Visions of the Future – The Intelligence Revolution

Leading theoretical physicist and futurist Dr Michio Kaku explores the cutting edge science of today, tomorrow, and beyond. He argues that humankind is at a turning point in history. In this century, we are going to make the historic transition from the ‘Age of Discovery’ to the ‘Age of Mastery’, a period in which we will move from being passive observers of nature to its active choreographers. This will give us not only unparalleled possibilities but also great responsibilities.

11 Responses

  1. CS says:

    Technology – a double-edged sword. I don’t want to be a bystander saying I want nothing to do with the information and intelligent revolutions, but I must admit certain aspects of these can be rather scary.

    For one thing, is anyone dealing with the health issue with regards to radiation (wireless or otherwise) when how we conduct our lives is increasingly dependent on technology, when as stipulated we may not even be aware of its presence? Despite what the technocrats or marketers may argue, there is sufficient evidence that prolonged exposure of mobile and wireless technology, for example, can be a health hazard. What happens when we wear technology, when just about everything about us, can be surmised onto a mere microchip?

    Another thing which I find quite disturbing is the whole concept of virtual reality as espoused by Second Life. Where is the spontaneity of human interaction? The body language and sub-texts of communication? The subtleties of tones vocal expressions? Yes it is ironical almost, that millions flock to the site to ‘be themselves’ – if you asked me – to escape real life at a conscious, semi-conscious, or totally unaware level. Marketers have cashed in big time on this, and the cycle goes on.

    The day if/when AI is injected into all aspects of our lives – when machines have the cognitive, intellectual, emotional and if I dare say it, spiritual capabilities, I sure hope I won’t be alive to see it. :)

  2. shapeshift says:

    He he, they did say in the program that there is the optimist and the pessimist view on the future of technology and science.

    Yes, I came across something very similar about wireless beams that are now everywhere. Supposedly, it is worse for kids than adults although I did not catch why.

    As for Second Life, I do not have an account but I like the idea of it. I think one argument could be made that Web communities like Facebook, flickr and blogs are already doing what you describe for Second Life – it just enhances the experience. And, they say that the user experience will continually get more life like as computing power increases. It means the subtleties will be worked out. When the difference between real and virtual is indistinguishable, that will be when it may be scariest and perhaps also most interesting. We may find that we are already virtual of sorts, but possibly from a cosmic or spiritual sense rather than a technological sense.

  3. Redroom Studios says:

    well David, you know me… I agree completely with Chaun. The very definition of being human is the randomness, the imperfectness, irrationality and the frailness of our existence. I also think you have very much missed her point in your reply.

    I think her point about escapism is very accurate. All this technological “progress” to me is merely another form of entertainment, a distraction from the realities of daily life. Reminds me of a very good book I once read called “Entertaining Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman.

    Like high culture, technology is only able to exist when there is an abundance of the basic material needs. Perhaps population growth and global warming will contribute to a shortage of the basic necessities and thus a reordering of priorities and a return to more “human” behaviour.

    I think it is a great folly to presume to give ourselves the powers of Gods… and by the way, I enjoy operating my car rather than have a computer drive for me…

  4. ann says:

    I love the real world, but I like the virtual world too….hehe, that is where i met all you wonderful folks…and Sean, you know me….I would really dig having a computer drive my car.. ;-P Second life is off the deep end for me…I am quite happy with my first life…

  5. CS says:

    You know what is really, really scary? If thousands of years of civilisations, discoveries and progress actually amount to an ultimate ‘self-actualisation’ of turning ourselves into machines!

    The thought of you and I, at the bottom (or top?) of it all, are not humans. We are machines, work-in-progress. The untapped portion of our brain lies the formulas of uncovering this ultimate truth, bit by bit (as we already see some in the video).

    Scary – yes, but also what an anti-climax! :)

    Sean, I have just googled the book (now that’s one good thing about technology!) Sounds like an interesting read.

  6. shapeshift says:

    ok.. I have to say that injecting “bit by bit” (bit=byte) into what you say about technology is quite brilliant. Did you get a chance to see Wall-E. It sort of visualizes a likely scenario that you fear and does make humans appear pretty silly but not machines quite yet. Perhaps the best message to take from all this is enjoy your life in the present.

    It is unlikely that we will be going back to pre-computer days but you can always unplug.

  7. ann says:

    i loved Wall-E…and agree, it was like the scenario that everyone fears…I’m generally early to try new technology, so I don’t shy away from it, but think it is wise to keep a good balance, as with most things… :-)

  8. shapeshift says:

    There was one significant difference from past fear-based sci-fi though… the machines, robots were not necessarily the worse enemy. Humanity’s worse enemy is of course man himself. Wall-E is great, a must see.

  9. ann says:

    you are right david….it is different in that way and is a must see….i was just thinking that the technology based posts and the street food series always generate a lot of discussion… :-)

  10. CS says:

    Wall-E…making a mental note. The lists of must-reads and must-sees are getting longer by the day…:)

  11. shapeshift says:

    Yes, in a way we are very lucky.

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