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The Singularity May Never Be Near

Toby Walsh

Abstract


There is both much optimisim and pessimism around artificial intelligence (AI) today. The optimists are investing millions of dollars, and even in some cases billions of dollars into AI. The pessimists, on the other hand, predict that AI will end many things: jobs, warfare, and even the human race. Both the optimists and the pessimists often appeal to the idea of a technological singularity, a point in time where machine intelligence starts to run away, and a new, more in- telligent “species” starts to inhabit the earth. If the optimists are right, this will be a moment that fundamentally changes our economy and our society. If the pessimists are right, this will be a moment that also fundamentally changes our economy and our society. It is therefore very worthwhile spending some time deciding if either of them might be right.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1609/aimag.v38i3.2702

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