National Geographic’s Jason Silva spoke of an “era of exponential change” with the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the Knowledge Summit 2017, organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
According to Silva, a media artist, television personality and specialist in brain games, the era of exponential change has arrived thanks to technologies evolving over generations, and now transforming at an unprecedented level.
“Humans built tools, and then built new tools using our previous tools. This circular process, repeated over centuries, is why technology is so disruptive today and exponentially transforming the world we live in,” he said in a session on the second day of the Knowledge Summit on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the MBRF had named Silva Knowledge Ambassador for 2017, among four others honored at the event by UN Assistant Secretary General Michael O'Neill.
Silva acknowledged that while human beings are curious by nature, we are still resistant to change. He urged the audience to think in terms of exponential trends that will change the way people live. “Technology is the human mind turned inside out; the extension of our creativity and agency in the world. In an exponential era, we must surf the wave, and disrupt ourselves,” noted Silva.
Citing Ray Kurzweil’s ‘The Singularity is Near’ series, the media artist and TV personality said that the three defining technologies of the future are Genetics, Nanotechnology and Robotics (GNR).
“We are biological beings, and GNR is making our very biology programmable to cure ageing and to alleviate human suffering. We are transforming the limited physical world into a programmable medium and moving from a world of scarcity to a world of abundance,” he concluded.
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