The future according to Richard Florida and Ray Kurzweil

October 23, 2014

Kurzweil used math modeling to predict that fossil fuels will be replaced within 20 years and we can engineer health lifespans.

Asked whether innovation will save us, Kurzweil is an optimist about our future.

Working for Google, Kurzweil’s got more data points on his graphs of exponential growth of information technologies. He says we’re only six doublings away from solar energy technologies being able to provide enough power to meet our needs, that’s significant. The misleading nature of exponential growth: things may start slow, but once they reach a critical mass, they get big in a hurry.

It took seven years to sequence one percent of the human genome, and only seven more years to complete it. Now that health is an information technology, Kurzweil predicts we are a few years from radically increasing lifespans: stem cells are rejuvenating heart muscle in heart attacks, Parkinson’s patients benef from pea-sized brain implants that can be updated with wireless transmissions.

Kurzweil notes technological progress isn’t without risk, but we gain more than we lose. Kurzweil believes that technology will help humans live healthier, longer lives: surgeons and scientists in Europe have helped paralyzed man Darek Fidyka walk again. […]