THE BLOG

Technology Evolution

02/07/2013 11:39 pm ET | Updated Apr 09, 2013

Technology is a new phenomenon that we have just begun to experience. First forms of technology were quite simple, such as the telegraph or the typewriter. As time has passed, technology has gotten smaller and infinitely faster/better. A movie that came out in 2011 explains this evolution perfectly. The movie is called "Transcendent Man" and it follows Ray Kurzweil, an intensely smart inventor who created the Kurzweil synthesizer when he was 35. Kurzweil has followed the evolution of technology very closely. He believes in the "singularity," the moment when humans and technology will merge in perfect harmony, which will occur within the next 25 years, around 2029.

My initial thought when I heard that was, "that is pure madness and it's impossible." But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it might be possible. If you take apart your computer and see all the microchips, you will realize how impossibly small they are and how much they can do. Whenever we create a new piece of technology that is better than previous models, we then use that technology to create an even better model. This process is continuously done until we have created a piece of technology that is unbelievably advanced. Better pieces of tech have been created very quickly through this process, but what is our limit?

I have noticed many instances where technology has been used to solve a previous problem that has plagued people for a fair amount of time. A perfect example is horses and the invention of cars to replace them. Horses were humanities only source of "fast" land travel, but they were less than optimal. Horses can be mean, they poop, you need to feed them, they can run away, they can become lame, they can be not obedient and they die. Henry Ford saw this issue and used technology to replace it. He created a motorized car that people could buy for their own use. This invention changed the world because we had taken the efficiency of biological transportation and moved on to technological transportation instead. I believe that this will happen with humans soon too.

Experiments are already being done involving the ability to move robotic arms with brain implants. Even exoskeletons for paralyzed individuals are being created so that they can interact with the world again. I agree with Raymond Kurzweil that within 25 years we will have begun to perfect mixing technology and people in such a way that was thought impossible.

What I imagine will begin to happen more commonly in 2029 is that things like robotic limbs will become more common. People who have lost arms or legs in wars or from diseases will suddenly have their world reopen to them because of this rapid increase in how quickly technology will be created. Before halfway through the century, we will probably have biologically advanced humans who can see farther, hear better and run faster. How we will accept these technological advances and whether or not we pursue them is a choice that we, as a species, will have to make sooner than we think.