This video originally ran in July, 2009 . With the Singularity Summit arriving in New York this weekend, it’s a good time to look back to, you know, look into the future.
Ray Kurzweil tells us about his vision of the Singularity—a point around 2045 when computers will acquire full-blown artificial intelligence and technology will infuse itself with biology. His theories have all sorts of supporters, detractors, and critics, but do you even remember what life was like before three-year-olds had cell phones and you actually had to remember facts instead of relying on the internet? That was only 10 years ago. If Kurzweil is right, we’ll have supercomputers more powerful than every human brain on the planet combined within a few decades.
Despite being perceived as an extreme optimist, Kurzweil is the first to admit that this technology could very quickly bring an end to the world as we know it. Stuff like gray goo is a concern, but a biological terrorist attack could happen tomorrow that is based on the very same type of technology he touts as the harbingers of the unimaginable future. He believes we’ll exist in a permanent virtual/“real”-reality hybrid.
It makes us think about future people spending all day auto-mastubrating to polygons with the genital equivalent of the Power Glove. But we’re sick like that, and if Ray is right, unenlightened pigs like us won’t be around in 40 years. Everyone will be hyper-intelligent, shapeshifting nonbiological humans who can live forever. It’s a bummer, a blessing, and a mind-fuck all at the same time. That’s about as much as we can explain on our own. Unless you’re really religious or dumb, watch on to have your brain melted.