Destiny sez, "In a new interview, Vernor Vinge predicts the Singularity within 21 years. 'I'd personally be surprised if it hadn't happened by 2030,' he announces, saying humankind may become 'the only animal that has figured out how to outsource its cognition' to superintelligent machines.
Since 1981 Vinge has been popularizing the idea of a massive technological shift which replaces 'the human era' with an advanced humanity augmented by artificial intelligence. 'It is very unsettling to realize that we may be entering an era where questions like 'What is the meaning of life?' will be practical engineering questions,' 64-year-old Vinge agrees. 'On the other hand, I think it could be kind of healthy, if we look at the things we really want — and look at what it would mean if we could get them.'"
I'm on record as being a skeptic about this stuff, but man, Vernor's fun to read.
Singularity 101 with Vernor Vinge