Summary: The “Singleton Hypothesis” proposes that umans lost their place at the top of the world order not because it was taken from us, but because we gave it up willingly – to a world government, a universal moral code, or even a super-intelligent artificial intelligence
Original author and publication date: Katie Spalding – October 8, 2021
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: What if the “singleton” is the Matrix? That’s what the article suggests
From the article:
What does the future of humanity look like? Will we boldly go where no one has gone before? Or perhaps we end up in an arid dystopian hellscape, fighting in the dust over a drop of water.
Maybe, though, the future won’t be human at all. No, we’re not talking about a doomed war against our evolutionary cousins or the species’s eventual split into eloi and morlocks. What if humans lost their place at the top of the world order not because it was taken from us, but because we gave it up willingly – to a world government, a universal moral code, or even a super-intelligent artificial intelligence?
This is the vision known as the “Singleton Hypothesis”. It comes from the futurist philosopher Nick Bostrom, and it’s the idea that humanity – or in fact any intelligent life on Earth – will eventually live as a “singleton”: a world ruled by a single decision-making entity.
“It is an open question whether the singleton hypothesis is true,” writes Bostrom. “My own opinion is that it is more likely true than not.”
In fact, Bostrom believes, it’s simply the final step on a ladder we’re already climbing. If you look at where humanity started and compare it to where we are now, he says, the Singleton Hypothesis starts to look all but inevitable.
“Historically, we have seen an overarching trend towards the emergence of higher levels of social organization, from hunter-gatherer bands, to chiefdoms, city-states, nation states, and now multinational organizations, regional alliances, various international governance structures, and other aspects of globalization,” he explains. “Extrapolation of this trend points to the creation of a singleton.”
Now, we’ve all seen The Matrix, so we’re probably all thinking the same thing right now.