Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (2016) Script

This is the campus of University of California in Los Angeles.

Today, no one of the students is aware that this is ground zero of one of the biggest revolutions we as humans are experiencing.

One of the science buildings here is considered the birthplace of the internet.

This picture of some of the scientists involved was taken at this very moment.

The corridors here look repulsive and yet this one leads to some sort of a shrine reconstructed years later when its importance had sunk in.

Let's enter this very special place.

We are now entering a sacred location.

It's the location where the internet began.

It's a holy place.

And we've just come back to 1969 when the critical events of the origin began.

That machine over there is the first piece of the internet equipment ever installed.

It's a mini computer, which we now call a packet switch.

This is a... military hardened machine.

You can't break it.

And it was meant to sustain itself, unattended, for years at a time.

This particular machine is so ugly on the inside, it is beautiful.

It has a unique odor.

A delicious old odor from all the old parts.

It consists of modems, CPU logic units, memory, power supply... all the things you need to make an efficient computer work.

This machine served as the first node of the internet for decades.

And it was from here that the first message was sent.

A revolution began.

And the only record we have of what happened that day is in this log.

On October 29th, 1969 at 10:30 at night we enter that we "talked to Stanford Research Institute host to host" computer to computer.

It's very much like when on Columbus' ship, the fellow up on top who first spotted land, he noticed it was and he basically made an entry saying "we spotted land".

That document and this document have at least the same equivalent importance.

Now what was that first message?

Many people don't know it.

All we wanted to do was log in from our computer to a computer 400 miles to the north, up in Stanford Research Institute.

To log in you have to type "LOG" and that machine is smart enough to type the "IN".

Now to make sure this was happening properly, we had our programmer and the programmer up north connected by a telephone handset just to make sure it was going correctly.

So Charlie typed the L and he said

"You get the L?" Bill said, "Yup, I got the L."

He typed the O. "Get the O?" "Yup, I got the O".

He typed the G. "Get the G?"

Crash! The SRI computer crashed.

So the first message ever on the internet was "Lo" as in "Lo and Behold".

We couldn't have asked for a more succinct, more powerful, more prophetic message than "Lo".

Well, I've been involved with the internet really since the very beginning.

Um, there are a number of things that would characterize that involvement.

One was I started out being the, essentially the system designer of the ARPANET, the very first packet net.

I joined DARPA in the early 1970s and started two other networking programs: one a ground base packet radio net like today's cellular phones and a satellite net on Intel's Dot4 based on packets.

And the internet was about connecting them all together and the essential elements there were the protocols that would make that possible and the technology that would be needed inside the net to enable these different nets to work together.

Vint Cerf, here in 1973, and Bob Kahn collaborating together created the fundamental protocol for the internet.

For this they received some of the highest honors our society can bestow.

Imagine, if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee, turning on your home computer to read the day's newspaper.

Well, it's not as far fetched as it may seem.

Seventeen stories up in his fashionable North Beach apartment, Richard Halloran is calling a local number that will connect him with a computer in Columbus, Ohio.

Meanwhile, across town in this less than fashionable cubby hole at The San Francisco Examiner these editors are programming today's copy of the paper into that same Ohio computer.

When the telephone connection between these two terminals is made, the newest form of electronic journalism lights up Mr. Halloran's television with just about everything The Examiner prints in its regular edition.

Of the estimated two to three thousand home computer owners in the Bay Area, The Chronicle reports over 500 have responded by sending back coupons.

This report, considering the numbers of internet users today, sounds already like pre-history.

No one at that time had a clue about the explosion of information technology.

Today if you would burn CDs of the worldwide data flow for one single day and stack them up to a pile, this pile would reach up to Mars and back.

The internet is already permeating everything.

Even on the International Space Station a phone call from one module to the next goes via the internet.

But how do we keep it running? How do we guard it?

I still have a copy of the phone directory from the late 1970s of everybody who was on the internet and it was a document about that thick and it had the name, address, and telephone number of every single person.

Actually it had it twice because it had it once sorted by their email address and once sorted by their actual name.

So if you had a problem with anybody, you could look them up, you could find them.

