The Singularity. That exciting future moment drawing all too near when artificial intelligence finally surpasses the human variety, leading to an unimaginable Matrix-like universe of virtual reality, immortality, and....
Bor-ing. We've all heard that before. What about some new ideas?
Currently a group of "cranky futurists" is collaborating on a hilarious Google Docs presentation that lays out 30 or 40 just-as-plausible alternatives to the Singularity. Some favorites:
THE GROUPONULARITY In which aggregate consumer purchasing power + pricing algorithms + applied captology, allows your mother (working in concert with everyone else's mother) to reduce the price of 99% of mainstream consumer goods to ~0. The global economy is replaced by something almost equally improbable. Unfortunately, it's composed entirely of Jet-Ski adventure days, bread makers, and underwhelming restaurant meals. —@justinpickard
THE HILARULARITY In which LOLSec, an angry cult of unemployed programmers, initiates a self-replicating bot attack that manages to delete all non-comedy content on the public Internet and replaces it with LOLs.
And we laughed and laughed forever...—@changeist
THE MYRHVOLDULARITY In which patent trolls secure the rights to Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit, as a result of which every person on the planet must pay 0.0003415 cents for every thought they have had and will have to the private company Intellectual Ventures. People stop thinking and can only feed themselves by accessing molecular gastronomy through Microsoft Operating Systems.—@camerontw
If you don't like any of these options, you can sign on to the Google Docs presentation and add your own. But be careful, the future is in the balance.
[Image: Flickr user Rasmin]