The technological singularity, or point of singularity, is a point in a future, even distant, of the existence of a supra-algorithmic intelligence that will exceed human intelligence. At the time of a digital revolution that is unprecedented, the growth of which is exponential, this hypothetical concept shakes today, more than ever, a host of experts and of novices who would be looking at a world where humans would become obsolete in the face of the machines that run it. While our readings of adolescence and our evenings popcornisées remind us of the anguish of such a scenario, it is finally time to discern without a tremor to the point phantasmagorical reality algorithms !

In this world of post-singularity-algorithms-intelligent superhuman would have the ability to create other algorithms, would have the consciousness to exist, or even have feelings ! The man, so useless in the creation of technology, creativity and decision-making, would become the slave of machines with evil intentions. For the majority of the experts in artificial intelligence, the course was technical to achieve such a paradigm is unrealistic. The algorithms (quasi -) self-learners are still highly specialized in running only specific tasks. The program AlphaGo, for example, may be the best go player in the world, but does not know or detect a tumor on an x-ray or predicting the evolution of stock markets. These algorithms will surely make that “simulate” a category of intelligence without ever “master” a general intelligence, which also includes the emotions.

Field of the possible

Several barriers, not least, emerging from the research of an algorithmic intelligence general : the analysis of the behavior of the human brain as well as its modeling and simulation. Even with the future increase of the powers of calculations and algorithms, it will surely be difficult to describe fully the dynamic behavior of the human brain, as it is complex and abstract. This will impact modeling and simulation, which will be limited by what we know or what we think we know about the human brain.

it is clear that the vast majority of scientists in artificial intelligence seeks to achieve this new paradigm, and it is so much better ! The assumption from the point of technological singularity invites us to think technical, but also philosophical in our place in the world order, the definition of intelligence, or even the field of potential partners to the opportunities and risks arising from it. The current debate, even foolish, such as those on the awarding of rights for robots, contribute to our collective reflection. The image of the search for extraterrestrial life, it is intellectually interesting to work to reach the technological singularity in order to move forward in leaps and bounds in our understanding of the world and to innovate in-depth on leading-edge technologies.

The point of singularity is still a lot of stories and adventures before him, and this is not to displease to George Lucas, Ridley Scott or even Steven Spielberg, who will be reassured by The Point and its annual event, Futurapolis next Friday in Toulouse !

* Aurélie Jean is a doctor in sciences and digital entrepreneur. This specialist French algorithms has conducted five years of research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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