2012 is a good year to start a blog on a major transformation for humanity and of the world. Several theories based on the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar suggest that Dec 21, 2012, will either mark the beginning of a new era, or the end of the world.
This blog has basically nothing to do with these theories, even though it deals with a transformation that will be of historical magnitude.
The Biggest Shift Ever is a blog that will try to guide you towards a better understanding of the huge and accelerating transformation that technology is bringing to our lives and to the world.
Many people have a vague feeling of this change coming, without being able to describe it. Some think of the internet saying ‘look, now we’ve got internet – it’s great with online shopping, banking, music, media, social networks and all that stuff’.
The truth is that the internet just got started. And that internet itself and other cutting-edge technologies are just the beginning of an even more dramatic development towards a new era in the history of humanity and technology.
Inevitably technology, originally designed by humans, will arrive at a performance equal to anything created by nature, and it will then surpass nature, ultimately developing itself. Hopefully this development will be based on fundamental values of humanity, and with humans as part of it.
This might be staggering and breathtaking, giving room for hope, doubt and fear.
My aim is to reduce fear and doubt, and to inspire ideas on how we can shape and steer technology in a way that it will always be a part of its origins – humanity and nature.
Fantasy will be a tool among others to find these ideas. But the fundamental understanding of how technology develops is by no means based on fantasy.
Thinkers and authors such as Kevin Kelly and Ray Kurzweil have contributed significantly to theories on how technology development will proceed and they have also been a great source of inspiration to me.
Especially Kurzweil has a profound insight on technology’s overall future development, predicting among other things that in 2045, machines will have an intellectual, emotional and moral capacity exceeding all human brains put together.
This is usually referred to as the Technological Singularity, in the sense that it’s a point in time beyond which some people say we cannot see today, not knowing what such intelligence will choose to do.
The prediction on super intelligent machines in 2045 and others by Kurzweil, are no fantasies but rational and straight forward conclusions, though not very intuitive, based on historical facts and on knowledge about present technology.
The consequences are not obvious but one thing is clear – the earlier we create a common insight on the importance of shaping these technologies, the better.
The earlier we can build a widespread consciousness on this development, the better our chances to deal with its huge impact, to limit its inherent risks and dangers, and to let technology be a creative force which carries humanity in its most general sense, into the future.
To do that, we need to start where we are. And I will not focus so much at a distant future, but instead on what’s going on right now, trying to put it into perspective of what it means in the long run.
I hope you’ll enjoy to join me, and to have a conversation.