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Vernor Vinge Predicts "The Singularity"

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<p class="mw-mmv-title-para mw-mmv-ttf-container mw-mmv-ttf-normal"><span class="mw-mmv-title">Vinge at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference (CFP) 2006</span></p>
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Vinge at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference (CFP) 2006

Mathematician, computer scientist and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge called the creation of the first ultraintelligent machine the Singularity in the January 1993 Omni magazine. Vinge's follow-up paper entitled "What is the Singularity?" presented at the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center( now NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field) and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 30-31, 1993, and  slightly changed in the Winter 1993 issue of Whole Earth Review, contained the oft-quoted statement,

"Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly thereafter, the human era will be ended."

"Vinge refines his estimate of the time scales involved, adding, 'I'll be surprised if this event occurs before 2005 or after 2030.

"Vinge continues by predicting that superhuman intelligences, however created, will be able to enhance their own minds faster than the humans that created them. 'When greater-than-human intelligence drives progress," Vinge writes, "that progress will be much more rapid.' This feedback loop of self-improving intelligence, he predicts, will cause large amounts of technological progress within a short period of time" (Wikipedia article on Technological singularity, accessed 05-24-2009).

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