Do you ever get the feeling that technology is just going through a bit of a growth spurt? Well you’ve seen nothing yet. This is just technology following the exponential growth curve it’s been on for millions of years.
Ray Kurzweil is an inventor and author of “The Singularity is Near” a book which predicts the pace at which technology will exceed human abilities. There’s a great TEDBlog film of him talking on this subject. It is the most packed 15 minute presentation I’ve ever seen: http://tedblog.typepad.com/tedblog/2006/11/inventor_ray_ku.html. In it, he does an extremely technical de-construction of the past and future evolution of science. He explains why Moore’s law (or an adaption of it) – that computers will double in power every 18 months – will continue to hold true indefinitely; predicts we will completely reverse engineer the human brain by 2020, which is when computers will match human computing power. By 2029 (when my super cute and highly intelligent niece Zoe will have just turned 25!), we will be able to replace “underperforming” body parts (such as bloodcells) with artificial alternatives. I’ll need those body parts badly by then. I’ll be 55.