You could find who the actual person was associated with that email address.

And still today I thumb through that and a surprising fraction of the people I actually knew.

For example, there were two other Danny's on the internet, and I knew them both. I still know them both.

Of course now you can't even comprehend the idea of a directory that contains the name of everybody.

Today, we couldn't know exactly, the directory might be some 72 miles thick.

The capacity on the ith channel should be the traffic on the ith channel over the speed of the ith channel plus how much is left over, that's how much capacity is left over, and you split it according to the square root of the traffic on that channel over the summation of the square root over all channels.

The way the internet works, there's no fixed route that a message takes.

In the early days of the protocol there was a kind of a bug and one of the computers actually had a hardware failure that made it believe that it could get a message to some place in negative time.

So, of course, every message in the internet did better by sending it through that computer because it subtracted the time net required to send the message.

And so all the messages in the internet started getting sent through that computer, which of course got slower and slower and slower.

So the internet kind of started to grind to a halt.

The mean response time now will look like this.

It will be equal to the average path length times the summation of the square root of the traffic on the J channel over the sum of all traffics summed over all channels squared over uc (1 minus n-bar rho).

Whatever that equation means, it tells you what the minimum response time will be for a network once it's optimized.

The computer was claiming that it could deliver the message before you even sent it.

So if you had a post office like that of course you would use it, right?

This was a simplified but exact model at the time.

Now we have other aspects of it.

But it's basically the underlying principles of the network, and one of the things we found, surprisingly, was that the larger the network is the far more efficient it becomes.

Like a gambling casino that certainly makes money if you have millions of gamblers at the slot machines?

Very much so.

You've articulated what we call the law of large numbers.

The law of large numbers says that a large population of unpredictable players, or messages, collectively behaves in a very predictable fashion, a fashion we can write down exactly.

And therefore we can predict the performance of a network when its large.

The underlying technology has scaled by a factor of a million in computational speed, in bandwidth of communications, in storage capacity and it may go for another decade to a factor of a billion or even a trillion.

Nothing in the history of mankind has ever worked as a technological contribution over that span of growth.

Back to the very early times, times of speculative concepts of a connected world... in the early 60s, many years before the first Apple personal computer, a young thinker, Ted Nelson, had his own ideas about creating a computer network.

The web as we know it took a different route, but Nelson's ideas are still dormant.

It was an experience of water and interconnection.

I was with my grandparents in a rowboat in Chicago, so I must have been five years old and I was trailing my hand in the water.

And I thought about how the water was moving around my fingers, opening on one side and closing on the other, and that changing system of relationships where everything was kind of similar, kind of the same and yet different.

That was so difficult to visualize and express,

and just generalizing that to the entire universe that the world is a system of ever changing relationships and structures struck me as... a vast truth... which it is!

And... so interconnection and expressing that interconnection has been the center of all my thinking, and all my computer work has been about expressing and representing and showing interconnection among writings especially.

And writing is the process of reducing a tapestry of interconnection to a narrow sequence.

And this is in a sense illicit.

This is a wrongful compression of what should spread out.

And today's computers they've betrayed that because there's no system for decent cut and paste and they've changed the meaning of the words "cut and paste" and pretended it was the same thing.

So a guy named Larry Tesler, whom I consider to be a good friend, nevertheless changed those words and I consider that to be a crime against humanity and he doesn't understand why.

Because humanity has no decent writing tools.

In any case, this is the problem: interconnection and representation and sequentialization all... similar to the issue of water.

So here we have a parallel presentation that shows the quotation connected to its original context.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" and where is that from? That is from the King James Bible.

So we can step down to the next quotation.

"Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight" and that is from the Alphabet of ben Sira.

And so as we pull back we can see successive pages coming up to connect with their sources or with their linked contents.

His vision of links never materialized.

By some he was labeled insane for clinging on.

There are two contradictory slogans.

One is that continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

On the other hand, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

I prefer the latter because I don't want to be remembered as the guy who didn't.

No, to us you appear to be the only one around who is clinically sane.

No one has ever said that before.

Usually I hear the opposite.

Thank you very much for talking with us.

