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The Future of Hybrid Thinking

Ray Kurzweil's Hybrid Thinking Talk Discusses Neocortex Evolution

— June 5, 2014 — Keynote Trends
Ray Kurzweil goes back to the beginning in his hybrid thinking talk, in order to explain the evolution of our neocortex. Over the course of history, the neocortex has come to make up 80% of the human brain and works to sublimate our most basic, primal drives. It is made up of 300 modules organized into a hierarchy.

Computers are beginning to grasp the human language by using an algorithm that mimics the neocortex. Soon, search engines will not operate by linking together words and phrases, but by exhibiting an acute understanding of the written word. Gilbert predicts that in 20 years from now, we will have nano-robots that can physically enter our brains and attach to a synthetic neocortex, thereby allowing us to access up to a billion more modules. In other words, instead of using a smartphone, we'll be able to access "the cloud" from our own brains.

Ultimately, the future will be a hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking. The frontal cortex is not qualitatively different from the slanted brow of other mammals; rather, it is a quantitative difference that enabled us to take a qualitative leap and create art, science and language. Our future evolutions wont be limited by the fixed architecture of the human body; they will expand without limit, creating yet another quantitative expansion and qualitative leap for culture.