Silicon Valley Confronts the Singularity

A.I., just like the Singularity, is already being described as irreversible. “Stopping it would require something like a global surveillance regime, and even that isn’t guaranteed to work,” Mr. Altman and some of his colleagues wrote last month. If Silicon Valley doesn’t make it, they added, others will.

Less discussed are the vast profits to be made from uploading the world. Despite all the talk of A.I. being an unlimited wealth-generating machine, the people getting rich are pretty much the ones who are already rich.

Microsoft has seen its market capitalization soar by half a trillion dollars this year. Nvidia, a maker of chips that run A.I. systems, recently became one of the most valuable public U.S. companies when it said demand for those chips had skyrocketed.

“A.I. is the tech the world has always wanted,” Mr. Altman tweeted.

It certainly is the tech that the tech world has always wanted, arriving at the absolute best possible time. Last year, Silicon Valley was reeling from layoffs and rising interest rates. Crypto, the previous boom, was enmeshed in fraud and disappointment.

Follow the money, said Charles Stross, a co-author of the novel “The Rapture of the Nerds,” a comedic take on the Singularity, as well as the author of “Accelerando,” a more serious attempt to describe what life could soon be like.

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