Singularity will be an opt-in scenario for human beings, especially as we draw closer to it. The more that we have the opportunity to interface with and combine ourselves with machines and machinery and electronics - those will all be opt-in moments. Would you choose to have some sort of brain implant? Would you choose to have Google Glasses installed in your eyes? It's all an approach; it's all a glide path to the moment of genuine singularity; genuine artificial intelligence.
Instead of trying to produce a programme to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child's? If this were then subjected to an appropriate course of education one would obtain the adult brain.
Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity.
The artificial intelligence approach may not be altogether the right one to make to the problem of designing automatic assembly devices. Animals and machines are constructed from entirely different materials and on quite different principles. When engineers have tried to draw inspiration from a study of the way animals work they have usually been misled; the history of early attempts to construct flying machines with flapping wings illustrates this very clearly.
How hard is it to build an intelligent machine? I don't think it's so hard, but that's my opinion, and I've written two books on how I think one should do it. The basic idea I promote is that you mustn't look for a magic bullet. You mustn't look for one wonderful way to solve all problems. Instead you want to look for 20 or 30 ways to solve different kinds of problems. And to build some kind of higher administrative device that figures out what kind of problem you have and what method to use.
The development of artificial intelligence may well imply that man will relinquish his intellectual supremacy in favor of thinking machines. With oceans of time available for future innovation, there seems to be no reason why machines cannot achieve and surpass anything of which the human brain is capable.