at the edge of consciousness…where the juice is…

the wildest prediction…

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Excerpted from Peter Diamonds’ Tech Blog, Oct. 11, 2015:

I consider Ray Kurzweil a very close friend and a very smart person.

Ray is a brilliant technologist, futurist, and director of engineering at Google focused on AI and language processing.

He has also made more correct (and documented) technology predictions about the future than anyone:

As reported, “of the 147 predictions that Kurzweil has made since the 1990’s, fully 115 of them have turned out to be correct, and another 12 have turned out to be “essentially correct” (off by a year or two), giving his predictions a stunning 86% accuracy rate.”

Two weeks ago, Ray and I held an hour-long webinar with my Abundance 360 CEOs about predicting the future.

During our session, there was one of Ray’s specific prediction that really blew my mind.

“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.”

Let’s digest that for a moment.

2030 is only 15 years away…

Directly plugging your brain into the internet? Upgrading your intelligence and memory capacity by orders of magnitude?

This is a blog about the staggering (and fun) implications of that future.

The Basics

The implications of a connected neocortex are quite literally unfathomable. As such, any list I can come up with will pale in comparison to reality… But here are a few thoughts to get the ball rolling.

Brain-to-Brain Communication

This will deliver a new level of human intimacy, where you can truly know what your lover, friend or child is feeling. Intimacy far beyond what we experience today by mere human conversation. Forget email, texting, phone calls, and so on – you’ll be able to send your thoughts to someone simply by thinking them.

Google on the Brain

You’ll have the ability to “know” anything you desire, at the moment you want to know it. You’ll have access to the world’s information at the tip of your neurons. You’ll be able to calculate complex math equations in seconds. You’ll be able to navigate the streets of any cities, intuitively. You’ll be able to hop into a fighter jet and fly it perfectly. You’ll be able to speak and translate any language effortlessly.

Scalable Intelligence

Just imagine that you’re in a bind and you need to solve a problem (quickly). In this future world, you’ll be able to scale up the computational power of your brain on demand, 10x or 1,000x… in much the same way that algorithms today can spool up 1,000 processor cores on Amazon Web Servers.

Living in the Virtual World

If our brains can truly connect at high bandwidth, you will be able to bypass our current sensory organs (eyes, ears, touch) to the point where brain’s perception of reality can be driven completely by a gaming engine – a virtual world. Likewise, the connections would exist in the motor cortex of your brain as well. When you move your limbs, imagine a corresponding set of virtual limbs (your avatar) moving perfectly in the virtual world. This is about creation of The Matrix x 1,000.

Extended Immune System

In my webinar discussion with Ray, he outlined how we already have intelligent biological devices, the size of blood cells, that kill disease. They are called T-cells. They can recognize an enemy and attack it, but they don’t work on cancer, retroviruses, et cetera. In the future, nanorobots will be able to communicate wirelessly, download software when new pathogens arrives, and attack cancer, cancer stem cells, bacteria, viruses, and all the disease agents. They can also work on metabolic diseases like diabetes. They could also maintain healthy levels of everything you need in the blood, including nutrients, and basically repair and eventually replace damaged organs.

Downloadable Expertise

Remember the scene in The Matrix where Trinity needs to learn how to fly a helicopter, and Tank downloads a program teaching her how to do it? We’ll be able to do this. Need to perform emergency surgery? Just download the ER doctor program. Need to learn a new language? Download it. Want to cook the perfect meal? Download the chef module. In fact, you probably won’t even need to download it (which takes up memory), you’ll probably just “stream” expertise from the cloud.

Expanded and Searchable Memories

We’ll be able to remember everything that ever happened to us (because we’ll store our memories in the cloud), and we’ll be able to search that memory database for useful information. When our memories will become searchable, we’ll also be able to make them contextual by cross-referencing our calendars, GPS coordinates, health data, stock market, current news, weather conditions, and anything else that might be relevant to that particular moment in time.

A Higher-Order Existence

Ray talks about how a connected neocortex will bring humanity to a higher order of existence and complexity – expanding our palate for emotion, art, humor, creativity, expression, and uniqueness. He says, “We’re going to be funnier. We’re going to be sexier. We’re going to be better at expressing loving sentiment. We’re going to add more levels to the hierarchy of brain modules and create deeper levels of expression. People will be able to very deeply explore some particular type of music in far greater degree than we can today. It’ll lead to far greater individuality, not less.”

Join Me

While this future may sound fanciful to many, let’s remember that exponential technologies are initially deceptive, before they become disruptive.

And today, there are many labs around the world working on molecular machinery, CRISPR/Cas9 systems that allow us to edit our own genome, and brain-computer interfaces (through cortical implants and the field of optogenetics).

So what if these fields of technological progress double every 18 months? In 15 years (2015 – 2030), we will have a 1,000-fold improvement over today. What does a future one thousand times better look like? Perhaps it’s what Ray describes…

If this future becomes reality, connected humans are going to change everything…

Comments on: "the wildest prediction…" (3)

  1. Kurzweil is a brilliant guy, but the Singularity theory is flawed. Our understanding of “consciousness,” “intelligence,” “perception” — and most other mysteries of the human mind — is still highly theoretical. In other words, we have yet to develop even the most basic grasp on the /mechanics/ of the “mind,” which is, in itself, simply an abstract theoretical construct, a made-up concept — just a word, really. This kitchen-sink “mind” concept encapsulates a multitudinous mess of disparate neurological, biological, chemical, and physical processes which we would probably need to fully uncover and understand in order to engineer the kind of artificial intelligence Kurzweil is suggesting. And though some interesting progress continues to be made in neuroscience, genetics, etc., the irrationally deep complexities of our mental processes have persisted in eluding us, with little indication of an approaching change in course.

    Furthermore, the Singularity is at least partly postulated by extrapolating from Moore’s Law, which was first stated in 1965, an observation that “the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.” The assumption is that this trend would continue indefinitely into the future forever, guaranteeing a certain technological threshold being reached, apparently around 2030. However, in recent years this trend has slowed considerably, and even more importantly, there are basic physical limits intrinsic to the materials (such as silicon) used to produce the circuitry and processors; therefore, their size and speed cannot be improved indefinitely. Eventually, a maximum is reached, and the decelerating pace of trends associated with Moore’s Law over the past several years would seem to suggest that we have begun to approach it.

    That being said, he certainly does offer an enticing transhumanist, utopian vision of the future. Though I do believe it’s far too good to be true, for the reasons above, as well as others, I still certainly hope he turns out to be right, after all, as he has supposedly been for those other hundred or so prophecies of his.

  2. Grandtrines said:

    Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology and commented:
    Hmm.

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