Saturday, October 18, 2008

A, B, C, D, E, F.... Google and the Technological Singularity

I had an interesting conversation last night with some friend in which I said the only futuristic event that I am certain of is The Technological Singularity. I am not sure when it will happen and it may or may not be in my lifetime, but today I saw an interesting TED talk by Kevin Kelly in which he discusses the 5000 day history of the web and tries to predict what will happen in the next 5000 days. By his rough calculations, the web currently is on the same order of complexity as the human brain. Since the web increases in power every year, a feat that we humans have yet to accomplish, this means that by 2040 the web will have more processing power than all of humankind (which sounds a bit like the singularity to me). He also talks about the previous different stages of the web, from linking computers to linking pages and now linking data, and how once everything is connected (via RFID, the net, or whatever) we will become just as dependent on the web as we have on other technologies such as the alphabet. While I do not agree with all of his predictions, it is a very fascinating view of what we may have in-store for the future.

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