I was born in 1949, the mid-point of the 20th century. I have witnessed the rise of the computing age, the space age, the Internet, nuclear power, widespread pollution, human-influencing climate change, biomedical breakthroughs, our first steps into creating artificial intelligence and our first steps with robotics.
So what lies ahead?
If the first decade of this century is any indicator we are in for a roller coaster ride with technology being a source of our problems as well as a means to save our species and the planet. For in our technology we have sowed much that is wrong in our world today. We have in overcoming disease created unprecedented population growth. The consequence for our species includes shrinking biodiversity, stressed environments, and perennial food challenges. Through technology we have created weapons of such power and consequence that we hold the keys to global destruction.
But we have also accomplished so many wonderful technological achievements. The computer and telecommunications revolution has changed our human world forever. We are connected as never before. We are used to being always on, always connected. Our sources of news have changed. We are switching from paper to electronic. We can choose what news we want rather than accept what is published for all. My website home page feeds me an encapsulated summary of many subjects that I track. Every day I receive over 100 emails from businesses I work with, and from friends and acquaintances. My social networking Internet sites, of which I have too many to recall these days, provide me with daily postings, tweets, wall messages, and friend requests. I am involved in Internet debates on several sites responding to commentary on issues and themes of interest to me. I have my own website, another blogging site other than this one. I also publish articles on several other sites. I have a PayPal account and send and receive money from clients this way.
For the past three years I have become an investor in the developing world providing micro loans to small business entrepreneurs that I vet through an Internet link. What a rush — to help people achieve success $25 at a time.
We have mapped the human genome and found that much of what we thought we knew about our bodies, and disease, has been wrong. We have started down the path of creating nanotechnology with no clear idea of where we will end up with these new micro molecular toys. We have robot dogs and robot butlers to amuse us, knowing that these are the first steps in the development of android artificial mechanical intelligence.
Although our foray to the moon in the 1960s and 70s united all of humanity in our pursuit of the impossible, the fascination with human space travel has been overtaken by earthly concerns and today only a few of us inhabit a low-Earth orbit space station. Meanwhile our robots travel to the planets of our Solar System and our satellites show us a Universe that we could have scarcely contemplated a half-century ago.
We have created machines with the potential to help us unlock the mysteries of sub-atomic particles, dark matter and dark energy.
We are told that our collective knowledge is doubling every five years. The hope is that so is our collective wisdom.
We have planted so many of the seeds I have described above. We sit in the latter part of the first decade of this 21st century poised to continue the tech revolution that we started in the last. What will it look like?
This blog is dedicated to exploring where we are and where we are going, always through the technology that has inherently become an extension of who we are as a species. Because it is technology that separates us from other intelligent species on this planet, and it is upon technology that we must rely on ensuring that the planet continues to be a place on which we, as a species, and all other species thrive.