James D. Miller, an Assistant Professor of Economics at Smith College, wrote a review in which he offers some reasons for skepticism and suggests that a better title might be "The Singularity Is Probably Near." However, Miller predicts (hyperbolic title notwithstanding) that TSIN will be "the most reviewed book in the Blogosphere this year" -- and I'm sure he's right.
Responding to part of Miller's review, Arnold Kling, the author of Learning Economics, went back to Kurzweil's 1999 book, The Age of Spiritual Machines. Kling examines the predictions made in that book, and concludes:
Kurzweil has been systematically overly optimistic concerning some forms of artificial intelligence. But in forecasting developments based on brute computation and nano-scale engineering. . . Kurzweil has been, if anything, a bit conservative.
Both Kling and Miller seem to suggest that counting on strong AI to trigger a Technological Singularity before 2045 (a date that Kurzweil proposes) may be a bad bet. Also, however, they both appear confident that accelerating progress can be expected in nanotechnology, leading to atomically-precise, exponential, general-purpose manufacturing. Whether or not AI actually causes computers or robots to "wake up," the societal and environmental implications of molecular manufacturing are extreme to say the least.
One might even say that nanotech, all alone, could produce astonishing change rapid enough to be called a Singularity.
By the way, in his analysis of technologies that could bring about the Singularity, Miller says: "Nanotechnology refers to the building of extremely small machines."