What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Ray Kurzweil: A mind is a brain that’s conscious. Consciousness is a synonym for subjectivity and there’s a conceptual gap between subjectivity and objective observation, which is what science is. I would actually maintain that there is no scientific way to demonstrate that an entity is conscious. It’s only apparent to itself.

And my prediction is that we will—this is an objective prediction—we will come to accept entities that are not biological as conscious. But it’s not going to be, “Okay, machines on the right side of the room, humans on the left.” It’s going to be all mixed up. If you talk to a biological human, they will have lots of non-biological processes going on in their body and brain. Those computers will be out on the clouds, and the thinking of that “person” isn’t even just in their body and brain even in the non-biological portion, it’s out on the cloud. So it’s going to be all mixed up, there’s not going to be a clear distinction between human and machine.

The bottom line is we are one human-machine civilization. This technology has already expanded who we are and is going to go into high gear when we get to the steep part of the exponential.

 

More from the Big Idea for Saturday, July 28 2012

Today's Big Idea: Human Technology Co-Evolution

The idea of transhumanism implies a rejection of the body, or at least the body's physical limitations. Transhumanists advocate a dramatic enhancement of human capabilities through the integration... Read More…

 

After the Singularity, We'l...

Newsletter: Share: