ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

When Will the Technological Singularity Happen?

Updated on August 6, 2020
goatfury profile image

Andrew enjoys taking a look at where the future is leading us by zooming out and taking a look at the big picture.

Rapidly changing times

As we look forward to the next 30 years, many futurists predict a coming "singularity", wherein the pace of change of technology and tech improvements will be so rapid that nobody with an unaugmented human brain will be able to understand the innovations, and nobody will be able to predict the outcome or direction of the technology itself. I believe this phenomenon may be a lot closer than most people think.


Our brains are already augmented

One of the main tenets of the technological singularity espoused by guys like Ray Kurzweil is that unaugmented human brains won't be able to keep up with the rapid pace of change when this singularity occurs. Consider how much we already rely on not only our smartphones, but also on "the cloud"- a mythical place where our memories and thoughts are stored.

For starters, I don't think I know a single phone number any more other than my own. I remember a time when I had to memorize at least my ten closest friends' phone numbers, along with my parents' house, a few restaurants or movie theaters, and so on. Now that information is stored in my cell phone, which is an Android device, which means the info is ultimately stored in "the cloud" somewhere (so that if my phone is destroyed, I won't lose any of those numbers).

Likewise, I have written many articles that outline my opinions on any number of issues, from the singularity to being in a punk rock band, to how to have fun with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Many of these articles lay out arguments I'll use when discussing a topic, but don't always remember the very best way to frame the discussion. That piece of my memory is now stored online. The same argument can be made for pictures and video, which are crystal clear memory fragments of a particular moment in my life, which I can remember with clarity as though I was there thanks to "the cloud."



What year will the technological singularity happen?

See results

Being "left behind"

When I have discussions with friends who don't have smartphones and insist on not using social media like Facebook, I find it increasingly difficult to have everyday discussions with them. It's almost as though we are no longer speaking the same language, because I'm able to process information far more rapidly than they are with my "augmented brain", whether it's via looking something up by talking into my phone (via Google), or crowdsourcing an answer by posting on Facebook or Twitter, whereby I get an answer within literal seconds.

Remember how we used to have debates about the first movie appearance of a particular actor, or what year a book came out? I used to argue about this with my friends all the time when growing up (and well into my early 20s), and we'd have debates based on logic in order to determine- very tenuously- who was right. This paradigm is kaput, because now we just look it up on the web and find out definitively in a matter of seconds. Those who lack the ability to research the correct answer instantly are going to be at a serious disadvantage as far as debating goes, because if you're arguing a fact with me and you're wrong, I'm going to know for sure that you're wrong within a few seconds if I just take the time to look it up.

Intelligent augmentation?

We're already seeing the next generation of intelligent augmentation, too, as Google Glass and the like begins to gain popularity (although, to be honest, we won't see this take off with any kind of real popularity until the price drops- and it will, very soon- and contacts are introduced, which seems to be likely within 2 years). Instead of stopping to look something up by getting out your phone (assuming it isn't already out, like an extra appendage, which is increasingly the case), we'll just be able to talk to our "glass" or "lens" and read on our heads up display.

Ultimately, this connectivity will result in a far more intelligent, more informed world. Opinions and new thought paradigms will spread far more rapidly, and antiquated notions of paranoid dogmas will come crashing to a timely end. In fact, this is already happening today, as many oppressive government regimes that once seemed invulnerable are now starting to show cracks in their defenses. Some (including Mikhail Gorbachev) believe that the advent of the Internet and the subsequent spread of knowledge contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union, arguably one of the greatest empires in modern history. Egypt's recent revolution is also sometimes referred to as "the Facebook revolution."

Bet you never thought you'd hear those words in that combination a few years ago!

We are borg

Join the movement forward. "We are borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

This may sound like something worth fighting against due to dystopian sci-fi fantasies about the future (and there are plenty of them, from The Matrix to 2001 to Transcendence), but in fact, technology is exactly what makes us human. We've been harnessing tools with our opposable thumbs for millions of years and evolving into the beautiful species you see today, and that process isn't stopping, it's accelerating. The possibilities of the human race over the coming decades will far surpass the accomplishments of the last 2000 years, beyond the unaugmented brain's wildest dreams. This is happening now. Become a part of it, and let's see what we can accomplish together!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2014 Andrew Smith


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)