KURZWEIL: The 6 Epochs of Technology

Wednesday 07 December 2011 at 9:46 pm. Used tags: , , , ,

  • Epoch 1. Physics and Chemistry
  • Epoch 2. Biology and DNA
  • Epoch 3. Brains
  • Epoch 4. Technology
  • Epoch 5. The Merger of Human Technology with Human Intelligence
  • Epoch 6. The Universe Wakes Up

continued below

What's the Big Idea?

To recap, here are the 6 epochs of Technology Evolution, as defined by Kurzweil:

Epoch 1. Physics and Chemistry

At the beginning of the universe, all information existed at the subatomic level.

Epoch 2. Biology and DNA

With the beginning of life on Earth, genetic information was stored in DNA molecules, and yet organisms takes thousands of years to evolve.

Epoch 3. Brains

Evolution produced increasingly complex organisms. The birth of the brain allowed organisms to change their behavior and learn from past experiences.

Epoch 4. Technology

Humans evolved into organisms with the ability to create technology. We are right now in the final stages of this epoch.

Epoch 5. The Merger of Human Technology with Human Intelligence

Biology and technology will begin to merge in order to create higher forms of life and intelligence.

Epoch 6. The Universe Wakes Up

Theis epoch will see the birth of super-intelligence, and with it, humans/machines expanding into the Universe.

What's the Significance?

So what does this all mean for us today and in the near-future? For one thing, it will be harder than ever before to find a distinction between human and machine. In fact, "it will be all mixed up," Kurzweil says. "The bottom line is we are one human-machine civilization. This technology has already expanded who we are and is going to go into high gear when we get to the steep part of the exponential [curve]."

Some key dates along the way: by 2020, "we’ll have computers that are powerful enough to simulate the human brain, but we won’t be finish yet with reverse-engineering the human brain and understanding its methods." That will happen by 2029, when "we’ll have reverse-engineered and modeled and simulated all the regions of the brain. And that will provide us the software/algorithmic methods to simulate all of the human brain's capabilities including our emotional intelligence. And computers at that time will be far more powerful than the human brain."

Sound both scary and liberating? It should.

Kurzweil predicts, among other things, that biotechnology will stop aging. But we'll keep having sex, and just get rid of the death part.

No comments



(optional field)
(optional field)
To prevent automated comment spam we require you to answer this silly question.
Remember personal info?
Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.