William walks down fifth avenue in New York City. He sees a coat in a shop window his wife might like, but it has no price tag and William is on a tight budget.
His desire to buy the coat is detected by his internal computer and it automatically connects to the internet. The coat flashes in his vision displaying its price, brand, and material information over the image in William's vision. Simultaneously, William's banking program loads up and he sees his balance along with the last five transactions he made scroll up the right side of his visual field.
William grits his teeth, he can't afford the coat.
Detecting his frustration, his internal computer pulls up a like item in a window in the lower left part of his visual field. There's a coat that looks just like it on the net going for half the price. William smiles. His program buys the coat and directs the retailer to send it on to his house by Friday.
No, not the infinitesimal infinitely massive point at the center of a black hole (which I like to think of as "a singularity" to distinguish it), but "The Singularity" is the point at which human intelligence and machine intelligence become one. In essence, to achieve this is to become a cybernetic organism. This is not to become a big clunky thing like Robocop, but rather to achieve The Singularity is to experience the merging of two worlds. The Singularity is the point at which humans enhance their intelligence using computer technology to merge the biological mind with that of the machine.
When this does happen, and I believe it is a "when" and not an "if," it is going to have profound consequences. The prospect of being linked to the internet, and by extension to each other, in a mind-to-machine way is terrifying for some (or maybe most) people. I personally have mixed feelings about it, but from everything I've read on the subject so far this sort of human-computer entanglement is an inevitable part of the future.
I suppose it's going to be like any other radical new technology. Some will shy away, others will embrace it, and over time the majority of society will come on board once the advantages become clear. (Think of cell phones, smart phones, tablet computers, Facebook... etc.).
I like to take current scientific concepts and research, such as The Singularity, and incorporate them into my writing to give my worlds a feeling like "this could happen." Readers of my upcoming book, Blood Siren, will notice a definite influence from this concept on my world-building.
I had a lot of fun playing with the concept of this human-machine merge and I hope you have at least as much fun being in a world where the line between humanity and its technology is blurred.
Blood Siren will be available March 3, 2012 from Amazon.com!