From ChatGPT to Singularity: The Search for a Truly Intelligent Machine

Singularity Unleashed — Will AI lead to Utopia or Dystopia?

Col Jung
Geek Culture
Published in
16 min readApr 22, 2023

--

Will humans and machines become one? Will one enslave the other? Source: Battlestar Galactica

In the world of AI, the ideas of technological singularity and General Artificial Intelligence (AGI) loom large.

These two related concepts are oftentimes conflated, but they aren’t exactly the same. The former refers to a historic technological milestone for human advancement, while the latter reflects just one of several ways to get there.

With ChatGPT gaining extremely rapid worldwide adoption, many are excited or concerned that we’re not too far off from witnessing these threshold events.

First up, let’s clarify some basic ideas.

Artificial General Intelligence refers to an AI system capable of performing any intellectual task a human can. Unlike narrow AI that’s designed to perform specific tasks like image recognition or natural language processing — and this includes the current state-of-the-art GPT-4 — AGI is designed to be an adaptable all-encompassing system that learn and reason the same way humans do.

Utopia or dystopia? No one knows what lies beyond the technological event horizon. Credit: Annibale Siconolfi

Singularity refers to the slippery concept that at a future point in time, the rate at which technology advances becomes so rapid that a dramatic transformation of human civilisation ensues.

As technological progress reaches escape velocity, we’ll likely see the emergence of capabilities and consequences beyond our comprehension and control.

The tricky thing about AI singularity — and why it borrows terminology from black hole physics — is that it’s enormously difficult to predict what lies beyond this technological event horizon.

So what’s the relationship between AGI and singularity?

Many believe that the emergence of AGI will cause a singularity event, because the moment AI exceeds beyond human control, its behaviour can’t be predicted.

--

--