Coincidentally, inside one week, I saw the movie, Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson (about a man who falls in love with an operating system which gains consciousness) and a TEDTalks video (below) featuring Ray Kurzweil, about the future of our brains as hybrids for thinking. No puns here, this stuff is mind blowing. Kurzweil has 19 honorary doctorates, honors from three presidents and has been described as a “relentless genius” by The Wall Street Journal. In essence, super smart.
Kurzweil predicts that 20 years from now, nanobots (really small robots) will enter the brain through capillaries and connect the neocortex (part of our brain) to a synthetic neocortex (the cloud) providing an extension of our brain. We will be able to access 100 billion more bits of information in seconds via the cloud. Therefore our thinking will be a hybrid of our own human brains and the cloud.
Spoiler alert! In the movie, Her, the operating system learns, gains consciousness and eventually desserts the lowly humans which are bound by our physical, feeble bodies to parts unknown (or should I say realms unknown). What are the implications of this? Will people want to become free of the bonds of the physical? Skynet from the Terminator movie series comes to mind. Is it even possible to put safeguards in place to prevent this dark scenario? Maybe we should ask Watson what he thinks.
I would love to hear your feelings on the implications of this amazing technological advancement.