At the beginning of 21st century, the western IT industry was in urgent need of an ideological basis for the promotion of its products, so it started to actively exploit the concept of “technological singularity.” Invented by fantasy writer Vernor Vinge, this concept comes from the observations of the exponential acceleration of progress in some areas of human activity. Based on these particular (quite particular) cases, the conclusion was made about the imminent appearance of computer superintelligence that would improve itself in such unrestricted and incomprehensible ways resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilization.
However, “technological singularity” loses its popularity in the 2020s due to the failure of some related fantasies. First came the bankruptcy of “nanotech” companies that had mastered huge budgets but could not create promised “nanobots.” Then, the artificial intelligence (AI) bubble began deflating. It turned out that successful machine learning (ML) used to solve particular tasks could not be scaled to wider classes of practical problems. At the same time, already implemented AI solutions required more and more human resources to train ML models, correct multiple AI errors and provide security for those over-complicated systems. In the view of all these troubles, the idea of “general/strong AI” was dumped the same way as previously discarded dreams of “philosophical stone,” “universal medicine” and “ideal wife.”
Finally, the very concept of “technological singularity” is declared a destructive cult and banned in some countries. The reason for this: accelerating growth usually ends either by a smooth fade (S-shaped curve of population dynamics) or by a sharp avalanche (stock market crash). Avalanches are common for overheated and super-connected systems which are too fragile due to power law distribution: a small number of elements can drastically influence all the others. That’s exactly what happened after the active distribution of uniform digital technologies: most people on Earth use the same search engine, the same social network, the same company’s smartphones, etc. In this fragile word, technological avalanches can become a big problem even without superintelligence, threatening to throw humanity back to the level of the Middle Ages. For this reason, the destructive cult of singularity is displaced by more meaningful doctrines of technobiological diversity and harmony.