This is a really interesting video about the evolution of technology and information. The video was first released in 2008, almost four years ago, but I think the facts and ideas presented are still incredibly relevant. One of the major themes of the video is that technology is developing and information is being created at a rate that will one day be too fast for us to comprehend. It’s really interesting, but also scary, to think that in just a few more decades, there will be computers that have computational powers greater than the entire human race. Technology is not only developing rapidly, it’s developing at an exponential pace.
These themes raise other questions as well — according to the video, we are preparing ourselves for jobs that don’t yet exist. But as we’ve seen, many jobs that used to be done by humans are now being replaced by machines; for example, the role of the librarian in the library. Why would anyone need a reference librarian when everything can be found via a computer, where we can modify our searches freely, work and read at our own pace, etc? At what point will all jobs be done by computers? What does this mean for the human race?
It’s hardly a question of “if” anymore, but rather a question of “when” artificial intelligence will be able to develop its own conscience. We have become a population obsessed with the development of “smarter” technologies. Smartphones, smarter computers — at what point will these things no longer be “smart”, but be able to think for themselves? At this point, it isn’t even unreasonable to ask: are these technologies we develop serving us? Or are we serving them? Can we survive without technology?