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Conscious Technology

Futurist

Jerome C. Glenn, 53, codirector of the Millennium Project, executive director of the American Council for the United Nations University, and coauthor of “1998 State of the Future: Issues and Opportunities” (Millennium Project).

Scenario

“The merger of technology and human consciousness, which is already a work in progress, is accelerating. Machines are becoming more humanlike, as speech recognition, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology become viable. And as we humans turn to nanobionics to help keep us healthy and to monitor our biology, we become less wholly organic. People and technology will get so interconnected that familiar distinctions — the mystic versus the technocrat, humanity versus technology — will collapse.”

So What?

“Conscious technology creates new ‘spaces’ that make possible positive and negative experiences. Think of cyberspace — or ‘telephone space.’ These hybrids of technology and human consciousness reduce the time and effort that it takes to get from a thought to a connection to an objective insight. That leads to greater intelligence, to what mystics call enlightenment. These spaces also make us vulnerable in new ways — ranging from simple annoyances, like telemarketing, to serious effects, like outright disinformation.”

Futurology Decoder Key

“Religions have been trying to unite the two sides of humanity for thousands of years. With conscious technology, we may actually be able to do it.”

You can reach Jerome Glenn by email (jglenn@igc.org) or on the Web (www.millennium-project.org).

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