Skip to comments.No aging, robot cars - and radical business plans
Posted on 05/26/2006 8:08:09 AM PDT by Neville72
The rate of technological progress is about to shift into high gear, some futurists say. Are you ready to take advantage of the business opportunities?
If Ray Kurzweil is right, the business landscape - indeed, the entire human race - is about to be transformed beyond all recognition.
Kurzweil is a renowned computer scientist and inventor (he built the first flatbed scanner). And no less a figure than Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has called Kurzweil the greatest thinker on artificial intelligence alive today. So when he talks, it's worth paying attention.
Here's the question Kurzweil is asking these days: What if the exponential growth shown in Moore's Law applies not just to etching transistors in silicon chips, but to all of human progress and innovation?
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
I believe that Moore, at Intel, looked at historical data on transistor improvement. He charted what he found had occured, and he projected the curve into the future. Since that time, transistor improvement has pretty much kept pace. It was impressive for him to have spotted this trend based on historic data that was available to him at the time.
Now. Where is the historical data showing that all of human progress and innovation has been along an exponential curve. Hmmmmmmmm?
I am also certain that the liberal moonbats will make the move to digitized intellect first since they will need less computing power to make the transition. McGyver could do it to them with an iPod, duct tape and paper clips.
If Ray Kurzweil is 1/10 right we are in for a wild ride in the next 30 years
The Singularity is upon us
Call them what they are, socialists - They are not democrats.
Of course you need to remember that futurists also predicted we'd have personal jetpacks in the 80s, that there'd be massive starvation in the 90s, and that by the 2000s our average life expectancy would be well over 100. Being a futurist is the greatest job in the world, you can make up whatever crap you want, be wrong 100% of the time, and never get called on it, it's like being a weatherman only with better pay and travel on the lecture circuit.
Why do you prefer the word "socialist" to "communist"?
Since they describe different things, we have to assume that he meant the word to describe his opinion of what the people are.
You are quite right. It is the visions of the future that are interesting, but when and if they come to pass is another thing all together. I wish I could get a job as one, but your predictions need to be an extrapolation of curent and past trends. And there are certain mile posts that must be met for each major transition. Once a particular milepost is reached, then newer and more exotic results will happen. But until then, only refinements in what we already have will happen.
Never seen a futurist be right, especially not with their big headline (ie attention, ie revenue) grabbing predictions. I enjoy futurists and read and watch many, but purely for the comedic value.
I remember it wasn't too long ago when cloning was widely regarded as implausible, or at least impractical for the next several decades.
Futurists rarely take real-world factors into account (cost, practicality, resources, human nature) when forecasting what 'will be.' Just because something becomes possible doesn't mean that it becomes practical and preferable. And sometimes, like tabloid psychics, they're blowing smoke to promote themselves.
No that's the great part about futurists, their predictions don't need to extrapolate on ANYTHING other than what people want to hear. When the world is a positive place they predict nice things, grand technological conquests; when people start getting despressed or anxious they predict terrible things, the meltdown of society under its own weight. If you review those three futurist predictions I listed above and think about the various moods of America in the last 50 years I bet you can guess which part of which decade each was made in. The job is entirely about selling people the BS they want to hear that moment. Right now America is in a mode where even though there are some rough edges to the world they've pretty much gotten tired of the doom and gloom crowd, and anyone over the age of 25 has pretty much seen society remade (mostly better, at the very least more convenient) by technology, so futurist predictions are once again about grand technological conquests, but with some rough edges on the side. Futurists are just sci-fi writers who've never figured out plot and characterization, both really write about now in the guise of the future, one is just more honest about it than the other.
On the other hand, I was throwing away some old issues of Discover magazine not too long ago. I stopped to read one from the early 1980s (maybe even 1980) with predictions from futurists.
Several of them predicted that, by the turn of the century, there would be a gigantic system of inter-connected computers whereby ordinary people could trade & save a vast amount of information with others. And that it would completely alter our daily lives regarding how people will communicate each other, research info, etc.
(1) What futurists "predicted we'd have personal jetpacks in the 80s"? Am I far off in guessing that your source for what futurists allegedly predicted amounts to little more than The Jetsons?
(2) An enviro-whacko Malthusian and a futurist are two very different things. In fact, enviro-whacko Malthusians are generally Luddites, the very opposite of futurists. Their dystopian visions are designed with the intent of casting humanity back into the same Dark Ages you likely pine for.
(3) The average life expectancy is constantly extending. For females in developed nations it is now in the 80s. The life expectancy would be in the 90s for both males & females if you eliminated lifestyle factors. More importantly, the increase of life expectancy has been very close to expectations for quite some while now. That is, here in reality, as opposed to your fantasy world.
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