It was wonderful.


What a team.

Yes, now it's your turn.

Today the sheer numbers of unpredictable players on the internet has led to some of its greatest glories.

Fundamental research into cancer, AIDS, and other diseases, has been slowed down by a complex problem which has to do with the intricate folding of molecules.

Scientists using super computers could not solve it.

Adrien Treuille was one of the creators of a video game calling upon the community of video gamers out there in the world.

Here we can see an RNA molecule folded up into this beautiful helical pattern, it forms a helix, and the amazing thing is that this pattern is formed out of very, very simple rules which pull it together and create this shape.

And so it's a little bit like... you can think of your hands as there are simple rules which determine how it can bend, and then there are certain ways in which it loves to come together to form a compact shape and that's just what these molecules are doing in the body.

And your shirts, for example, you are into shirt folding?

These molecules fold up in much the same way that a shirt folds.

You can imagine it starts completely unfolded and not at all suitable to put in your drawer, but if you follow very, very simple rules it becomes this beautiful package that you can then store and show.

We took the latest scientific models of a biomolecule folding and we created a game and we put it on the web without knowing what would happen and without knowing if it would be fun at all, if anyone would come, and... instantly people arrived and they broke down the computers.

We had to build new computers.

And they played and they spoke with one another and they taught one another about the science as non-experts, and they began reading papers and they began studying and understanding.

We have lawyers, we have school kids, we have retired people, we have bedridden people, we have grandmas.

It's really everyone from age 10 to age 100.

This idea was impossible before the internet and the response was stunning.

Within days, hundreds of thousands joined in and they solved the puzzle.

The world responded, and it was beautiful.

And here is where you'd design a new molecule and in many ways we tried to... subliminally, you might say, help the players understand and inhabit the world of the molecule.

So we placed the whole game in this water and we put all of these little bubbles in the background, but they're part of the story of what's happening.

Each molecule has its own sound, and these sounds are specifically designed so that when the molecule is well-folded they form harmonies.

And if something doesn't fit together it will form a dissonance.

It's actually kind of hard to make it do it.

These are real chemical results of actual molecules that we, players designed and we built them.

So we say, EteRNA is played by humans but scored by nature.

In other words, nature determines who wins and who loses the game and that's science.

The solutions of the video gamers are not just fantasies.

They are verifiable and can be synthesized in the lab.

Sebastian Thrun is also reaching out into the world.

Originally he's become famous with self-driving cars.

My dream is to go and give every human being a chance and the best way to do this is education.

So we built this little company that we called Udacity that offers education for free.

We have hundreds of thousands of students staying with us at any given point in time.

We've been amazed how fast our student base has grown.

There's a real thirst for education, like, as the machines are becoming smarter I think people want to become smarter.

People want to make a contribution and it's harder and harder to make a contribution today and it'll be even harder in the future so we've really got to go and do something for ourselves and the best thing we can do I think is education.

In the very beginning of my journey into education, I had a chance to teach a class online and teach a class at Stanford.

At Stanford you got 200 students.

I considered myself an extremely great teacher so I got a large class, but online we got 160,000 students.

160 thousand.

And when we finally finished this class we were able to stack rank the Stanford students, who are the most privileged and most selected students, with the students from the open world.

And the top 412 students, they weren't at Stanford.

The best performing Stanford student was number 413 out of a class of 200.

That kind of opened my eyes and I realized, my god, for every great Stanford student there is 412 amazingly great, even better students in the world that don't make it to Stanford.

Just before heading into the mountain section of the course, Stanley tracked down and passed the crippled Highlander, putting Stanford racing team's Volkswagen Touareg into the leader position and effectively ending the Highlander's bid for glory.

As Stanley crosses the finish line, the Stanford racing team has made its way into the history books.

This was Sebastian Thrun's moment of glory back in 2005.

Most of his competitors were a sorry sight.

History has already been made as Highlander crosses the 8-mile mark, further than any vehicle traveled in the inaugural Grand Challenge.

20 more teams followed the big three out of the gate, all hoping to complete the 132-mile course in a winning time.

