A technological singularity is sort of an event horizon in the predictable development of humanity and it's technology. We are currently the dominant force in scientific and technological progress. However, following the creation of a strong artificial intelligence (AI) or a enhanced human bio-form, or perhaps both, a combination of the two if you will, we will no longer be that dominant force. Instead our own creations will literally become better than us.
To quote I.J. Good:
- "Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an 'intelligence explosion,' and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make."
I don't know how you feel about humans losing their position as the dominant force on the planet because of our own actions, but I don't like it. This is one of the points this topic is about, how do you feel about a technological singularity? It could lead to great things, with us living in harmony with these newly created intelligent life forms, benefiting from their advancing technology that we couldn't invent for perhaps centuries yet. Yet it could also lead to violence, war, and if it came to that, we would undoubtedly be the losers. The Matrix is perhaps the best example of a technological singularity gone horribly wrong, although their are others as well, Gundam SEED for example, where genetically enhanced humans and normal humans are at war, abusing any WMD they can get their hands on.
In the end, do the benefits outweigh the risks? Should we allow for a greater power to come to, in hopes we can benefit from them and it will not turn on us, or should we take the safe past, and rely on our own intelligence and ingenuity to advance technologically through the ages?
One of the more interesting points to note, is that there are theoretically 3 or less "mindsteps" left before the possible technological singularity here on earth. Mindsteps are revolutionary new technologies or ideas for humanity that influence many new inventions and ideas. The next mindstep is predicted for 2021, and the last one in 2053.