THE HURWITZ SINGULARITY

Installation, 2008

Jonty Hurwitz (ZA)

“ The technological singularity” is a future time speculated in science fiction. At the singularity moment, a human-made machine will design a machine more advanced than itself. This moment will mark the end of mankind’s dominance. The singularity is the moment that machines become more intelligent than us. Some analysts expect the singularity to occur some time in the 21st century, although their estimates vary.

Many say that software will never be capable of human emotional intelligence. This could be the case but humanity may offer only one kind of intelligence. A tangible example is Google’s predictive search. Have you noticed in the last few years that it’s become quite good at knowing you? Does it know you better than your partner does? Is Google better than your parents at predicting your next question? When it comes to artificial intelligence and statistical probability, what is the point beyond which we become subservient to machines?

The technological singularity is only one example of a boundary in spacetime. The sound barrier, the melting point of ice, the Lagrangian point are but a few other examples. This sculpture offers a personal and emotional space-time boundary that each of us cross several times in our lives. It represents that moment when a personal epiphany emerges in your life that changes your perspective forever. The Hurwitz Singularity.

Artist's Statement

This piece is calculated from a precise four-dimensional scan of my own head. I wanted to capture my physical being in as much detail as technology allowed. It felt appropriate to be able to analyse myself at the highest resolution that modern science could record space-time. This sculpture evolved when I was deep in Freudian therapy. Four days a week on the sofa blazing new trails from the road that Sigmund Freud first mapped. To my analyst, I dedicate this piece. Dr Sanchez Bernal, this is the Hurwitz Singularity!