Team Dad, with its rotating cluster of sensors, sped off the line, making up ground and passing team Axion in the process.

Team ENSCO's buggy style robot, Dexter, also left the line with a full head of steam, fiercely attacking the desert terrain.

Kat-5, the Ford Escape hybrid from Louisiana's Gray team, eased its way past the crowd, and TerraMax, the 16-ton cargo hauler, left the gate determined to finish the course.

Autonomous cars are developing rapidly.

Today you don't see big radar installations or tons of equipment.

So the primary objective when we built this car was to basically make it look very normal on the outside and the inside.

The vehicle can send information about what it is seeing to the internet.

This can be useful to other vehicles on the road.

It can also download information about what is happening on the roads before it reaches an accident area or a traffic jam, for example.

So the internet will be decisive very soon?

The internet will play a very important role in this, yes.

Can you open it? It must be packed with electronics.

Show us. Yes.

So just like we humans have brains to basically process the incoming signals, we need to have computers, basically, which process all the signals from the lidars and the radars and the cameras.

I can't see anything.

It turns out there really is nothing to see.

It's a completely useable empty trunk space, but hidden behind... under the... trunk, is a set of computers.

There are four computers, each with four so called processing cores which is really equivalent to 16-piece personal computing machines which basically crunch all the data coming in from the sensors.

These dots that you see are basically reflections from laser beams from the laser lidar sensors on the car.

They emit light beams, hit obstacles, and they come back as reflections and they show up as dots.

It really sees a virtual world.

It literally sees a virtual world.

The big question basically is that does it understand the ethics of a human?

Does it understand the values of human society?

For example, our vehicle, what it would like to do basically is not hit anybody as the highest priority.

And then if it has to hit something it would prefer to rather hit some thing than somebody, but what it really wants to do is basically not hit anything at all or anybody at all.

But who is going to be liable in case of an accident?

The on-board computer? Its designer?

The GPS system? The internet?

Or the driver who eats his breakfast?

When a car makes a mistake and learns from it, that experience is instantaneously shared with all the other cars, so all the other cars learn from it as well.

It's actually something that people can't do very well.

So, if I make a mistake, which I've made many in driving, then I can commiserate and I can improve, but nobody else learns from it.

When a self-driving car makes a mistake automatically all the other cars know about it, including all future unborn cars, will never make that same mistake again.

Which means the ability for cars to develop an artificial intelligence is so much greater than the ability of people to keep up with them.

Let me show you one of our robots.

This robot essentially has four wheels and each of these wheels have these tiny rollers on them and what this allows this robot to do is essentially it allows it to drive sideways as well as forwards, as well as turn, without having to do anything like parallel parking maneuvers.

So that makes these robots extremely versatile in their motion.

To kick the ball, what these robots have is a main kicker, which slides the length of the robot and kicks the ball forward.

We also have a chip kicker, which can kick the ball upward and that makes the ball go up into the air.

These robots are autonomous.

Nobody steers them with a joystick.

Once a defender is in place, it'll be a bit more challenging for this robot to score.

RoboCup this year we have not let in a single goal, although we scored 48 goals in total against our opponents.

So you are world champion?

We are.

We came first this year in the RoboCup international competition.

The blue robots need to have an indirect free kick so they're figuring out how they should pass between themselves.

Could this team eventually beat the real Brazilian football team?

That is the goal of RoboCup.

That is, by 2050 to have a team of soccer playing robots which can defeat the FIFA world champions.

And we'll see it happen.

I'm very hopeful that we'll actually get a team of robots which are competent enough and smart and intelligent enough to actually beat the world champions in 2050.

Better than Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar?

It sounds difficult but we can get there.

We can get there.

We have a certain reverence for robot 8.

I mean, to us, saying robot 8 is equivalent to someone saying Messi or Ronaldo or something... it's the same.

This here is robot 8.

It's very identifiable because its pattern includes four green dots on top and it's... one of our favorites, actually.


Do you love it? Yes, we do.

We do love robot 8.

The day Nikki passed away we were scheduled to see a psychiatrist.

She'd had some... psychotic issues where she had a brain tumor when she was very young and it was time to do some research on her.

