I once argued, in an article published in South Africa back in 2005 and entitled, “ISU: Space Education For The Next Generation“, that with the continuous research and advancements in fields such as “nanotechnology, mobile Internet and space technology,” and in other fields such as biotechnology, energy and artificial intelligence that the “world will get smaller.” I further theorized that “cultures will systematically merge” and greater opportunities will be availed to nations around the world to become inclusively international in this emerging “globally smaller world.” Not many places on Earth have this assertion yet it seems so feasible. This belief is supported at Singularity University.
From June to August 2013, 80 new generation leaders of thirty-six different nationalities shared knowledge and discussed with world’s experts and leaders on the different fields of exponential technologies and how they could shape the future of humanity. Unraveling the underlying scientific and technological principles, point by point, thus lights were shed on the trends of each of these technologies that have been impacting our lives and their future potentials vis-à-vis the threats. These select few are empowered to change the world. They come up with extraordinary ideas and teams in a real-world scenario to address the different global grand challenges from global health, poverty, security, energy, the environment, water and from education to food. There is a probability that this will lead to physical companies because they all are entrepreneurs.
Singularity University is seated in Silicon Valley, the information and innovation capital of the world on the NASA Ames Research Center in San Francisco. Singularity University marked its fifth year of existence shaping technologies and impacting humanity in an unprecedented exponential form on twenty-fourth of August 2013. It was founded by the rare co-founding partnership between luminary space entrepreneur and innovation catalyst, Peter Diamandis, and legendary innovator and artificial intelligence futurist, Ray Kurzweil.
Last July at Singularity University, I was given a copy of Ray’s New York Times Bestseller, The Singularity Is Near published back in 2005. He synthesized and prophesied with much clarity of our future, in particular how human technology will merge with human intelligence. This is our future. The beginning of singularity, which will culminate into epoch six. Ray Kruzweil explains a stage when “patterns of matter and energy in the universe become saturated with intelligent processes and knowledge.” Peter Diamandis, in his book, Abundance, provides insights on how humanity’s grandest challenge would be met using technology and innovation. “The future is better than you think.” The duo’s philosophy is mostly founded on the law of accelerating returns on technology as predicted by Moore’s Law.
A leading inventor of integrated circuits and later chairman of Intel (inside), Gordon Moore had observed in the 1970s that we could integrate twice as many transistors onto an IC every 24 months, thus, increasing the computational power of electronics every two years by a factor of two. This has set the stage for the rapid advances in electronics, communication and computing technologies over the years. In unprecedented ways, it also has benefited humanity. My pocket-sized Android phone has a computational power greater than the computer used for the Apollo Saturn V rocket engine that landed Neil and Buzz on the surface of the Moon in the 1960s.
The Singularitarians, being given the knowledge to think and develop technologies and innovations are those who have the capacity of changing the world forever. They are leaders, inventors and futurists in their own rights. And they have genuine passion for humanity. They are bonded by the same purpose. They are increasing in number and in strength, and their vision has gotten clearer. These are the ones who will change the world and bring abundance and longevity to humanity because they believe they can. Having missed the opportunity to meet the inaugural class of Singularitarians in 2009, despite offered the opportunity by the ISU*USA presenting me the Todd B. Hawley Space Visionary Award, co-held on NASA ARC, I feel it much an honor and a dream come true to finally become a Singularitarian myself, especially exactly five years afterwards. The sixth epoch has defined by Ray, combined with the space instinct of Peter will usher humanity into a future of untold abundance.
Exponential Ad Astra!
This blog first appeared on The Huffington Post on 23 September 2013.