BY: TECH INSIDER
Two of the main technologies that futurists get most excited about are virtual reality and living forever.
According to Ray Kurzweil, a director of engineering at Google and perhaps the world’s most famous futurist, one complements the other.
As Kurzweil explained during this week’s Exponential Medicine Conference, nanobot technology could eventually “finish the job” of the natural human immune system, so we’ll be able to beat any disease, including cancer. This will lead to what he and other futurists call “radical life extension,” formerly known as immortality.
But that life extension, as great as it sounds, could come with a human cost. People could experience “tremendous ennui,” he says.
In other words, we’ll get bored if we life forever. The way to beat that, he says, is with “radical life expansion.”
By expansion, he means widening the scope of what you can do in life. The example Kurzweil gives is virtual reality, referencing the New York Times recent dispersal of virtual reality headsets for a VR story.
“Right now the revolution is devices you put on your eyes, your ears,” Kurzweil says, noting that he has patents for tactile virtual reality. By the 2030s, he says, VR could plug straight into your nervous system — which will expand the potential experiences in your life, or so the futurist argument goes.
That’s how the two huge technologies — life extension and virtual reality — are so deeply linked. According to Kurzweil, in order to avoid becoming a sorrowful immortal, bored with everything your hands can touch, you’ll need virtual reality to stay stimulated.