February 10, 2001
Human life and the human condition are changing rapidly as we enter the new century, and they are about to change even faster and more radically. Dazzling scientific breakthroughs are changing how long we live, where we live, how we dress, how we communicate, how we work and what work we do, and even how we think and imagine. Scientist Vernor Vinge proposed that humanity is approaching what he called the Singularity and what Broderick has renamed the Spike: that moment in human history when heretofore unimaginable changes – the advent of artificial intelligence, of human immortality, of nanotechnology, are just a few of the changes – occur with such rapidity and number that the human race will be transformed, or destroyed. And that moment, many experts predict, is almost upon us. This book of wonders and dangers brings it all together to stretch our minds.
Damien Broderick, a noted Australian critic and scholar with an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in literature and science, lives in Melbourne, Australia.