Are We Ready For Economic Singularity?


The convergence of artificial intelligence and the workforce presents unique economic challenges that need to be addressed.

Many of us have heard about the concept of technological singularity — The theoretical point in which artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence leading to a boom in technological development and exponential growth in automation, fundamentally altering the structure of human civilization.

The concept gained mainstream attention in 2005 with the publication of the best selling book The Singularity Is Near by renowned futurist and former Google engineering director Ray Kurzweil. Kurzweil posited that technological singularity would take place by the year 2045, leading to a series of society altering developments including the merging of humans with cybernetics and biohybrid robotics, effectively transforming the human species.

Only recently did Kurzweil update his prediction factoring in the rapid advancements of artificial intelligence to now predict this singularity may take place as soon as the end of the decade, in 2029. 

While there are many concerns regarding the subject of singularity, another aspect of the concept which receives far less acknowledgment is that of economic singularity.

The much debated and controversial concept of economic singularity postulates a premise in which the rapid development of artificial intelligence and automation and the intersection between technology and economics reaches a point of convergence which will radically alter the nature of work, production, and economic growth. 

While it does boast potential benefits including advancing efficiency and productivity as well as revolutionizing various fields such as healthcare and scientific research, there are a number of equally significant concerns which coincide with it that deserve to be addressed as well. 

First and foremost among these is the threat of mass unemployment and job displacement. With the concern being that as the advanced capabilities of artificial intelligence and technological automation become more commonplace that it will eventually result in these technologies outperforming work done by humans in various fields, giving rise to anxieties that man will be replaced with machines.

These fears have already been realized in certain capacities with the emerging prevalence of self checkout kiosks in a number of stores and restaurants that has led to a reduction of cashiers in certain areas.

With regard to economic singularity, some believe that these advancements could occur so rapidly that society will be unable to adapt. Causing a significant reduction in the workforce and ultimately resulting in increased income inequality, economic hardships, or even poverty. 

This concept leads to the secondary concern regarding contemporary economic models and their viability of existing within such a singularity.

With most established economic models predicated upon human labor as a critical component of production and growth, the premise that much of the working class could be replaced with such advanced automations leads many to conclude that it would ultimately diminish the value of human labor as a whole and inevitably disrupt these modern economic systems. Resulting in a need to create new systems that can more efficiently coincide with this new version of society. 

Some view this as a deliberate consequence, a sort of manufactured crisis that could then be used to usher in systems that are more compatible with globalist agendas including wealth redistribution, and more specifically the concept of ushering in a universal basic income coinciding with central banking digital currencies and similar mechanisms of social control. 

With regard to that same aspect, it also gives rise to a series of ethical and social implications. Considering the state of the world today and the fact that we already predominantly live in a society in which the majority of the wealth is hoarded by an elitist predator class manufacturing the poverty of the masses, the implication that this same group of individuals would preside over an economic singularity resulting in the mass replacement of human workforces, plausibly resulting in civil unrest and overall destabilization of communities, and the potentiality they would respond to such crises with their own agendas is gravely concerning. 

It exemplifies the need for a much broader discourse regarding the advancement of artificial intelligence and technological capabilities and their impact on society at large. As well as the need to discuss methods of decentralization, transparency, and accountability to ensure a more responsible and equitable implementation of such technologies. 

Overall the concept of economic singularity presents a series of unique challenges along with its potential benefits. Whether or not it will take shape exactly the way it is described here is yet to be seen. But with the continued advancement of these kinds of technologies it is essentially a certainty that we will see this concept manifest in some capacity in our lifetimes, and humanity would do well to be ready for it when that happens.