- The technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.
- A mechanical device, operated electronically, that functions automatically, without continuous input from an operator.
- The act or process of automating.
- The state of being automated.
An automaton (plural: automata or automatons) is a self-operating machine, or a machine or control mechanism designed to follow automatically a predetermined sequence of operations, or respond to predetermined instructions.
The term automaton can also be applied to humans, or human behaviour that is machine-like and operates blindly without free will.
Artificial Intelligence (Ai)
Term coined: John McCarthy – 1955
The intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is also the name of the academic field of study which studies how to create computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent behaviour.
“The science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” – John McCarthy
Term coined: Gordon E. Moore – 1965
The observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. The observation is named after Gordon E. Moore, the co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor, whose 1965 paper described a doubling every year in the number of components per integrated circuit, and projected this rate of growth would continue for at least another decade. In 1975, looking forward to the next decade, he revised the forecast to doubling every two years.
The Singularity (Technological)
Term coined: John von Neumann – 1958
The technological singularity is the hypothetical advent of artificial general intelligence (also known as “strong AI”). Such a computer, computer network, or robot would theoretically be capable of recursive self-improvement (redesigning itself), or of designing and building computers or robots better than itself. Repetitions of this cycle would likely result in a runaway effect — an intelligence explosion — where smart machines design successive generations of increasingly powerful machines, creating intelligence far exceeding human intellectual capacity and control.
“The ever accelerating progress of technology… gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.” – John von Neumann
The Singularity (Other meanings)
the state of being singular, distinct, peculiar, uncommon or unusual
a point where all parallel lines meet
a point where a measured variable reaches unmeasurable or infinite value
(mathematics) the value or range of values of a function for which a derivative does not exist
(physics) a point or region in spacetime in which gravitational forces cause matter to have an infinite density; associated with Black Holes. In the centre of a black hole is a gravitational singularity, a one-dimensional point which contains infinite mass in an infinitely small space, where gravity become infinite and space-time curves infinitely, and where the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate.
Transhumanism (abbr. H+ or h+)
An international and intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and creating widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.