, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 119–130 | Cite as

Reviewing the Concept of Technological Singularities: How Can It Explain Human Evolution?

  • De Leon Petta Gomes da CostaEmail author
Original Research Paper


The concept of “technological singularity”, while controversial, is typically applied to predict the next explosion of intelligence related to advances in computers and artificial intelligence. A potential “rise of machines” has been explored at length by Ray Kurzweil, Vernor Vinge, and many other scholars and futuristic enthusiasts. This study focuses on the fundamentals of the concept of technological singularity to understand the technological evolution of humankind based on the four main characteristics that constitute this concept. When this method is applied to a historical view, it is possible to isolate four technologies worthy of being called “singularities”. In fact, these technologies have formed the basis of human evolution by drastically changing our interaction with the environment, changing how we understand our place in the universe, changing our social behaviour and organizational structure, boosting human intelligence and explaining demographic explosions.


Technological singularities Civilization Human evolution Artificial intelligence Anthropology 



This work was supported by the FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation; Grant Number: 2013/20955-5).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International RelationsRio Branco CollegeSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Political Geography LaboratoryUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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