Ray Kurzweil: Thinking Through the Great Change Epochs

Inventor, Author, Futurist
Ray Kurzweil has developed six epochs for stages in the evolution of information.
  • Transcript


Ray Kurzweil: This is kind of the advanced stage of Epoch 4, where humans are creating technology and putting our knowledge base in that technology.  Epoch 5 is when we’re going to merge with that non-biological intelligence we’re creating.  To do that, we need to create intelligence that’s equal to us and we also need the nanotechnology to put it inside our bodies and brains.  I mean, this is almost in my body and brain - it may as well be; I wouldn’t lose it that way - but that’s where we’re headed.  That’ll be Epoch 5.  And then Epoch 6 is when we go out into the rest of the universe.

So, I have these six epochs for really stages in the evolution of information - started out with atomic information and then chemical information, biological information, then information in brains of organisms, then technology, and finally we will merge our intelligence into the technology and take advantage of what I call the "law of accelerating returns," which is the fact that information technology grows exponentially.  That's the force that's behind what’s referred to as the singularity.

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd