If you haven't been to the TED website yet...do it. TED is an annual conference held in Monterey, CA designed to share ideas. Speakers included scientists, economists, sociologists, artists, and many others. Their website hosts the videos for these ~20-minute talks from meetings over the last five years or so.
The "T" in TED is for technology.
This talk is by Ray Kurzweil, who is best described as a futurist. His ideas about the acceleration of technology are controversial but incredibly interesting. Even if what he talks about doesn't actually happen, I think having the conversation in the first place is valuable.
Here's the description blurb from the TED website:
Prolific inventor and outrageous visionary Ray Kurzweil explains in abundant, grounded detail why -- by the 2020s -- we will have reverse-engineered the human brain, and nanobots will be operating your consciousness. Kurzweil draws on years of research to show the speed at which technology is evolving, and projects forward into an almost unthinkable future to outline the ways we'll use technology to augment our own capabilities, forever blurring the lines between human and machine.I've embedded the video below...or click here to watch it on TED site.
I've read Kurzweil's latest book, called The Singularity is Near, which I mean to write a review of at some point. This talk is a very condensed version of the ideas he puts forth in his book.