Mind Uploading and the Singularity

A BBC special on the coming technological revolution that will merge man and machine

A neuroscience blogger recently uncovered this BBC special on the prospects of brain-machine mergers, and what it means for the future.

The video special itself isn't brand new, but, since it's all about what's going to happen in a few decades, the ideas are still fresh, and the comments and insights from leading minds like Miguel Nicolelis of Johns Hopkins, MIT's Seth Lloyd and, of course, AI pioneer Ray Kurzweil, are fascinating. The piece, which inter-cuts short profiles of these leading thinkers with strange, dreamy scenes of little kids in a forest, is centered on the merger of man with machine, and how it might affect our world in a few generations time. (Apparently, we'll still have trees. And jump ropes.) One of the experts says, "I believe that my children's children will be able to . . . download their thoughts, store their memories, interface with machines." Another believes they will be caught up in a technologically-driven war, "and they may even be destroyed by it."

Don't worry, though, there's good news, too. And while the video is much longer than your standard YouTube clip, it's worth the watch.