Today I am forwarding you on to Ray Kurzweil’s Ted Talk “How technology’s accelerating power will transform us”

This whole talk is about exponential trends. There are several beautiful log-plots of modern examples of exponential growth and decay.

DNA Sequencing, World-wide-web, size of computers, Moore’s Law, evolution of technology, etc. He also talks about their research creating mathematical models to predict trends in technology.

There is also an interesting segment in here on proposed nanobot red blood cells (tiny spheres that act as red blood cells, only more efficiently)… fascinating.

Kurzweil predicts we will have succeded at reverse-engineering the human brain by the year 2020. By 2029… we won’t even see computers anymore. Computers will be integrated into our brains, clothing, and bodies. The merging of our brains with technology will provide us with the intelligence to evolve to the ability to understand our own intelligence.

Just for the record, I will still be YEARS away from retirement in 2029… so while this might not concern you… I have to consider it a real possibility during my teaching career. How will we train a brain that integrates nanobots? Will that be considered “cheating” or no different than the use of a graphing calculator to assist in drawing a function? Yikes!

I became curious about Ray Kurzweil after watching his talk, and spent some time poking around his websites KurzweilAI.net and Kurzweil Technologies. You might find those sights interesting too.

In particular, I ended up at a roundtable discussion transcript between Stephen Wolfram (of Mathematica and my favorite, Wolfram Demonstration Project) and Ray Kurzweil where they debate (amongst other things) the role of mathematical models and whether everything can be modeled. Is the universe digital? Read and see.

Dr. Maria Andersen has spent most of her career teaching, writing curriculum, and developing digital products for learning. Recently she returned to the classroom, having new teaching adventures in K-12 middle and high school.