Vocabulary you need to know

AGI – Artificial General Intelligence; so far AI is basically just variations of very good calculators, able to perform narrow tasks much better than we ever could. AGI refers to the point at which artificial intelligence can apply itself generally to any task.

Anthropocene – The geologic age we now live in characterized by humanities ability to exert influence over every aspect of the world.

AR – Augmented Reality; the introduction of technology to our visual perception of the real world. Google glass was a crude first attempt but 2017 will see the emergence of the 2nd generation of AR devices that have the very real possibility of revolutionizing gaming, entertainment, work, basically everything. See: Microsoft Holo Lens and Magic Leap.

Blockchain – Made popular by bitcoin, a distributed decentralized and continuously updateable database that no one entity can disrupt or manipulate. Promises to spell the end of state controlled currencies to begin with.

BMI – Brain machine interfaces, also referred to as BCI, brain computer interfaces. A variety of techniques designed to connect your brain to a computer. Think prosthetic limbs, exo suits, and uploading or downloading things from the internet directly to your brain. Yup, robocop is coming.

Crispr Cas9 – The best gene editing technique to date, enabling researchers to manipulate the DNA of living organisms and fix harmful mutations and possibly give beneficial ones.

Cryptocurrency – Digital money.

Fusion Energy – The fusing together of atoms to create energy. It is the same process that the sun derives its energy from. Supposedly much more efficient and productive than any of the existing forms of creating energy while producing little to no waste.

Neural Network – A machine learning technique that enables algorithms to learn things that they were not directly programmed to learn.

Quantum Computing – I’d be lying if I said I understood how this is going to work, all I really know is that they are trying to use the properties of Quantum Physics to build computers that will be much much faster and more powerful than existing computers.

Simulation Theory – The matrix is real. The world we live in is a pre-programmed illusion. We too will one day create virtual copies of the world that look and feel indistinguishable from real life. Reality is an infinite recursive loop. No big deal.

Synthetic Biology – The mixing of chemicals to create life. That’s right we can basically create life now.

The Singularity – The moment when technology pervades every aspect of life and our machines are able to instantly upgrade themselves by rewriting their own programming in seemingly instantaneous infinitely occurring self improvement patterns. A tipping point beyond which we cannot see. Best not to think about this one too much.

Transhumanism – The next step in human evolution. Upgrading our biological selves and merging it with technology to create a race of superhumans that never age and whose minds are synched with all of human knowledge through the cloud. We’d also be able to manipulate the physical world around us using our thoughts and the coming internet of things.

UBI – Universal Basic Income; pretty straight forward, give everyone money for doing nothing. The best proposal to date regarding what to do with all these people when all the jobs are gone.

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