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The Singularity is Near – When Technology Merges with Consciousness
The world is rapidly changing around us. The pace of evolution is accelerating and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the world around us is transforming as technology becomes more ubiquitous in our lives. There’s a lot of talk online about the future implications of advancing technology. Whether we’re talking about Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Conversational Voice Interfaces, 5G Connectivity, Robotics, Virtual/Augmented Reality or Blockchain, its clear as these technologies advance and converge together the end result will be a level of disruption to business, governance, geopolitical power, the biosphere, the likes of which, has never been witnessed before in human history.
And what is particularly exciting for me and at the same time concerning is that not only are these technologies advancing fast, but their rate of advancement is accelerating, creating orders of magnitude disruptions in not only the World around us but in the very definition of what it means to be human.
This phenomenon is known as the Law of Accelerating Returns, and implies that the technology we are seeing today holds implications for our civilizations that we cannot begin to comprehend at our current stage of awareness and cognitive capacities.
The merging of technology and humans, and the implications of Artificial Intelligence becoming more intelligent than humans, has been called the Technological Singularity; And during this segment of Innovators, where your future is NOW, we’re going to be talking about the coming Technological Singularity, the facts, its implications, and what will happen when our consciousness merges with machine intelligence.
So, to begin it’s important we get clear on what we mean when we say that a technological singularity is near. The Technological Singularity is an idea popularized by Ray Kurzweil, a futurist and inventor who in his book, “The Singularity is Near” explains that the Singularity is an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today—the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity.
To understand what this means, and to fully appreciate its implications it’s important to understand that since 1965 our computers have been getting smaller and smaller, while simultaneously getting more and more powerful. Likewise, as computer processing speeds improve over time, this process results in our ability to create even faster computers. In other words, not only is technology advancing exponentially but the rate of progress is accelerating exponentially. This phenomena in computer science is known as Moore’s Law, and it’s the reason why the computer inside your smart phone today is a million times more powerful and a thousand times cheaper than the most advanced super computer 50 years ago.
What Moore’s Law shows us is the disruptive power of exponential technologies. And being that our minds have a hard time understanding the implications of exponential growth, it’s difficult to fully appreciate what the world and ourselves will look like when computers can be reduced to size of a blood cell and beyond, and become trillions of times more powerful than they are today.
What makes this specific time in human history so exciting is we are witnessing the emergence and converge of several exponential technologies, that when combined together, have the capability of solving some of the world’s most challenging problems, as well as unleashing human creativity and intelligence into realms incomprehensible today.
Examples of these technologies include Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Big Data, Digital Biology, Bio Tech, Medicine, Nanotech, Blockchain, Quantum Computing, Robotics and Cloud Computing.
Companies, governments, and individual citizens all around the world are just now getting a taste of how these exponential technologies, when combined together, have the abilities to disrupt billion dollar industries, transform geopolitical power, decentralize authority and power, and create unparalleled abundance for all.
Yet for all the talk about the coming technological singularity and the mysteries behind what it holds for humanity, we’re going to explore a similar idea to the technological singularity (what I like to call the “Consciousness Singularity”) and why in my view, it’s even more profound and disruptive than the advancing exponential technologies of today.
Where the technological singularity involves a point of time in the future when machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence, the consciousness singularity is about a point of time in the future when human consciousness (which means what we are aware of being) moves into a state of transcendence, where I believe the lines between “human” and “God” blur, and where we as a species can unlock superhuman capabilities within ourselves that are beyond anything we are capable of doing today.
At the point in time where we achieve the consciousness singularity, I believe our consciousness will expand beyond the limitations and constraints of our human bodies, and will begin to include transpersonal experiences and transcendent self-identity. We will experience a new stage in the evolution of humanity as our identities experience both collective consciousness and expanded individual consciousness. Comprehending what this means however is difficult unless we ourselves have already experienced transcendent states of conscious awareness.
The difficulty in comprehension lies in the fact that humanity is currently still grasping to understand what it means to be conscious, with heated debates concerning whether the soul actually exists, and the true essence of ourselves, our relationship to others and the universe we inhabit.
I for one believe deeply that we are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience. That our identities extend far beyond the biochemistry of our minds and extend into the very fabric of the Universe. The Technology Singularity, in my view, stands on the shoulders of the Consciousness Singularity because its only through humanity deploying its imagination (which is our true nature), that science has had the insights and breakthroughs that have steadily transformed the world. For a full understanding of why I believe our true essence is imagination make sure and listen to my After-Hours podcast segment, The Power of Imagination.
To understand what Consciousness is, it’s important to understand that we are on the verge of transforming our understanding of who and what we are as a species.
