The advancement we achieved in the last century will be dwarfed by the speed of change in this one.
Getting Over the Singularity
The future is always uncertain and there is no guarantee that all of these technologies will come to fruition; or any of them for that matter. However, what is undeniable is thattechnology is accelerating and quantum computing represents an entirely new paradigm.
The advancement we achieved in the last century will be dwarfed by the speed of change in this one. So where does it all lead?
Ray Kurzweil believes that the logical consequence is a technological singularity, where man and machine become hopelessly intertwined. It is a vision that instills both hope and fear; one that is at the same time both utopian and dystopian. When we merge with our machines, who will we really be?
I don’t presume to have an answer, but I do have an observation. For decades we’ve been inundated with visions of an antiseptic, institutionalized future where humorless people walk around in silver spandex. However, each successive generation seems to put greater emphasis on the humanity of the individual.
All Too Human
Richard Florida, has documented that tech meccas tend to be located in areas with thriving creative cultures. Healthy music and art scenes are as much a part of technological development as universities and research centers. While governments and corporations may seem omnipotent, Wikileaks and Anonymous show that they are not.
Clearly, the modern day cubicle is more human than the Dickensian sweatshop, just as Skype is more personal than a telephone. After all, is there any greater testament to the human spirit than Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic runner who competed on artificial legs? Or, for that matter, any greater indictment of human frailty than his ultimate downfall?
While the new age of quantum information will augment our minds and bodies, possibly beyond recognition, the quality and content of our character will, for better or worse, remain our own.