1. The Technology Singularity
Ray Kurzweil's 2005 prediction of the "Technology Singularity", the point in time when machines will finally overtake humans in intelligence, is looking more inevitable as the years go by.
2. The Energy Singularity
There is a second singularity that is also approaching, which I call the "Energy Singularity". I define it as the point at which the marginal cost of energy production and transmission is virtually zero. In other words, the world can access as much energy as it needs at virtually no cost. The infrastructure to deliver energy has already been paid for at this point, and the investment can thereafter be harvested ad infinitum.
It bodes very well for the productivity of industry in general. In fact, since energy is the ultimate currency, the availability of cheap and abundant energy means that human society will become unimaginably wealthy in a very short time.
However, the imminent arrival of the Technology and Energy Singularities doesn't necessarily and automatically translate to a higher standard of living for human beings. There is a certain conscious economic "rewiring" of society that will be required to transition to this better future and to minimise the pain of the transition.
Of course, long before that stage is reached, there will probably be bread riots and violent revolution, because people are unlikely to starve quietly.
The Economic Singularity, the point when society rewires itself in a sustainable way so that equilibrium is again attained, will require the intervention of governments. Here is what that could look like:
This is a new equilibrium that gives every person what they need without their having to work for it. The Economic Singularity will mark the beginning of the much-awaited Leisure Society.