What is a singleton?

A singleton is a world order in which there is only one decision maker with any power over outcomes. This decision maker would be able to prevent any other agent from threatening it and would be able to ensure any outcome it desires.

A singleton may have internal complexity and multiple subagents, but ultimately it acts as a unit. Examples of a singleton could include a world government or a planet-wide superintelligence.

There are numerous pathways which could lead to a singleton. One example is if there is an extremely fast takeoff, such that whichever superintelligence is developed first is able to self-improve to the point of being able to overcome all opposing forces.

The concept was introduced by Nick Bostrom in 2005.