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The Future Is Going To Be Incomprehensibly Complex


This article spells out how inventor Ray Kurzweil, who's been making frighteningly accurate predictions about the future for years, sees our future. His whole take on the level of society's progress differs from your Average Joe's concept of the same in one basic way: Joe sees things moving linearly, but Ray sees them progressing exponentially!

Take for example the human genome project. Originally scheduled to finish up in its fifteenth year, it had only completed mapping 1% of the human genome by year 7. Nobody thought it would be on time. But every subsequent year, the amount of progress doubled, until it did indeed encompass 100% in year 15.

Kurzweil says that most people can't comprehend the nature of the future as he sees it, because they look at things from a point of view ground in the present rate of things. But if you take into consideration things like, "Moore's Law," which says that processing power for computers will double each year (as it has shown to be doing), then within 20 years we should have computers that are smarter than people.

Kurzweil predicted back in the 80's that some sort of computer network would arise to connect us all, and he was right. He also said that a computer would beat the world chess champion in 1998. It did happen, but in 1997!

Among Kurzweil's ideas for the future are the interconnectedness between humans and machines. By around 2045, if you're not hooked in in some way, perhaps with nanobots complementing your brainpower, you may not be able to understand the changing technology. At that point, he says, we'll likely have reached the Technological Singularity, in which AI is coming up with new technology faster than ordinary humans can contribute.

What's the best part? Kurzweil sees nanotechnology, genetics, and robotics reaching a point where human life can be sustained indefinitely. He takes a lot of vitamins, and for good reason. If you take care of yourself, "you may just live long enough to live forever."

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