Towards the Singularity: The Future of Technology and the Technology of the Future
On 9 February 2016, the Rafael del Pino Foundation organised the Keynote Lecture Towards the Singularity: The Future of Technology and the Technology of the Future by José Luis Cordeiro, Founding Professor and Energy Advisor at Singularity University, NASA, Silicon Valley, Director of the Millennium Project, and Founder and President Emeritus of the World Future Society (Venezuela).
José Luis Cordeiro holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an MBA from INSEAD and a degree in International Economics and Comparative Politics from Georgetown University.
In addition to his activities at the World Future Society and Singularity University, he is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE - JETRO) in Tokyo, director of the Single Global Currency Association (SGCA) and the Lifeboat Foundation, co-founder of the Internet Society (Venezuela), advisor to the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, member of the Academic Committee of the Center for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge and the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) as well as advisor to the Venezuelan Association of Executives (AVE) and several international companies and organisations.
"In the next two decades we are going to see more changes than in the last two millennia". This is how José Luis Cordeiro summed up the impact of technological development during the conference "Towards singularity: the future of technology and the technology of the future", organised by the Rafael del Pino Foundation on 9 February. Cordeiro recalled that, until the 18th century, the world lived in a "Malthusian trap", that is, in a world of very low levels of wealth and a life expectancy that, on average, did not exceed 25 years. The industrial revolution changed this scenario, accelerating the growth of population and per capita income. Today, economic development is increasingly rapid, countries take less time to develop, so that, according to Cordeiro, "there are no excuses for remaining underdeveloped, because we know that there are things that work and others that don't". One of the keys to this new world is the shift from manufacturing to what he called "mentefacturing", which is what adds value to raw materials. And that is possible thanks to technological development, which is going to determine the future. That future can be seen in four ways. It can be viewed with a passive attitude, doing nothing; with a reactive attitude, trying to respond to changes; with a proactive attitude, preparing for those changes; or with a proactive attitude, becoming a creator of that future. The latter attitude is the most advisable. In this coming future we are going to meet the technological singularity, that is, the moment when artificial intelligence reaches and surpasses human intelligence. The date? Around 2040. It is difficult for us to understand how close this moment may actually be because the human brain thinks in a linear way, while technological change is exponential. And these new technologies are getting better and cheaper. As a result, things that today seem unattainable for most people will in the near future be affordable for everyone. For example, that everyone will be able to have their own genome sequenced in order to prevent genetic diseases. Or that, in 20 or 30 years, it will be possible to control the processes of physical ageing and rejuvenation, which will enormously increase life expectancy. And there are even scientists who believe that human consciousness could be downloaded to a robotic body, which would make man immortal. All of this will be brought about by the convergence of the four great technologies of the future: nanotechnology, biotechnology, info-technology and cognotechnology. This document summarises what was discussed during the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation. The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their own responsibility.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their sole responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio González, are the result of the debates held at the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation and are the responsibility of the authors.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for any comments, opinions or statements made by third parties. In this respect, the FRP is not obliged to monitor the views expressed by such third parties who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their own responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio J. González, are the result of the discussions that took place during the conference organised for this purpose at the Foundation and are the sole responsibility of its authors.