A trip from the mall to another time in 1985's Back to t in an immersive VR environment set up by . Or those immersive experiences may become the products themselves, as some of us chose to completely disconnect our consciousness from our biological bodies to live forever as software.
That last vision comes from the mind of Google's chief futurist and noted author Ray Kurzweil, who has been predicting for many years now that we'll reach a technological singularity by the year 2045, when CNET will hopefully be turning 50.
The singularity is a concept that Kurzweil has popularized over the past couple of decades; the basic idea is that computers and artificial intelligence will become so powerful and so smart that they'll be able to begin improving themselves without the help of humans. Kurzweil says it then becomes difficult to predict what happens next.
"By 2045, we'll have expanded the intelligence of our human machine civilization by a billionfold," he said in the below Big Think interview from 2009. "That will be singularity, and we borrow this metaphor from physics to talk about an event horizon: It's hard to see beyond."
Even before we reach the singularity, Kurzweil predicts we'll have the ability to live much longer or perhaps forever with the help of nanobots that swim around our bloodstreams repairing our organs and vanquishing disease. If our physical bodies can't be prevented from failing, there's no reason to worry, because all those worries and cares and everything else that's ever passed through your mind can be digitized and uploaded into some sort of Utopian Matrix.
I haven't been thinking about the future as long as Kurzweil has, but I have been , and the reality that we get is often much messier than what we're promised.