I have followed Peter Cochrane‘s work for a few years since we both spoke at an event in Spain.
Based on some of the interesting work he does, I recommend you follow him as well.
Peter has a fascinating talk at TED which covers two topics close to my heart: Sensor networks and the Singularity.
The link is: Peter Cochrane TED talk – Beyond HAL 9000
The reference to HAL is from Space odessy 2001 and the theme of Peter’s talk is the date for the Singularity – postulated to be 2035 – is too late.
In other words, the singularity will occur earlier.
He starts his talk with a reference to HAL9000 wondering when HAL would be here? and Peter then asks three further questions:
Would HAL be here in 2025?
Would I be here?
Would my computer be proud of me before I die?
Based on intelligence being defined in terms of inputs and outputs and that we have an ever increasing number of sensors and actuators in mobile devices, Peter proposes that the date of 2035 may be too ahead and that the Singularity may arrive earlier.
He finally ends the talk with a provocative question: New intelligences and new lifeforms when they spontaneously erupt on the Internet
Somewhere in the midst of it he has a formula which is
I have actually invited Peter to explain this formula more since its intriguing.
However, in principle based on what I know so far, I agree with it.
In my forthcoming book - (official launch in Jan 2012) - Meditation in the Age of Facebook and Twitter : Personal development through social meditation – from shamanism to transhumanism - I also believe that the ‘hour may be later than you think’ – if you look at the rate of change of humanity
This journey is just beginning and it is interesting to see a historical timeline of how we have evolved as a species
- The universe is about 15 billion years old.
- The earth is around five billion years old.
- Dinosaurs existed 65 million years ago.
- The human race, as we know it, has existed for about 100,000 years.
- The Toba supervolcano eruption was 70,000 years ago. (Toba reduced the human population to around 3000 to 7000 survivors – and the close interconnection between the survivors led to an explosion in human creativity and innovation)
- The last ice age ended around 10,000 years ago, leading to greater travel and interaction between people.
- The oldest traces of civilization in India , Middle East and China date back 9,000 years.
- The Bible talks of a period about 4,000 years ago.
- The Renaissance is only about 600 years old.
- Steam locomotives were first launched in 1804.
- The 747 (jumbo jet) was conceived in the 1960s and launched in 1970 as ‘a great weapon for peace, competing with intercontinental missiles for mankind’s destiny.’
- The ARPANET, and its commercial manifestation (the Internet), has only been around since 1988.
- The World Wide Web has only been around since the mid-1990s.
Now and in the near future ..
- Craig Venter and his team discovered artificial life
- Gliese 581 could be a ‘Goldilocks’ planet – not too hot and not too cold – hence capable of supporting life
- The woolly mammoth could be resurrected from its DNA – la Jurassic park
So, Peter’s formula could be right after all …
I look forward to hearing more about it
The link again is: Peter Cochrane TED talk – Beyond HAL 9000