Technology and the experience of what it means to be human are evolving at an exponential rate, entering the steep of an asymptotic curve. If we don't destroy ourselves first, it is likely in a few decades we may not even recognize ourselves as what we are today. Hang on, we're embarking on one helluva ride and the outcome is a real nail biter.
Google Image search, instead of returning photos it indexed from millions of sites, could take a query and based on what it knows about good photography and you, build an entire new photo from scratch that would perfectly match your request. Instead of searching for a photo, it would create it.
The thought experiment driving the evolution and development of this idea for over 8 years is: “if I were a sentient entity at the scale of our planet, what would I need in order to become functionally self-aware?” the subtext to that inquiry is, “what evidence, if anything, is there which points to the possibility that a higher order entity (existing governments, ngo’s and corporations not withstanding) may be emerging from the sum of human interactions?”
In my last post, I added more future scenarios to this visual describing the complexity and impact of our emerging future. The one piece left unfinished was the expansion of innovation accelerators to include emerging and future accelerators.
"In the 2030s," said Ray, "we are going to send nano-robots into the brain (via capillaries) that will provide full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system and will connect our neocortex to the cloud. Just like how we can wirelessly expand the power of our smartphones 10,000-fold in the cloud today, we'll be able to expand our neocortex in the cloud."
The research by High Performance Networks (HPN) group in the University of Bristol’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering has found, for the first time, a scientific solution that enables future internet infrastructure to become completely open and programmable while carrying internet traffic at the speed of light.
In a recent study, Prof. Tongcang Li at Purdue University and Dr. Zhang-qi Yin at Tsinghua University proposed the first scheme to use electromechanical oscillators and superconducting circuits to teleport the internal quantum state (memory) and center-of-mass motion state of a microorganism. They also proposed a scheme to create a Schrödinger’s cat state in which a microorganism can be in two places at the same time. This is an important step towards potentially teleporting an organism in future.
Graphene – said by many to be the lightest, thinnest yet hardest material in the world may soon be used to create the perfect wearable device. Academics from the University of Manchester reported that graphene communication devices would not only be lightweight and unbreakable, but have the ability to be printed directly onto the skin …
If scientists can get a brain implant to give neural stimuli that affects our perspectives, moods, and behaviors, then the future of drugs could be totally different than what it is now. In fact, in such a future, drug creation would become the domain of engineers and coders. This could become the next major frontier of the so-called drug market.
Researchers have created a cognitive model, made up of two million interconnected artificial neurons, able to learn to communicate using human language starting from a blank slate. The system learns, only by way of communication with a person.
"The nanostructures exhibit properties similar to biological synapses. Using newly developed technology, the memristors were integrated in matrices: in the future this technology may be used to design computers that function similar to biological neural networks."
A team of psychology and computer engineering professors at Binghamton University was able to successfully match test subjects to their uniquely identifying brain waves—or, brainprints—with 100 percent accuracy.
What the study’s authors discovered was each person’s brain wave responses to the visual stimuli were unique enough to identify them by—very much like fingerprints or DNA.
It’s not illogical to wonder, then, how brainprints can and will be used to surveil citizens outside of the lab.
What if we could harness the power of the human brain by using actual brain cells to power the next generation of computers? As crazy as it sounds, that’s exactly what neuroscientist Osh Agabi is building. Koniku, Agabi’s startup, has developed a prototype 64-neuron silicon chip. Their first application? A drone that can smell explosives. read more
"Scientists from the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute transformed contact lenses into computer screens. They came up with a polymer film coating able to conduct electricity on a contact lens, with the potential to build miniature electrical circuits that are safe to be worn."
Ray Kurzweil is the world's foremost futurist, authoring bestsellers like "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and "How to Create a Mind."
He's so influential that Google hired him to lead its artificial intelligence efforts. Kurzweil is known for making predictions, which are right about 86% of the time. Here are some of his most promising (and terrifying) visions of the 2020s and beyond.
Nanobots, Kurzweil said in a webinar earlier this year, will give us "full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system." Earlier this month, Kurzweil said that nanobots will "finish the job" of the natural human immune system. We'll be able to defeat any disease, even cancer. This leads to what futurists call "radical life extension." Kurzweil, like other futurists,considered death a disease to be cured — and nanobots are one of the ways to cure it.
As 3-D printing becomes more large scale and open source, more of of the world around us will become information technology.
Kurzweil says that by the 2020s, you'll be able to "live extremely well and print out everything you need." Already, 3-D printed houses, rib cages, andbridges are becoming a reality.
And we will hit singularity. The most important date for Kurzweil is 2045. That's the year, he says, of what futurists call the Singularity, the moment when biological evolution's rate of growth is superceded by artificial intelligence. Kurzweil says that in 2045, the computational power of artificial intelligence will be a billion times that of human intelligence. And our species will never be the same...
Kurzweil and other futurists see "mind-uploading" as a major consequence of the singularity. Even Stephen Hawking thinks it's possible. "I think the brain is like a program in the mind, which is like a computer, so it's theoretically possible to copy the brain on to a computer and so provide a form of life after death," the physicist says. "However, this is way beyond our present capabilities." But by 2045, it might not be.
If your mind is uploaded and virtual reality is fully immersive, then no doubt your bodywill be virtual, too. "The virtual bodies will be as detailed and convincing as real bodies," Kurzweil says.
"Mind reading may become a reality with artificial intelligence technology...technology could also be adapted to allow people to control robots through the power of thought by helping the machines interpret instructions from brain activity."
"I think it very likely – in fact, inevitable – that biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon… If we ever encounter extraterrestrial intelligence, I believe it is very likely to be postbiological in nature, writes Arizona State's Paul Davies in The Eerie Silence. World renowned experts from physicist Sir Martin Rees of Cambridge University to astrobiologist Davies have asked that if we were to encounter alien technology far superior to our own, would we even realize what it was. A technology a million or more years in advance of ours would appear miraculous.
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:
Forget "a million years more advanced." At our current rate of technological evolution, can you imagine what we might be like (if we don't destroy ourselves) in 100 years? 500 years?!
a “wireless, fully implantable neural-interface medical device” that will bypass the gap in the flow of information caused by brain injury. This system, they hope, will allow for the targeted stimulation of brain cells and eventually the restoration of memory function.
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