Today we would like to share with you some of the most relevant aspects of the conference that José Luis Cordeiro gave during his visit to ITBA. There, he offered his view on the future role of technology and its impact over human beings’ physical, intellectual and psychological capacities, in correspondence with the [SABF 2011]( topics.

To begin with, he introduced to us the Latinamerican challenge: see towards the world and towards the future since everything is accelerating. He exemplified this idea with the case of China, a country with record growth, and stated that Asian countires are the ones exhibiting the highest growth rates. The latter invites us to see the world with a new face: the economic activity and its pillar countries are not what they used to be.

According to the Singularity University, of which he is a professor, nowhere in the world are people prepared to face the changes that are coming at a human level. He also defined technological singularity as the moment in which artificial intelligence reaches the level of human intelligence.

As concrete proof of change ocurring faster and faster, he commented on the evolution of perforated cards into pendrives, genome decodification, the finding of ancesters dating from over 5000 years back and the discovery of over 500 planets since 1995. However, we must not only look into the past but also into the future; for example, calculating the hypothetical descendents of two people.

Moreover, he presented Japan as a paradigmatic example: 130 million inhabitants in a region barely the size of Uruguay. “It is a poor country with rich people that has focused on education and technology”.

Regarding the future, Cordeiro said that the basic technologies would be four: nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognotechnology and infotechnology. As the homo sapiens sapiens concept indicates, we are the first species who knows they know. Sr. Cordeiro suggests we see the good side in bad things, like for example, the chinese character for crisis contains both danger and opportunity but we have to work in this last one and, instead of cursing the darkness, enlighten our future taking a proactive attitude.

Finally, he presented Sir Arthur Clarke’s rules of the future. 1) When a scientist says that something is possible, he is right, but when he says it’s impossible, he is wrong. 2) The only way to reach the limits of what’s possible is to venture into the limits of the impossible. 3) Any advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. He concluded his talk inviting us to reflect on the following: “Fascinating times are coming, and I don’t know what is going to happen”

We thank Dr. Cordeiro for his visit as well as those who were present. Our next conference will take place on Monday May 23rd at 18.30 hs featuring Mariano Sigman. We invite you to keep reading our blog since we will be publishing more details on the event shortly.