…Global Speaker and Nat Geo’s “Brain Games” host takes audience on a journey on how to take exponential leaps in a rapid digital age
Living in an age of transformation, and in an age of rapid change, humanity is slowly falling into a state of vertigo, overwhelmed with the pace of change and how it is increasingly taking place in real time. However, Jason Silva, Global Speaker and host of National Geographic’s “Brain Games”, sees great potentials in humanity, and how it can address and overcome misperceptions of technology through exponential change.
Speaking on the second day of the 7th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) 2018, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and themed “Digital Millenium…Where to?”, Jason Silva brought the audience his popular energy, enthusiasm and passion on the topics of human relation and evolution with technology, during his interactive speech titled “The Era of Exponential Change”.
Silva began by saying: “This all starts for me with a passion for human imagination, and with a passion for human creativity. This then has turned into a passion for technology, because I believe that technology is the embodiment of human creativity and liberalisation of human imagination in the world. I also believe that technology has turned the human brain inside out, and that this evolution has allowed us to impregnate the world with our mind.”
Reflecting on the significance behind the definition of technology, Silva shared with the audience the cognitive philosophies of Andy Clark and David Chalmers’ “The Extended Mind”, addressing how they viewed technology as the “scaffolding of mind”, which is used to extend our thoughts, our reach and our visions.
He said: “If you go back a hundred thousand years to the Savana of Africa, where early humans picked up a stick from the ground and used it to reach a fruit that was on a really high tree, you’ll see that we’ve been since then using our tools and instruments to transcend our limitations and go beyond our boundaries.”
Silva discussed how linear thinking has been one of the key obstacles that have prevented humanity from embracing the full potential of rapid change and technology. He said: “We have to accommodate ourselves to rapid transformation within our life spans, but the question is why? Why don’t we see the future coming? This has to do with the fact that technological change is exponential. The human brain is wired to think linearly about change.”
He added: “Linear calculations are in our DNA, and we don’t live in a world that is linear anymore, we live in a world that is global and exponential, and so our intuition is future-blind.”
Silva presented a scientific example about the key difference between linear change and exponential change, and how individuals can set their mindsets towards exponential change, saying: “If you take 30 linear steps, by step 30 where are you? You’re at 30, because 30 linear gets you to 30. If you take the same amount of steps exponentially, by step 30, you’re at one billion.”
He continued: “The same amount of steps gets you to either 30 or to a billion, and technology changes at such an exponential rate. This is the reason why the smart phone in your pocket today is a million times cheaper, a million times smaller, yet a thousand times more powerful than what used to be a 60 million dollar super computer, that was half a building in size 40 years ago.”
Silva shared with the audience his personal experiences as a speaker and advocate for exponential change in the midst of rapid technological advancement, stating how investing in GNR (Genomics, Nanotechnology and Robotics) is among the key factors that will significantly contribute to achieving exponential change.
He discussed that because the manmade world is the condensation of human imagination, GNR would allow people to reengineer numerous aspects of humanity, such as communication, knowledge and exploration.
Silva concluded his session with a series of videos that carried energetic messages behind the values of exponential change and the immense opportunities that lie ahead of humankind in changing perceptions of reality, biology and sciences down to the atom.