I have a quirky fascination with the future. I think it all started the first time I saw Back to the Future (hover-boards FTW!). When I stumbled upon this article, my imagination went wild with excitement.
Google’s Director of Engineering Ray Kurzweil, the world’s most famous futurist, is known for making eerily accurate predictions of the future. His most recent predictions include having a circulation of self-driving cars by 2017, being able to turn off our fat cells by 2020, and ultimately staying young forever by 2040. Was it weird that my first thought was ‘So my aging will stop when I’m 63? Ah man, I should’ve been born 10 years from now.’
It blows my mind how quickly humans are gaining control not only the over the future of our planet, but also over pushing the boundaries of human capabilities. I think it’s almost a matter of time (perhaps when we have nanotechnologies monitoring our health inside our bodies?) before we will need to start referring to ourselves as super-humans.
After reading the article, I watched Ray Kurzweil’s 2009 documentary Transcendent Man, which focuses on a concept called Singularity. Singularity has been defined as “a hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence, radically changing civilization, and perhaps human nature.”*
I think it’s a bit out there when Kurzweil was seen popping over 150 multivitamin and supplement pills each day, but I do think that he makes many thought-provoking insights. Led me to realize that even though we might not be able to build what we want in the future right now, we can at least create the plans and patents for them (we have much more power over what the future will look like than we ever did before!) This reminded me of how crazy of an idea people thought Google Maps was, but hey, someone wanted to make that happen years ago when it was thought to be impossible, and now it is. Don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty amazing.
What do you want to see in our future?
*Eden, Amnon; Moor, James; Søraker, Johnny; Steinhart, Eric, eds. (2013). Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment. Springer. p. 1.