A group of future-obsessed entrepreneurs met earlier this year at NASA to talk about what will happen after humans evolve into cyborgs and live forever. Their gathering was called Singularity University, and Google founder Sergey Brin went cyborg to attend.
The New York Times' Ashlee Vance writes:
While the flesh-and-blood version of [Sergey] Brin sat miles away at a computer capable of remotely steering a robot, the gizmo rolling around here consisted of a printer-size base with wheels attached to a boxy, head-height screen glowing with an image of Mr. Brin's face. The BrinBot obeyed its human commander and sputtered around from group to group, talking to attendees about Google and other topics via a videoconferencing system.
The BrinBot was hardly something out of "Star Trek." It had a rudimentary, no-frills design and was a hodgepodge of loosely integrated technologies. Yet it also smacked of a future that the Singularity University founders hold dear and often discuss with a techno-utopian bravado: the arrival of the Singularity - a time, possibly just a couple decades from now, when a superior intelligence will dominate and life will take on an altered form that we can't predict or comprehend in our current, limited state.
At that point, the Singularity holds, human beings and machines will so effortlessly and elegantly merge that poor health, the ravages of old age and even death itself will all be things of the past.
Some of Silicon Valley's smartest and wealthiest people have embraced the Singularity. They believe that technology may be the only way to solve the world's ills, while also allowing people to seize control of the evolutionary process. For those who haven't noticed, the Valley's most-celebrated company - Google - works daily on building a giant brain that harnesses the thinking power of humans in order to surpass the thinking power of humans.
If you want to plunge headfirst into high-tech, futurist weirdness, you've got to read the whole report via NYT
Image by Bruno Mallert