The Singularity is coming soon to a reality near you!
One of the most fascinating ideas of our time is the theory of the Singularity. Kurzweil, a futurist and recently appointed director of engineering at Google, borrows the term singularity from astro-physics and uses it as a metaphor to help define an insight he has found relating to Moore’s law (the exponential growth of technology) and its future trajectory.
Singularity in astro-physics basically means the breaking down of matter and the physical rules that apply to it when it enters a black hole.
The idea behind the Sigularity as defined by Kurzweil, is that because of the exponential growth of technology, in the next 30 to 40 years we are going to reach a point of transformation, where the basic understanding of what it is to be human will no longer exist. The line between human and technology will blur behind a fusion of biotechnology, nanotechnology and Artificial intelligence and we will be catapulted into a new reality, one completely indistinguishable from the present. A transformation that will rival in relative size the evolution from the caveman to the basic human being with language and writing. The scary thing is that according to Kurzweil, this transformation is just around the corner.
This of course seems incredibly radical, like a sort of science fiction film at first, but as you looks deeper into the idea and realize how many great minds of the world are supporting it, it becomes increasingly obvious that Kurzweil is onto something and that the reality of our near future is going to be completely different from the one we are living in at present.
A great example that Kurzweil often uses to explain the singularity and the exponential growth of technology is a 30 step comparison with linear growth.
In terms of linear growth, if you were to take 30 steps, you would be 30 spaces away from your initial spot. However, if you were to take 30 exponential steps, you would be 1 Billion spaces away from your initial spot. This is the speed that technological growth is accelerating at in relation to the linear growth that forms such a large part of our reality. If you can rap you head around that, then you can easily envision the dominance that technology will start playing in the next couple decades.
Kurzweil’s idea is of such huge interest that a university, namely the Singularity university, was recently founded to support the idea and get the greatest young American mind’s to start thinking differently about their future and technology’s role within it. Check it out here –> http://singularityu.org/
I honestly believe that this is one of the most profoundly interesting insights of our time. Kurzweil to me, is one of the finest thinkers and futurist at present, someone whose ideas and beliefs I will follow avidly over the next few years and you should too..