When you as a human being experience thoughts in your mind, it’s easy to say to yourself, “I think this” or “I am that” as if there is an “I” that is responsible for your thoughts. However, you do not say “I beat my heart.” Your heart beats automatically. Your body does all the work, for millions of interactions autonomously. The same is true of your thoughts. Your thoughts come automatically and are often the result of conditioning and beliefs rather than from deliberate design or creative imagination.
At your deepest core, you are not your thoughts. You are pure, unlimited imagination. Ancient spiritual teachers and practitioners have known this for thousands of years that we are in truth, transcendent beings, with the ability to manifest our realities by the creative control and unification of our thoughts, emotions and actions.
The Technological Singularity is in truth, the inevitable end result of man’s quest of using invention and tools, to manifest on Earth the limitless realities that have always existed within his own consciousness.
As our minds transcends and merges with our advancing exponential technologies here are some ideas that I believe are possible for the future of humanity as we enter into the coming Consciousness Singularity:
#1 Your “sense of self” will expand beyond one single perspective and being a human being
As science continues to make breakthroughs in the areas of neuroscience, quantum physics, and consciousness, humanity will begin to learn that our identities extend beyond our thoughts. Startups like Neurolink, Mind Maze, and Neuropace are already working on Brain Machine Interfaces that are just scratching the surface inherit in the exponential power of merging our minds with connected machines and the cloud. In my view, it’s logical to assume that as these technologies advance and converge with other exponential technologies such as Augmented and Virtual Reality and eventually quantum computing that human beings will be able to upload their minds to machines and consciously coexist in both their human avatar forms as well as AI enhanced machine forms.
#2 The “universe” will awaken and will reveal itself as an infinite realm of creative potentialities
Ancient spiritual traditions have taught for thousands of years that we are one with the universe. That the intelligence of all of creation, is folded within us, in the form “conscious awareness” that both nolocal in nature and exists in a dimension of reality that transcends the detection of our 5 senses.
I find it very possible to conceive of a future reality therefore, where humanity achieves a level of “digital immortality” that allows our conscious minds to traverse the universe. Yet the universe will not be an infinitely large external space of rocks, gas and ice. Rather, we will discover that the universe is an infinite realm of imagination where anything is possible through thought and perception. The technological singularity will be less about us traveling into “outer space” and will more about us traveling into the “inner space” of our consciousness, bypassing and transforming conventional notions of time, space, physics, and human identity in the process.
#3 Our intelligence will merge with Artificial Intelligence and we will become superhuman
It’s hard to predict exactly what will happen when we merge our minds with truly advanced Artificial General Intelligence. But the end results will be staggering. Improvements in our own computational ability in orders of magnitudes of millions of times, will enable humans to become “geniuses” in virtually every creative, technical and scientific field known to man.
Combined with exponential advancements in the fields of genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics, will all converge allowing human beings to possess intelligence and physical capabilities that are incomprehensible to conceive of today. Trying to explain what our intelligence and identities will be capable of post-singularity would be like trying to explain the nature of calculus or quantum physics to a chimpanzee. We are indeed on the verge of the most exciting evolutionary jump in human history ever recorded! We are going to meet our maker, and find out that our maker all along was within ourselves!
Yet with all this talk about the coming singularity, its nature, and the implications for ourselves and our world I find that one of the most important messages we must keep in mind is that the ultimate direction and destiny of humanity is up to each one of us. As our minds, and the exponential technologies we create, continue to advance, both the opportunities and dangers these technologies present cannot be understated.
The Consciousness Singularity, for me at least, is about humanity completing the promise of its own evolution. The idea that our thoughts create reality, that we are “particles of God” in human form. The quality of our consciousness, which means the amount of love and light we hold within our own hearts, will ultimately determine the quality and direction of the coming singularity and our shared destiny we advance through it.
If history has taught us anything it’s the dangers inherit when our technology advances faster than our consciousness and sense of morality, the destruction and chaos that can arise when we lose sight of our connection to our own divinity, and our connectedness to each other and all that is. The dangerous ways technology can be used when we forget the very definition of what it means to be human. When we lose our connection to the intelligence and intuition of our own hearts.
The Singularity is as much an individual process in achieving individual spiritual enlightenment as much as an external story of how technology is transforming the world. We are beings of enormous creative potentiality and the more we learn to love ourselves and show love for all sentient life on earth the more likely the coming waves of transformation will take us to a benevolent, democratized, abundant, free future for all the citizens of Earth.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Innovators, where your future is now! I am your host, Phillip Lew, as we take you, the listener, on a journey, from Panic to Power!