Why is the documentary relevant now?
As I write this, research is underway that could help bring about the Singularity. Yet some believe that far from solving some of our biggest problems – poverty, disease, hunger, and the destruction of the environment, to name but a few – the convergence of these nascent technologies could present a grave and existential threat to humanity.
So serious are these concerns that across the world dozens of scholars at respected academic institutes have devoted themselves to trying to predict the impact, good and bad, that new technology could have on us as a species.
Why is this important?
Well, they’re working against a backdrop of rapidly accelerating technological change the likes of which we have never seen. The internet as we know it is barely 30 years old; the mobile phone is not much older. Between them they have changed the world we live in beyond all recognition, and yet today the pace of change is far quicker. Computer processor power continues to double every two years in accordance with Moore’s law, with commentators such as Ray Kurzweil predicting that computers will match our brains for sheer processing power by the early 2020s.
And it may happen sooner than that. Professor Henry Markram’s ambitious Blue Brain Project is attempting to reverse-engineer the human brain. Markram believes he can do this by the end of this decade, and the EU seems to agree.