What is UNICE? UNICE is an acronym for Universal Network of Intelligent Conscious Entities, a term coined by artist and futurist Michael E. Arth in the 1990s to describe a new form of intelligent life that he and many others theorize will soon emerge on Earth from a hive-like interaction of computers, humans, and future forms of the Internet. Arth believes that a local form of UNICE will envelope Earth and then, unbounded by biological substrate, will propagate outward into the wider universe. If there is an existing, self-aware Cosmic Internet beyond this planet, our local UNICE could eventually join up with and merge with the greater UNICE. The acronym EUNICE is sometimes used to differentiate Earth’s Universal Network of Intelligent Conscious Entities from a truly universal UNICE.
Thus, the term UNICE refers to what will probably happen on Earth and what will or perhaps has already happened throughout the universe or multiverse. UNICE is what will result from accelerating technological change that appears to be leading to a computational or technological singularity. The term Singularity, usually capitalized to differentiate it from a black hole or mathematical singularity, has been described by Ray Kurzweil as “technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history”. Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns, a description and prediction about this accelerating pace of technological change, is a further elaboration of Moore’s law.
The first published use of the term Singularity in this context has been credited to mathematician John Von Neumann in 1958, while I.J. Good wrote of an intelligence explosion in 1965. Verner Vinge popularized the term beginning in the 1980s and wrote an essay in 1993 titled The Coming Technological Singularity. Inside the singularity surrounding a black hole, gravitation is so strong that not even light cannot escape. Applying this metaphorically to the evolution of technologies such as genetics, robotics, computation, and nanotechnology, the Singularity refers a point in the future beyond which it is impossible from our current perspective to shed light on the impending technological changes. This modern transhumanist myth of an emergent UNICE is an attempt to peer over the event horizon to give us a peek at a possible future.