The idea of superintelligent machines may sound like the plot of “The Terminator” or “The Matrix,” but many experts say the idea isn’t far-fetched. Some even think the singularity — the point at which artificial intelligence can match, and then overtake, human smarts — might happen in just 16 years.
But nearly every computer scientist will have a different prediction for when and how the singularity will happen.Some believe in a utopian future, in which humans can transcend their physical limitations with the aid of machines. But others think humans will eventually relinquish most of their abilities and gradually become absorbed into artificial intelligence (AI)-based organisms, much like the energy making machinery in our own cells.
In his book “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology” (Viking, 2005), futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted that computers will be as smart as humans by 2029, and that by 2045, “computers will be billions of times more powerful than unaided human intelligence”
Bill Hibbard, a computer scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, doesn’t make quite as bold a prediction, but he’s nevertheless confident AI will have human-level intelligence some time in the 21st century. Once the singularity occurs, people won’t necessarily die (they can simply upgrade with cybernetic parts), and they could do just about anything they wanted to — provided it were physically possible and didn’t require too much energy, Hibbard said.
Original Story Here