Revenge of the nerds: Should we listen to futurists or are they leading us towards ‘nerdocalypse’?

September 12, 2010

Over the following two days, in the conference hall at the Hyatt Regency hotel, these and other invited experts add their latest insights and thoughts to a concept first suggested in the 1950s by information theorist John von Neumann, expanded on during the 1980s and 1990s by computer scientist Vernor Vinge, and carried enthusiastically through to the 21st century by current singularitarian-in-chief, inventor Ray Kurzweil.

The singularity is a metaphorical term used to express the transformative moment when technology has moved so rapidly that the human race can never be the same again. This could be a good thing, according to Kurzweil, if we avoid the dangers of genetics, nanotechnology and robotics, then succeed in harnessing artificial intelligence to conquer mortality and accept the next, transhuman phase of our evolution. Or it could all go badly wrong, resulting in what some have dubbed the “nerdocalypse”. In Kurzweil’s estimation we should know, either way, by 2045. […]