Technological Singularity in 2045 – Get Ready – This is what the future may be like.
Ray Kurzweil is a famous futurist who has been right about 90% of the time. He is such a visionary that in 2012 Google hired him to be their Director of Engineering. He predicted the rise of the internet over 30 years ago, in 1984,when most people had never even heard of it. And he even predicted its widespread use via wireless technologies in the 21st century. Ray was labelled “crazy” at the time. He has some “crazy” predictions for the next 30 years including the “Singularity” – which will change everything.
First let’s look at why Kurzweil is so often right about the timing of his predictions. Take the example of DNA mapping. In 1990, an international collaboration of scientists was set up to map the entire human DNA sequence. It was a 15 year project. Well, after 7 years, in 1997, only 1 % of the genome had been mapped. And the project was declared a failure. Some Scientist estimated that it would take another 100 years to complete at this rate. Ray Kurzweil said, “1%?…You guys are almost done.” And sure enough 6 years later, in 2003, the entire human genome had been sequenced.
How did that happen? Because the technology doubled every year. So then every year 2%, 4%, 8%, 16%, 32%, 64%, 128% – so 1% doesn’t go to 7% in 7 years, it goes to 100% because100 is less than doublings from 1%. So Let’s look as some of Ray’s predictions – he predicts that by 2030, artificial intelligence will be as smart as a human. And by 2045, AI will not only exceed the brainpower of a human being, but it will exceed the brainpower of all 7 billion human beings on earth…combined!
Scientists dramatically call this intelligence explosion the Singularity! This is not to be confused with the term singularity in Physics – which represents an infinitesimally small point from which all of creation came about. But this technological singularity may be just as momentous.
How would the singularity happen? Although human intelligence hasn’t really changed, it is believed for thousands of years, our computers are becoming smarter and smarter – about twice as smart every 2 years. At that pace, computers will get smarter than us at some point. That point is around 2030. These computers, or artificial machines, since they would be smarter than us, should be able to build smarter versions of themselves, who would be able to build even smarter versions of themselves – in an accelerating positive feedback loop, that would result in a runaway explosion of intelligence.
How you ask? So this is where I might lose you guys, but just stick with me for a minute. This will happen by a type of mind-meld, where we will be able to mesh our human brains with the artificial brain, making us more intelligent. Impossible you say? Remember, we are talking about 2045 – 30 year from now. 30 years ago, most people could not imagine the internet or smart phones. And this melding of silicon with the human brain is already happening for example for Parkinson’s patients. They are carrying a microchip in their brain help alleviate their symptoms. More recently, paralyzed people are able to walk with the help of an exoskeletons.
So what will be some of the practical applications? Remember in the Matrix where Neo learns how to pilot a helicopter simply by thinking about it and instantly his brain downloads the “program” that makes him an expert pilot almost instantly. This may become a reality by 2045.
Today, when you want to learn something, you first have to find the pertinent information on the internet, then read it. Then comprehend it. Then retain it. Then practice it so that you become proficient at it. Imagine being able to skip the reading, comprehending, retaining, and practicing part – say you want to play golf, you would simply download the program that instantly download the file in your cortex as well as the part of your brain that retains it, as well as the part of your brain that retains muscle memory associated with it, so that you become an expert almost instantly. Imagine being able to access the expertise of all the experts in the world and having that at your disposal. This is pretty much what will happen by 2045, if Ray is right. And the odds are that he is.