Writing for Business

Mar 14 2011   6:59PM GMT

Is the Singularity a hypothetical event — or a theoretical one?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
The Singularity is a __________ future point when technology will have advanced beyond our ability to foresee or control its outcomes and the world transformed beyond recognition by the application of superintelligence to humans and/or human problems.
a. theoretical
b. hypothetical

Answer: b.

In science, a hypothesis is essentially an educated guess, based on observation of relevant facts; a theory is a generally-accepted explanation for how some observed phenomenon works.

According to the Theory of General Relativity, for example, matter causes space to curve. It is posited that gravitation is not a force, as understood by Newtonian physics, but a curved field (an area of space under the influence of a force) in the space-time continuum that is actually created by the presence of mass.

The Singularity is not, in the same sense, a theory — it’s just something that a select group of futurists expect to happen and really shake up our world. Want to start preparing? Read our definition of the Singularity

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