I think she was feeling nervous that if she were to go to this appointment she might get stuck in the hospital because that had happened before.

And at some point a couple hours before her appointment, she left the house.

She took Christos' Porsche and drove away.

I saw all the police and I started to walk down the on-ramp and they stopped me and they said I wasn't allowed down there.

And I asked if it was my daughter in the car, what car it was, and they wouldn't give me any information.

And then a crane lifted up the car and once it lifted up the car, I realized it was the Porsche.

Adding to the tragedy, the first responder took photos of the nearly decapitated head of the girl and emailed it to some friends.

Almost instantly the pictures were out on the internet, and hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, clicked on them.

Hoping to avoid a new wave of sick curiosity, we are here not even showing a picture of Nikki alive, only a place in the house she liked.

Up until I saw the pictures on the internet I had an image of Nikki... as a perfect... as a perfect face, perfect, uh...


The coroner told us, the only thing the coroner told us is that a portion of her thumb had been severed in the accident and that she had head trauma, but they never gave us any detail.

So I always focused on the thumb.

I received emails with the pictures attached

and it was a short time after the accident.


It was disguised. I didn't know who the email came from, and I opened it up.

And the bad ones were very, um... hateful, very hateful... towards me, towards Nikki, towards our family.

It said "Dead girl walking. Woo hoo, daddy, I'm still alive".

Woo hoo? Woo hoo.

Do you still feel the pain when you received this?


And it's never gonna leave you?


Some of the hate mail was so unspeakably horrifying that we cannot repeat it here.

We were told there was nothing that could be done because... there's no law in place for... pictures of deceased people because when they pass away, their privacy rights go with them.

I didn't know such depravity existed in humans, and I think dogs treat their kind better than humans treat their kind.

It's just... there is no dignity or respect on the internet because we're not held accountable.

Nobody's there to tell us not to.

I have always believed that the internet is a manifestation of the antichrist, of evil itself.

It is the spirit of evil.

And I feel like it's running through... everybody on earth and it's... claiming its victories in those people that are also evil.

West Virginia, the small town of Green Bank in Appalachia.

What you're seeing behind me is a very large telescope, a hundred meters in diameter, but instead of picking up the light as normal telescopes do, it picks up the radio waves that are coming from the universe, from objects out there as close as the planets but as far as actually the Big Bang.

The telescope discovered the black hole in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

In the Visitor Center you can roll your coins into a funnel, which resembles a black hole.

Your coins indeed disappear irretrievably.

If there was a civilization like ours on a nearby planet, we could almost certainly pick up some of their television stations perhaps, some of their radar... who knows what.

This collecting area is several acres in size and it can pick up enormous signals from an enormous distance, but they've traveled so far that they are so faint that typically they contain a lot less energy than the energy of a falling snowflake settling on the ground.

The enemy of radio astronomy is the natural radio signals that we make on earth either deliberately or accidentally.

Things like microwave ovens can emit radiation which can blind us to the signals that are coming from the stars.

Cell phones are billions of billions of times stronger than the faint signals we're looking for.

Satellites, they beam straight down on us.

Music stations? Music stations, yes.

Playing Elvis? Playing Elvis.

We've managed to keep cell phone transmissions out.

Your smart phones are dumb here; they just do not work.

We really try to keep wireless transmissions of any kind suppressed within about ten miles of the observatory.

For a long time we had a fleet of Checker diesels and these were the standard New York City cabs and they were precious to us because they were the perfect vehicle for radio astronomers.

These do not have spark plugs, they don't make noise.

In the forest near the telescope we met a modern day hermit.

So, see, I've finally gone high tech. I've got a faucet installed.

It really makes a difference, I have to say.

I became very ill from radiation sickness in 1996 and I lost 50 pounds.

I nearly died three times and I became reactive to all the wireless radiation signals when all the cell phones went up.

They went up in massive numbers in 1996 and I tried to do all kind of treatment, I moved, I'd lost my career.

I was working as an architect in Honolulu.

I had to be separated from my family and children and finally I heard about this in 2011 and... as soon as I heard there was a place with no cell towers, I was here in 48 hours.

