“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology”
— Carl Sagan.
Singularity is the term used by futurists to describe the point where machines have developed to the point where humans can no longer fully understand or forecast what they are capable of. The idea of artificial intelligence (AI) goes back to the mid-fifties, although Issac Asimov was writing about smart robots back in 1942 (the word robot comes from the Czech word for drudgery).
The true test for artificial machine intelligence dates way back to 1950, when the British mathematician Alan Turing suggested that we would be able to submit statements and not be able to tell whether the responses came from another person or a machine.
The sixties and seventies saw a great deal of progress in AI, but real breakthroughs failed to materialize. Instead scientists and developers focused on specific problems, like speech recognition, text recognition and computer vision. However, we may be less than ten years away from seeing Turing’s AI vision become a reality.