What will 2050 be like?
The worst-case scenario is that humanity becomes extinct. Nuclear winter, maybe, or bioterrorism with a programming bug, genetical creation of something really bad, robots exterminate us, an asteroid comes out of nowhere at one-tenth the speed of light, gray goo mash the earth into a gray blob. There are way too many ways this can happen!
Second-worst: civilization resets and humans are forced back to hunting and gathering, or maybe farming if we’re lucky.
Humans might be overwhelmed by robots, and become emotionless creatures who kill each other with poker faces. Civilization would just operate without people actually caring. Psychopaths would catch psychopaths and talk to psychopaths and blog about psychopathic boring sludge.
The Singularity comes as a spike and there result in about 1000 elite individuals capable of using the technology, maybe 1000 more who know about the technology but can’t describe it, and one hundred billion normal people. Uninformed people who never get to see the technology, never get a stab at a meaningful life.
People become over-absorbed into something like virtual reality or happiness-stimulators. Nobody cares about the real world technology any more, or at most only about the technology to make their happiness more real. No more philosophy. No more learning. No more knowledge.
The artificial intelligences are very smart, and don’t particularly like humans, so they enslave us. People are reduced to the capabilities of pets.
The Singularity simply doesn’t come. Somewhere along the line, things are simply infeasible.
The Singularity’s power is outlawed because people realize that it’s just dangerous.
The Singularity occurs. People get uploaded and downloaded, modify themselves, take on robot forms, simulate intelligences, interface with computers, copy themselves. Society’s problems, however, aren’t solved yet. Best case scenario. Humans still won’t have a working society, I can tell you that. We’re human.