Famed futurist, Ray Kurzweil, recently gave a TED talk in which he discussed his theory of how the brain works and how we will soon be able to augment our thinking by harnessing vast computing power in the Cloud.
Rays timeline predicts that in the next ten years, search engines will be based on reading for understanding, not just on looking for combinations of words. In twenty years we will have nanobots that travel through the blood stream to the neo cortex and connect our biological brains with a virtual brain in the cloud. Our thinking will become a hybrid of biological and synthetic.
While fascinating in itself, Ray explains in his talk why this hybrid thinking will be so significant:
It took eons for us to evolve the prominent neo cortex we have now. The expansion of that part of our brains gave us the thinking ability that allowed us to make quantum leaps in the advancement of human civilization. If hybrid thinking comes to pass as Ray predicts, we’ll experience a second expansion of our neo cortex. But because technology is advancing exponentially and isn’t bounded by the structural limits of our biology, this virtual expansion of our neo cortex won’t be limited and will happen at an astounding pace.