If you want to future proof yourself or your business, you need to read “What technology wants” by Kevin Kelly. The book describes what he calls the Technium, which is the technology eco-system that surrounds us.
The technium contains 170 quadrillions (a quadrillion is one thousand million million) chips. The number of neurons in your brain is similar to the number of transistors in the global network. The number of file links is similar to the number of synapse links in your brain. The planetary electronic membrane surrounding the worlds is comparable to the complexity of the human brain. With 3 billion artificial eyes (webcams, phones, etc.) plugged in. The system has started to whisper to itself. Kevin Kelly suggests that we are close to this big brain becoming aware.
The Technium wants to evolve
From an evolution perspective, he describes the trajectory of where technology is going. It wants to become aware, it wants to grow, it wants more. Kevin Kelly uses development lines to explain how and why:
- Complexity; interesting question; what is more complex, a Boeing 747 or a cucumber?
- Ubiquity; for example, he follows the development of electro motors, how many motors do you think are in your house?
- Evolvability (the ability to evolve is evolving)
It is a cracking book. What is more remarkable that it was written in 2010.
That was 2010.
He recently posted some more thoughts on the Technium and it shows how fast developments are going:
- Artificial intelligence
- Artificial life; we will start creating new life forms
- Methuselarity; we are going to live a lot longer
- Globenet; the internet of things will connect everything. Our globe will be covered by a dense grid of sensors
- Global Superorganism; seven billion people connected to Globenet and connected to a quadrillion smart machines will merge into a system that is always on
- Memorex; the universal library of everything
- Borg; importing your mind with the Memorex and creating a civilization scale memory
- Transhumanity; controlling biological evolution and self-engineered humans
- Downloadability; data storage and biology merging
The key message
The key message is that the Technium is growing, it is inevitable, and it is self-perpetuating. The only question to ask is when you jump on the bandwagon. As a business, as an employee, and as a human being.