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Google exec: Humans will be hybrids by 2030

Technically Incorrect: We'll be connecting our brains directly with the cloud, says the renowned Google futurist Ray Kurzweil.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Ray Kurzweil, hybrid man.
Ray Kurzweil, hybrid man. Getty Images

I've never fancied the idea of being a Toyota Prius, but this seems to be humanity's destination.

At least that's the thinking of Google's renowned predictor and vitamin pill taker, Ray Kurzweil.

Speaking on Wednesday at the no-doubt gripping Exponential Finance Conference in New York, Kurzweil offered a future in which we keep our heads less in the clouds and more in the cloud.

CNN reported his words. Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering, said of the year 2030: "Our thinking then will be a hybrid of biological and nonbiological thinking."

I am sure that even today you have been occasionally guilty of nonbiological thinking. However, this particular dry dream of Kurzweil's involves a merger between our brains and the digital cloud.

You might think this more of a takeover. For Kurzweil, however, this is simply progress: "In my view, that's the nature of being human. We transcend our limitations."

I have a certain fondness for human limitations. It makes for very humorous subject matter. Which is why I fear that the world of which Kurzweil dreams is one where wit and happenstance are traded away for algorithmic prediction and protestations of certainty.

When our thoughts and feelings are predicted in advance by the great algorithm in the sky, where's our spontaneity? Where is even the sense of surprise and wonder that every day seems to bring, even if that surprise makes us wonder why on earth we bother staying sane?

Kurzweil admitted that every technological advance has its positive and negative side.

One can't help wondering, though, whether the direction in which humanity is being thrust has as its greatest negative the eradication of everything we know to be human -- and has as its greatest positive living forever in a metallic numbness where we exist, but we rarely be.