Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What Happens When We Become Limitless?

A movie called "Limitless" (left) is coming out soon in which an ordinary guy (played by Bradley Cooper) is able to use 100% of his brain by taking pills called NZT. We see how this changes his life and make him incredibly rich and influential. He becomes "a perfect version of himself".

We can expect to see more films like this because we have to begin thinking about the growing power of humans combined with artificial intelligence. What will our lives be like when we are a lot smarter than we are now?

Below is a story about the computer "Watson" which is giving us glimpses of the growing processing power to which we will have access in the near future. The future is like Wikipedia on steroids - access to vast databases in real-time to help us solve problems beyond our imaginations. Doctors will be able to save many more lives. Legislators will be able to make wiser and more informed decisions. We will be able to improve the lives of everyone on the planet and drastically reduce current inequities in the opportunities afforded different people in life.

Movies are like dreams - they are a way we work out our fears and imaginations. Through films we get to try out different possible scenarios. We get to confront our dreams and nightmares in a safe environment.

In this film there are, of course, downsides to what seems like a great life. Other people want what he has at any cost (right - Robert De Niro talks with Bradley Cooper). The pills have side effects that threaten his life, etc. These are part of what we need to work out in our dreams as well - to prepare for the time in which we will have to work them out in real life.

If you had limitless potential what would you do with it? How would it change your life? How would the world be a better place? Is it enough to become rich and sought after? We need to begin thinking about these things because very soon they will become a possibility.

Click on the heading above to see the trailer for "Limitless" and watch for more movies like this in the coming years.

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