Did Ross From Friends Accurately Predict The Merging Of Humans And Computers?
In 1999, Ross Geller, from the famous series Friends, shared a story of the future, which at the time, everyone laughed at. He was sat on the sofa in Monica‘s apartment when he told Chandler that in the future we will be able to upload our brains to a computer and live forever. In 1999, this seemed ridiculous and something that wouldn’t happen for centuries, but it’s a lot closer than that.
The strange thing is, Ross said it would be the year 2030, which is the exact year Jay Wheeler predicted, and made a wager on, that we will merge with machines in his book 2050: Being Human In The Future.
Elon Musk has been repeatedly interviewed about the growth of AI and merging man and machine. He has said we are bandwidth constrained and we will need to merge with machine in order to remain relevant. This is of course true due to the exponential growth of technology and the sheer amount of information which is shared in the world. It is said that humanity’s knowledge doubles every 12 months and in a couple of years it will double every single day.
We will have no choice but to have computers process all the information by developing a super intelligence or merging our brains with machines. The number most experts say is 20 years (in 2016), which suggests man will merge with machine around the year 2036. Even to us this seems a bit of a safe bet and a long time away. Other experts have said it will happen sooner. The average is around the year 2030.
Parkinson’s disease patients already have their brains monitored by computers and are technically “merged” with machines. Dreams and memories from the brain can now be photographed. Nanotechnology is exploding in development and it is said the technology in an iPhone 7 will be able to fit inside a blood cell in a matter of years, which will allow nanobots to be injected into the bloodstream or directly onto the brain to merge our brain waves with computers. That’s just the surface benefit of having such power in nanobots.
Back to the Friends story though. Ross shared the story in Season 6, Episode 7, in the opening scene after the introduction and opening credits. You can see for yourself, but here’s exactly what he said:
“I just finished this fascinating book. By the year 2030, there will be computers that can carry out the same amount of functions as an actual human brain, so theoretically you could download your thoughts and memories into this computer and live forever as a machine.”
When do you think humans will merge with machines? Do you think it will be the year 2030 or do you think it will be much sooner or later? Let us know your predictions in the comments below.