The Singularity: What the Heck Is It?

The Singularity: What the Heck Is It?

Have you heard the term “singularity” thrown around in reference to wearable tech? Some people say it’s scary, über-scientist Stephen Hawking says it could mean the end of the human race, and others say we’re already there. You should definitely know what it means. Take a look:

What does “singularity” mean?

Put simply: the singularity is the predicted moment in time in which computers become smarter than humans.

Relying heavily on Al, or artificial intelligence, and molecular science, the technological singularity evokes images of 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the movie, the spacecraft’s onboard computer, HAL, develops fatal intentions towards it’s human occupants. It is a very frightening idea; however, it’s one with a lot of merit. Proponents of the event predict that it will occur sometime between the years 2030 and 2045. We can use computers to 3D print living organs. Harvard researchers are actively developing mind control technologies. (Yes, really.)

In many ways, our computers already know more than we do. Google Glass remembers more people than you do. My phone knows how many Starbucks lattes I’ve had in the past year, and when I’m likely to go back in. My favorite shopping sites know when I am primed to purchase. There are jackets that can sense when you need a hug – and give you one. Comforting… or not?

While we’re not suggesting killing your computer, we do think it’s worth thinking about the implications of where technology is heading: into a new interconnectedness, a world made of big data, a world where devices have become our jewelry and we never take them off.

We may not be able to stop where we’re heading but we should at least think about what it might look like.

Check out these further resources about the singularity:

Ray Kurzweil’s seminal book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

The ‘Countdown to Singularity’ chart

Singularity Hub: Science. Technology. The Future of Humanity.

Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables. You look lovely today!