For the past 60 years or so, computers have been able to process information (what we usually call “events”) much faster than people. However, computers have never been that good at making their own decisions based on raw, unformatted data. Technically, that’s what makes us “smarter” than modern computers.

That is changing. And it’s only healthy if a quiver runs down your back when you think of artificial intelligence surpassing the intellectual, social, and moral intelligence of humans (with the 100 trillion signal-switching connections in our brains). The day this happens (a computer passes a Turing Test), we will enter a new age known as Epoch 5.

6 Epochs of Evolution. From Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil

6 Epochs of Evolution. From Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil

Epoch 5 is when machines more intelligent than us begin making machines more intelligent than them. This can very well be considered a technological “race”. We have never seen this before… So, we cannot compare Epoch 5 to any other time in our evolution or history as a species.

It is important that we prepare… because the only (improbable) way to stop this from happening is to::: stifle human innovation (and that can (maybe) happen in an individual country, but’s it’s not so possible on the global scale)…

So, how does this story end?

We will see a lot of benefits emerge from Epoch 5, especially in medicine… but we could possibly see some ugly things happen with future bio-warfare and bio-terrorism… To combat threats, we will need to use technology… and Man will no longer be man. Man will be man (or woman) and machine… This will be our resort to survive and thrive.

How we view ourselves as a race might change in Epoch 5, but that’s okay… it’s just evolution working it’s magic… It’s been moving at the same rate of exponential change for billions of years, and we’re here, so I trust the universe to unfold as it should… call me naive.

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