Updated: Apr 20
Human civilization is fast approaching the Transhuman Era where machines start to become more powerful than us. I’d say 2020 was just a taste of the overwhelming power of digital technologies such as social networks, smartphones, ubiquitous connectivity, etc. This is extraordinarily overwhelming, disastrous, scary, crazy, beautiful and awe inspiring at the same time. You feel every emotion possible to know that we are living in the future.
But more people need to come on board and acknowledge that human civilization is on a dramatic exponential curve currently and that exponential, futuristic and sci-fi technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, Quantum Computing, 3D Printing, Neuromorphic Chips, Neural Interfaces, Spatial Computing, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Electric Vehicles, Autonomous Vehicles, VTOL Vehicles, Clean Energy, Smart Cities, Smart Homes are fast maturing.
Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of SoftBank believes that we are approaching the technological singularity as these digital technologies start to accelerate at an unfathomable pace resulting in massive transformations to human civilization at an increasing pace. I would say we have had several inflection points with new breakthrough technologies such as the iPhone a culmination of Steve Jobs legendary work at Apple, which brought ubiquitous mobile computing, something that transformed human civilization and something we take for granted.
However, when we have advanced Artificial Intelligence (Artificial General Intelligence, Artificial Super Intelligence) and Brain Computer Interfaces, which I believe we will have this decade, I believe we will truly reach the technological singularity and a transhuman, sci-fi fantasy future. I believe we are already very close to brain computer interfaces with neurotech companies like Elon Musk’s Neuralink which will connect our brains directly to the cloud and to Artificial General Intelligence, with the recent progress at the cutting-edge of AI from AI Labs such as Google DeepMind.
As Wikipedia defines it, “the technological singularity — also, simply, the singularity — is a hypothetical point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilization.” Witnessing the dramatic acceleration of these exponential technologies in the last decade, and understanding the magnitude of exponential technologies in the post-covid world of the next decade in the 2020s, I believe we have passed the pivot point and are going through the great transformation or the singularity already.
Where humanity goes from here is unprecedented, but its a reckoning to realize that we as a species and civilization have come this far. What binds humanity is its exponential arc since the first cavemen to primitive civilizations to advanced civilizations to the 21st century modern society we are creating.
The laws of economics are changing from scarcity to abundance as everything basically becomes free and every industry goes through unprecedented digital transformation and disruption.
An easier way to process this change is thinking about the exponential improvements in computing, digital technologies and the proliferation of software and data that is eating the world. Humans tend to have a linear and intuitive view of the way things progress however from a historical perspective things have been progressing exponentially. As we look back at ancient civilizations to even 50 years ago the technology we currently possess is “godlike” and highly advanced. And the technology we possess today is highly primitive compared to what it may look like 5, 10 or even 50 years from now. Ray Kurzweil, Futurist and Author of The Singularity is Near has talked about The Law of Accelerating Returns which states that “fundamental measures of information technology follow predictable and exponential trajectories.”
Technology is progressing so fast, but as humans we are hardwired to not really process that exponential change. I think we need to change our mindset however, as the institutions, corporations and governments in the world are starting to break down at this point.
We need more forward thinking leadership in business, government and education. We need to acknowledge an accelerating pace of change instead of avoiding it. And we need to get as many people as possible on the same page.
We also need to be measured and have cautious optimism about the future, close monitoring and regulation of many technology developments and we need to make sure that digital technologies and mega technology corporations (megacorps) such as Google create more wealth than they destroy for more people.
People also need to be open to change, engage in these discussions, embrace disruption rather than fear it and become abundance minded. Because we need more entrepreneurs and startups to challenge and compete with the magacorps before they become disproportionately powerful and impossible to compete against.
More wealth will be created in this decade but it needs to become highly distributed and collectivized rather than highly concentrated to create true abundance and sustainable capitalism.
I think it’s also time as humans to come together in the 2020s, work together and to build a better and brighter future where we can solve exponential challenges such as technological unemployment, climate change and mental health in times of increasing change, disruption and uncertainty.