The Singularity: Connecting Dots

The AI Virtuous Cycle

I have found that the metaphor “Connecting the Dots” is a good way to think about the emerging future. With the sheer number of dots emerging, and the pace at which they advance, we are challenged both by the number of dots, and the speed at which they emerge and Intersect. These dots are combining to form virtuous cycles; complex chains of events that reinforce themselves through feedback loops. Visualizing both the connections and the cycles is one approach to finding the signal through the noise.

One critical signal is timing. In a recent Post, I explored this signal through an Artificial Intelligence (AI) lens and one small dot; computing power. Gerd Leonhard did a masterful job taking it a step further in this recent Post on The Singularity. Gerd explored other AI dots, connecting them in a way that convinced him the singularity will happen in his own lifetime. He believes that the velocity obstacles limiting artificial intelligence and other exponential technologies will be eliminated in the next 2 decades (I agree). He has consistently stated that the next 20 years will bring more changes than the past 300 years: and with his focus on ethics, he concludes that life could be amazing (if we govern technology wisely) or it could be utterly inhuman (if we empower technology endlessly, unwisely and unethically).

To reinforce the dots that Gerd connected, I pulled together this visual:

I believe that a key leadership trait going forward is an ability see the dots emerging and their likely intersections.

Originally published at on August 15, 2017.