The Future of Information Technology
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Thinking about the future can
help you shape it. Thinking too much about the future can make you spacey.
By the year 2019, thanks to
information technology, humans will have largely overcome the limits of our
humanity. We will have found cures for the major diseases that kill 95 percent
of us in the developed world. By 2029, we will become as gods, with tiny
computer chips embedded in our bodies, stopping disease and reversing aging,
ever expanding our lifespan.
Such are the prognostications of
the current Pied Piper of the digital utopia crowd, Ray Kurzweil (www.kurzweilai.net).
In a syndicated newspaper feature, he recently shared these and other rosy
predictions about the power of IT. His main thesis is that information
technology leads not just to linear growth such as humanity has experienced in
the past, but to exponential growth, and not just in IT.
Kurzweil is the author of such
books as The
Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology; Fantastic Voyage: Live Long
Enough to Live Forever; and The Age of Spiritual Machines. In them
he has made other astonishing predictions. My favorite: Human and machine
intelligence will merge and become indistinguishable, growing exponentially
until we will be able to control how the universe evolves.
It’s easy to dismiss Kurzweil. His
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