Why 2020 is a rare window in time that’s hard to see beyond

Never mind seeing beyond the fabled singularity of 2045, it’s really hard to predict where we’re going from the here and now

In 1995, I was in high school in Colorado, reading a fledgling media venture called CNET via my family’s dialup AOL account and an ancient desktop PC clone running on a 486 processor. Twenty-five years later, I can now read, hear and watch CNET on an array of devices, from phones and watches to smart speakers, tablets and even the monitors at my local gas pumps.

In another 25 years, if the predictions of some of Silicon Valley’s smartest people come true, we may have the latest CNET news and reviews transmitted directly into our brains, skipping screens altogether. Or we may test the latest products in an immersive VR environment set up by CNET’s experts. Or those immersive experiences may become the products themselves, as some of us chose to completely disconnect our consciousness from our biological bodies and upload into the cloud to live forever as software.

That last vision comes from the mind of Google’s chief futurist and noted author Ray Kurzweil, who has been predicting for many years now that we’ll reach a technological singularity by the year 2045, when CNET will hopefully be turning 50.

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The singularity is a concept that Kurzweil has popularized over the past couple of decades; the basic idea is that computers and artificial intelligence will become so powerful and so smart that they’ll be able to begin improving themselves without the help of humans. Kurzweil says it then becomes difficult to predict what happens next.

“By 2045, we’ll have expanded the intelligence of our human machine civilization by a billionfold,” he said in the below Big Think interview from 2009. “That will be singularity, and we borrow this metaphor from physics to talk about an event horizon: It’s hard to see beyond”.

Read more: cnet