World’s Most Famous Futurist Predicts Life in 2045 on Colbert Report

Ray Kurzweil is about as close a thing to a household name as a futurist gets — he’s the man who predicted the advent of the World Wide Web, the downfall of Soviet Union, and that computers would beat a man in Chess in the 90s. He’s an inventor, writer, and all-around sharp fellow. Now, he’s perhaps most famous for being one of the most vocal proponents of the singularity theory — the idea that technology will reach a point where it will advance so quickly that human beings will be wholly unable to predict what will happen afterwards. Unless, as Kurzweil argues, we use that same technology to enhance our very selves — but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Futurists, sci-fi aficionados, and tech geeks everywhere were enthused to hear that Kurzweil would be making an appearance on the Colbert Report to explain his theories to the masses (or at least stoned college students and twenty-somethings everywhere). Kurzweil got a chance to relay his predictions for the future, which, most notably, include the following:

  • In 25 years, a smart phone will be the size of a blood cell, and nanotechnology will allow us to have millions of them integrated into our bodies.
  • 100 years from now, we’ll be able to back up our ‘mind files’
  • By 2045, we will have merged with technology, the singularity will have occurred, and we will be approximately 1 billion times more intelligent than we are now

Here’s the whole video:

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Image credit: null0 via Flickr/CC BY

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant is a founding editor of the Utopianist.. When he's not helming the Utopianist, he is TreeHugger's politics writer, contributes the Getting Samy Out of Burma column to GOOD.is, and freelances for the likes of Salon and Paste. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

52 thoughts on “World’s Most Famous Futurist Predicts Life in 2045 on Colbert Report

    1. In the next 5 – 20 years the government will get exposed and truth about aliens will come out but it will be almost earth will self destruct too late as mother earth will self destruct and we will depend on alien technology to save us and take us to the planet glupter teach us their language we teach them our diferant languages and we will co exist for 10 – 20 years before our u.s government eventually betray the aliens and take over planet glupter .

    2. Hi! Thanks again for your response. You seem to be going with “it’s coalpicmted” again – which might be true – but is not an answer which helps people to understand your motives.You could probably still produce some kind of answer.A relatively small number of facts go a long way towards explaining most human motives:One is that we are a product of four billion years of evolution by natural selection – which consistently favoured organisms that acted so as to maximise their inclusive fitness. This simple idea neatly explains resource acquisition, growth and reproductive activities, pain, happiness, jealousy, love, anger, etc.Another is that humans are in an unfamiliar modern environment, and many of them malfunction in various ways. That explains why people behave as they do around sperm banks, choclolate cake and strip clubs.Another is that the human brain can be infected by deleterious ideas, which act against their host’s own genetic fitness. That explains much of the behaviour of Catholic priests.So, in this way, most people’s motives are highly compressible to a few short theories, and an indication of to what extent they apply:Some people malfunction less than others in the modern world. Some people’s brains are more prone to infectious ideas than others.*If* you are susceptible to such infections, your motives might well be complex – as complex as a list of all the deleterious infections your harbour. Also, your motives might be liable to change over time – as more deleterious infections are acquired.Otherwise, most of your motives may be highly compressible to a few short theories – plus the facts of human biology.

  1. you mostly wnaetd to have a family and kids who love you, and be respected by other members of society, that answer would be fine by me – even if most humans have much the same aims.Re: My motivations for enquiring after the values of others.I have several. I have an academic interest in goal-directed systems. I am interested to know what the goals of other agents are because that is an important fact about them that assists me in understanding their behaviour. I am interested in to what extent people’s stated goals actually match their behaviour. I am interested in how and why people use their own goals as signalling tools, to decieve others about their intentions and thereby manipulate their behaviour – and I am interested in the defenses against this sort of thing. It seems an important and under-appreciated area.Re: How do you know whether to believe him? Even if he believes it himself, how do you know the extent to which it’s true?Well, actions speak louder than stated goals. If Billy says he is on the protest ship in order to help save the whales – but then meets his future wife there, and goes on to have several kids with her – then it becomes time to reexamine his stated motives. Does the hypothesis that he claimed high motives in order to represent himself as concerned with higher things in order to attract other high motive individuals to him, so that he could mate with them fit the facts better?Re: We can APPROXIMATE humans, in some contexts and over certain periods of time, by theoretical goal-achieving, motivation-following systems. But this doesn’t really capture the essence of what they are […]Right – more what they should be, perhaps. Sure, most agents have design problems, developmental problems, damage and other issues that cause them them to fall short of this kind of ideal system – but it can still be a useful basis of a model of them. Similarly, a vaccum cleaner can still usefully be modelled as a cleaning device – even if its dirt-bag is half full and its brushes are a bit clogged.

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