I like to think of myself as a futurist. I enjoy living in the now (as much as we can do such a thing these days…) but I also enjoy thinking forward. I enjoy talking about the future too. Questions are often emailed and asked to me: “where’s this headed, or that…?” While a lot of these questions are foggy ones about general “state of the industry stuff”, and others are often technology or popular culture focused, they’re all good and interesting things for us to be thinking and talking about. In many ways, from a creative and business perspective, especially relating to photography, ALL of these topics signal a general increase in awareness–of/for our industry and the world in general – which is really important for obvious reasons.
Now, since it seems that more than a few readers of this blog and/or attendees of my talks seem to be quite interested in the future, I thought you’d enjoy this TED (Technology, Entertainment, & Design) conference speech by renowned inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil. This does not focus on photography, but instead is a general barometer on where we are and where we going with some cool technologies. I found it interesting and I hope you might too.
If you’re not familiar with TED, I suggest you check out their site. It’s an annual conference that highlights ideas and discussion from the thought leaders of our time. A blurb from their site says it best:
The first TED included the public unveiling of the Macintosh computer and the Sony compact disc, while mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines with his newly discovered fractals and AI guru Marvin Minsky outlined his powerful new model of the mind. Several influential members of the burgeoning ‘digerati’ community were also there, including Nicholas Negroponte and Stewart Brand….Meanwhile the roster of speakers broadened to include scientists, philosophers, musicians, religious leaders, environmentalists and many others. Those who have spoken at TED include Bill Gates, Frank Gehry, Jane Goodall, Billy Graham, Herbie Hancock, Murray Gell-Mann, Larry Ellison. Yet often the real stars have been the unexpected: Li Lu, a key organizer of the Tiananmen Square student protest, Aimee Mullins, a Paralympics competitor who tried out a new pair of artificial legs on-stage, or Nathan Myrrhvold speaking not about Microsoft platforms, but about dinosaur sex.