Where, oh where, to begin. Have you ever visited a place – a town, city or a country – and although you may have been somehow aware of its existence, after having visited this place you find yourself hyper aware of even the most subtle allusions to it. For example, I recently visited Iceland and since have found myself constantly bombarded by reminders of all things Icelandic. Let’s call this the “Born Into Consciousness”, or BIC, effect (I’m sure it has a better, more scientific name – I’m certainly not expecting to coin a new phrase here). The BIC effect is true of many things, not just locations, however this has always seemed to be the strongest evidence as to the existence of the BIC effect. Until recently.
If anyone here has read Ray Kurzweil’s theories, you may find it difficult to frame any discussion in your head in terms other than that of our eventual merging with machines and AI. This is the most intense BIC effect in my life. Everything I watch, read or interact with reminds me of the ever increasing acceleration of technology and the improvements that will be brought to our lives.
So, to the point, last night I was watching 60 minutes and was reminded in a very powerful way that we are closer than we think to the technological singularity. In a segment called “Brain Power“, a man whose mind had been disconnected from his body by lou gehrig’s disease was able to communicate with his family and professional peers via external sensors that could detect his brain patterns and translate his thought to spell out a phrases and to read them back via voice software.
60 minutes’ segment entitled “Brain Power”
What’s even more astounding than this is that a women volunteered with some University of Pittsburg researchers to have sensors implanted on the surface of her brain, thus increasing the sensitivity of brain pattern receptors. With this technology the disabled women was able to control the movements of a computer mouse on a screen. More impressively, she was able to steer a specially-design wheelchair around her house – using the power of her thoughts ALONE.
Please check this out for yourself, and remember the singularity is near. I can’t help but be reminded all the time.