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Published on Feb 7, 2011
What is the Technological Singularity? Vernor Vinge, who coined the term, speaks about rapid technological change, offloading our intelligence onto the environment, and the awesome potential of Strong Artificial Intelligence which he says will culminate in the Technological Singularity by 2023.
"Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended." - "The Coming Technological Singularity" by Vernor Vinge, 1993
Vernor Vinge popularised and coined the term "Technological Singularity" in his 1993 essay "The Coming Technological Singularity", in which he argues that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which "the human era will be ended," such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it.
Vinge published his first short story, "Bookworm, Run!", in the March 1966 issue of Analog Science Fiction, then edited by John W. Campbell. The story explores the theme of artificially augmented intelligence by connecting the brain directly to computerised data sources. He became a moderately prolific contributor to SF magazines in the 1960s and early 1970s. In 1969, he expanded two related stories, ("The Barbarian Princess", Analog, 1966 and "Grimm's Story", Orbit 4, 1968) into his first novel, Grimm's World. His second novel, The Witling, was published in 1975.
Vinge came to prominence in 1981 with his novella True Names, perhaps the first story to present a fully fleshed-out concept of cyberspace, which would later be central to cyberpunk stories by William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and others.