Visions of the Future
In this new three-part documentary, leading theoretical physicist and futurist Dr Michio Kaku explores the cutting edge science of today, tomorrow, and beyond.
He argues that humankind is at a turning point in history. In this century, we are going to make the historic transition from the ‘Age of Discovery’ to the ‘Age of Mastery’, a period in which we will move from being passive observers of nature to its active choreographers. This will give us not only unparalleled possibilities but also great responsibilities.
1. The Intelligence Revolution. In the opening installment, Kaku explains how artificial intelligence will revolutionise homes, workplaces and lifestyles, and how virtual worlds will become so realistic that they will rival the physical world. Robots with human-level intelligence may finally become a reality, and in the ultimate stage of mastery, we’ll even be able to merge our minds with machine intelligence.
For the first time on television, see how a severely depressed patient can be turned into a happy person at the push of a button – all thanks to the cross-pollination of neuroscience and artificial intelligence.
2. The Biotech Revolution Genetics and biotechnology promise a future of unprecedented health and longevity: DNA screening could prevent many diseases, gene therapy could cure them and, thanks to lab-grown organs, the human body could be repaired as easily as a car, with spare parts readily available. Ultimately, the ageing process itself could be slowed down or even halted.
But what impact will this have on who we are and how we will live? And, with our mastery of the genome, will the human race end up in a world divided by genetic apartheid?
3. The Quantum Revolution The quantum revolution could turn many ideas of science fiction into science fact – from metamaterials with mind-boggling properties like invisibility through limitless quantum energy and room temperature superconductors to Arthur C Clarke’s space elevator. Some scientists even forecast that in the latter half of the century everybody will have a personal fabricator that re-arranges molecules to produce everything from almost anything.
Yet how will we ultimately use our mastery of matter? Like Samson, will we use our strength to bring down the temple? Or, like Solomon, will we have the wisdom to match our technology?