Ray Kurzwiel has always been very good at predicting; which will make some of his recent predictions scary for some and fascinating for others. That’s the general reaction when people are exposed to some of what Futurists see coming. Out of the 147 predictions he made in his various books, only 3 turned out to be totally wrong. With that knowledge in hand, this recent Article describes some of Ray’s recent predictions. Scary, fascinating, or some combination of the two? Here is a look at three of his recent predictions:
Disease: Kurzweil predicts that most if not all disease will be curable in the next decade. He thinks extremely small robots (nanobots) that enter our bloodstream will deliver this end-state vision. The average expectancy for humans is already growing, and with dramatic improvements in fighting disease, this could go up another 30 years or more. As we reverse the aging process and leverage developments like exoskeletons and artificial limbs, living longer healthier lives becomes transformative; changing what it means to be over 100 years old, and along with it, foundational institutions like retirement.
Virtual Reality: Kurzweil says that virtual reality will become all but indistinguishable from reality in 15 years. Meaning that those who enter a virtual 3-D world will see, touch, smell and hear as authentically as we can today. Scary or fascinating? Kurzweil believes that many will choose to remain in such an artificial but almost perfect world more than they do in an increasingly complex real world. You? Kurzweil predicts a merging of our consciousness with the digital world with the option of uploading and downloading ourselves into new bodies. Hmmm.
Brain Interaction: Interacting with an instrumented and increasingly machine-oriented society will be difficult with our current data input rate; input is slow when the input mechanism is our thumbs. The way we Interact is already transforming, as voice commands makes input faster. A deeper transformation is within sight, as the transformation likely takes us to thought commands. If this sounds far-fetched, would someone driving a race car with their mind convince you otherwise?
These predictions are based on the progression of computing power – which has served Kurzweil well. I maintain however that prediction is impossible these days, as there are so many variables across multiple domains to consider. I am a big believer in Rehearsing the Future instead, steering it to places that are truly fascinating.