Futurists pay visit to Berlin: Humans will become obsolete
"Disruption" is a term that is increasingly being used in Germany. However, the speakers at the SingularityU Germany Summit won't be discussing the exponential development of words but rather of technologies. The Summit's focus will address the fact that digital information technologies bring about abrupt changes in our professional lives. Welcome to the age of disruption.
Peter Diamandis und Ray Kurzweil, author of the classic “The Singularity is Near”, founded SU in 2008. "Singularity" describes the moment when humans cease to comprehend the capabilities of the machines they once built - instead the machines begin to understand each other. The term defines the point in time where artificial intelligence exceeds human intellectual capacity. This might sound as if those promoting the idea of singularity are somehow involved with Hollywood sci-fi movies - quite the contrary: they meet in Silicon Valley at the Singularity University, which has been established for exactly this purpose. SU, in fact, is not only a university but a think tank and also acts as an incubator for new business models.
The grand vision of futurists, including developers, investors and top managers is to use information technology for the benefit of mankind - they envision a world where global wealth and peace are achieved through technological development. The following questions are only a few examples of the issues that are being addressed at SU: How can we ensure the global water and energy supply? How can the universe be colonized? How can computers learn empathy? How can we stop our own aging process?
SU founder Diamandis once told Wired Magazine that he intended to start a community in which problems would simply be considered new opportunities. The digital world has become fast-paced to such a degree that only those who understand and use new technologies can keep up. The changes that robots, artificial intelligence and connected machines bring to the world we live and work in take place at an ever increasing pace. SingularityU Summit offers an opportunity for visitors to hear leading thinkers, including Rob Nail, Managing Director at SU, speak about their ideas.
The message that Singularity University sends out to the world is: if you think there is plenty of time you're wrong. Technological advancement is not a linear process - it happens exponentially. Visitors to the Summit will quickly realise that disruption is not just a term that is increasingly being used - rather, it will change the world we live in.
Just as a side note: The speakers invited to the Summit are not machines producing algorithms that predict the future. The visionaries of our time are (still) human.
When: April 20-21, 2016
Where: Palais am Funkturm, Masurenallee 14, 14057 Berlin.