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 were in 2015. Hang on, we're embarking on one helluva ride.
"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.
"Scientists at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have devised a new type of electronic chip that takes after the human brain. Their device is highly power-conscious, massively parallel, and can manipulate data in arbitrary ways – even though it doesn't need to be explicitely designed to perform any task. The advance could pave the way for computers that think more like we do."
It is an inevitability that cryptographers dread: the arrival of powerful quantum computers that can break the security of the Internet. Although these devices are thought to be a decade or more away, researchers are adamant that preparations must begin now.
"Scientists have built a tiny, long-term memory cell that can both store and process information at the same time, just like the human brain. This is one of the first multi-state electronic memory cells, and it represents a crucial step towards a bionic brain"
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.
" 'Facebook wants to build a device that allows you to be anywhere you want, with anyone, regardless of geographic boundaries,' said Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer.
Of course, this isn’t real teleportation we’re talking about here. Instead, Schroepfer sees the Teleportation Station as a way to trick your senses into believing the virtual world you’re seeing and interacting with is actually real."
Researchers have developed a technique to build tiny models of human tissues using a process that turns human cells into a biological equivalent of LEGO bricks. These mini-tissues in a dish can be used to study how particular structural features of tissue affect normal growth or go awry in cancer.
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