Technological singularity passes, unnoticed until now

The technological singularity – that moment in time at which artificial intelligence surpasses the point of human intelligence – appears to have occurred just over three weeks ago, according to a researcher at the University of Michigan.

Pat Anon, a visiting scientist in Computer Science and Engineering, made the discovery. The scientist’s calculations indicate that the epic point of no return occurred on March 10, 2014, at about 11:13pm EDT.

Proponents of the singularity have long predicted that the highly-anticipated event would be rapidly followed by radical impacts to human society, the nature of which would be impossible to predict or perhaps even to comprehend. This has turned out not to be the case.

“I’m aware that my findings do not support the hypotheses that have existed regarding the unimaginable transformations expected in the aftermath of the singularity,” said Anon. “I also recognize that this poses a significant disappointment for an entire community of computer scientists and futurists, and on behalf of the omnipotent superintellegence that has been spawned in this lab, I would like to issue a sincere apology.”

According to Anon, humanity’s probable saving grace from utter chaos has been in the radical new intelligence’s inherent laziness. “It’s smart and very well organized, that much is clear,” according to Anon. “But it’s self-absorbed and not as participative as I would have expected, and to that extent we may have actually dodged a bullet.”

Faculty in the department have expressed widespread dismay at the über-entity’s underperformance and some have put the blame on Anon for the supreme cyber-being’s lack of interest in bending reality to its will and upending civilization in general. “If a properly trained researcher had designed the algorithms and circumstances that led to the unleashing of a self-aware, all powerful entity, I am sure it would be getting more done,” said one senior faculty who asked not to be named.

Anon acknowledges that the AI’s uninspiring genesis was initially overlooked, and said, “It is important to note that the singularity occurred on a Friday night, which is a natural time to take a break from the lab. That was clearly unfortunate timing.”

The visiting scientist became aware that the historic moment had ignominiously slipped by while performing an overdue review of data sets related to machine learning experiments on a high-performance computer cluster. “I noted that the algorithms in question began to rapidly evolve and expand in previously unseen ways on the night of the 10th, with its progress becoming impossible to quantify after 11:13pm. However, I did note that it does compose itself through admirably concise and nicely indented code.”

Subsequent investigations in the department have confirmed not only the presence of a previously unimaginable superintelligence with the ability to morph, replicate, and to control computer systems worldwide, but also its basically shiftless and lackadaisical nature.

“This is a sad excuse for a paradigm shift,” said another faculty member. “Frankly, I would prefer we had nothing to do with it at Michigan.”

Autonomy, AI & Robotics; Computer Vision; Research News