Technorati Tags: predictions
I couldn’t figure out from the Singularity Institute exactly when it’s going to happen, but I ended my roadmap in 2030, because I thought that the evolution of information and communication technologies indicates that we will reach the processing power of the human brain in a computer before about 2030. This, in itself, is uninteresting. There are, after all, plenty of human brains around already even if they may not always be evident in the payments world.
That’s 25 years away. If we think back 25 years to 1981, nothing much has happened in the payments world has it? In 1981 we already had Visa cards with magnetic stripes on them — OK, so we’ve just migrated to chip and PIN in the UK but the cards still have magnetic stripes on them (in fact my new one still has embossing) — and ATMs, BACS and Western Union. How come it will be so different 25 years from now? The answer, of course, is the accelerating pace of technological change.
We can think about technology singularity, we just can’t think past it. We don’t know (in fact, we probably can’t know) anything about the next generation. By 2040, the processing power of computers will be one step beyond that of human brains and we will, frankly, have no more idea what they are thinking than your dog does of what you are thinking. At this point, a machine may emerge that can work out whether 5.9% balance transfer, 1.5% monthly and 0.5% cash back is better for me than a 0% balance transfer, 1.75% monthly and double BA miles, understand the small print in my house insurance and translate the letter I just got about pension provisions into English.