more power as a metaphorical expression of our psyche than they do as actual events in the world. Hence we have Carl Jung writing about UFOs. If they did not exist we’d have to invent them! Singularity is like that too. Or is it?