Ray Kurzweil’s 2006 book The Singularity is Near pointed to the date of 2045 as a theoretical date when computer intelligence will surpass that of humans to such an extent that humans become practically redundant. He also asserted that it would be a point where humans who are willing to merge with increasingly intelligent machines could “transcend biology.”
Kurzweil has since gone on to become a Director of Engineering at Google, recently making pronouncements that seem to indicate that The Singularity might arrive earlier than originally thought.
As we currently exist in what some futurists are calling The Hybrid Age, it is worth noting Kurzweil’s observations and words about where our current trajectory is leading us. As he notes, our trajectory has not been linear; it has been exponential. Some of the limits such as Moore’s Law are beginning to lapse, but new developments in the area of DNA, quantum computing, 3D printing, and augmented reality will create an increasingly powerful impact upon the human body and perhaps the nature of a human brain that will directly enter the digital realm.
Meanwhile, the open-source nature of these technologies is creating a race between presenting nearly unlimited freedom to untold numbers of people, or being shut down by industries and elites who stand much to gain from a growing technological divide.