Sometimes if I have really bad reactions to radiation, I actually will sleep on the ground.

I feel better on the ground.

And there may be a science to this. They say the ground emits 7.83 hertz and it's the natural rhythm for animals and humans.

I also sleep in my car, which I instinctively did in the beginning and I later learned that it acts like a partial Faraday Cage.

The metal keeps out the radiation.

This place in Green Bank is wonderful.

It's not perfect but I can go outside.

I can see the trees, I can see the sky, I can see the stars.

When I lived in the Faraday Cage, I had to live in a box and I only left the box when I wanted to go to the bathroom or to use the shower, otherwise I stayed in that box day and night.

In a cage? In a Faraday Cage.

How long?

A couple years.

Several years.

I had a mattress and I didn't have a place to stand up.

I had to stay on the bed the entire time.

My husband went grocery shopping, he cooked the food, he would bring and serve me the food.

We'd open the door, he'd hand me the plate and I'd eat inside the Faraday Cage.

I've heard it also called as a super sense, that we just have this ability to, for whatever reason, feel these frequencies.

It's a very legitimate illness.

But at this point I don't consider it a gift.

I would give anything to give it back.

You're the refugee now?

I... Yes, I don't know what to call myself.

This is brand new and I just want people to know that this type of illness and doctors... I really want them to hear that this is a legitimate illness.

Um, and it affects our lives tremendously, you have no idea.

When you go home today after this interview, you have the luxury of going home to your familiar surroundings.

You have that luxury to go back to your families.

I haven't had that in four and a half years.

I haven't had any stability.

And I just have to impress upon you how serious this is for those of us that are suffering.

And I'm extremely grateful that there is a location here where I am no longer in pain.

Or whatever type of irreparable harm may be being done to my body will be either suspended or temporarily arrested.

There's a lot more community interaction in a place like this.

I think because of the absence of cellular technology and also because of the isolation of a rural community in such a beautiful place like this.

And, yes, I do play the fiddle and the banjo at night.

# My old lady gets mad at me She gets hotter than ginger tea #

# She is good and she is bad She can be the devil when she gets mad #

# Goin' up t' Cripple Creek, goin' on a run # Goin' up t' Cripple Creek, have a little fun #

# Raise my britches high to my knees Wade in ol' Cripple Creek when I please #

The state of Washington across the continent, in an idyllic forest not far from Seattle, a rehab center for internet addiction named Restart was established.

Well, there are so many of these severe cases.

For instance in South Korea there was the case of a couple that had a young baby and they were very much addicted to a game that they went to play while neglecting their child at home.

And this baby eventually starved to death and they went to jail for this, but it is because they were hooked on a game and ironically it was a game in which they were taking care of and nurturing in the game a young girl, but as they were doing that their own child was starving to death.

Shortly after we opened Restart, we got a call from a stepmom.

Her stepson was living with his grandmother and had just had his leg amputated because he'd developed a thrombosis in his leg from lack of movement.

So we know of cases, many cases happening in Korea and China, people who are dying at the computer because they are playing for

40, 50, 60 hours at a time and completely neglecting their body's physical needs.

It is not uncommon that in South Korea teenage video gamers put on diapers.

This way they avoid losing points by going to the bathroom.

Tom, you do not need any further introduction.

This was great.

My lowest point came at the beginning of this year.

New Year's Eve I had lost a job, I was losing my girlfriend, my family, my relations were very strained and I tried to drink myself to death.


I was playing video games 16 hours a day, often drunk.

I watched porn a lot and I just had given up.

I had no future, I had no will to live.

I was just waiting for the timer to run out.

I was in my spring quarter in college and I was doing nothing except sleeping about six hours a day and playing video games and absolutely not attending any of my classes, not doing any of my work and lying to my parents about my progress.

So it was a lot of lying, manipulation, isolation especially, which are all common things for addicts but mine were pretty much sleep and you know, interact with my addiction.

Did you adopt certain characters that became almost like you?

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that 'cause I'm still in the phase where thinking too deeply about my own intricacies could set me off, could really start that cravings and start those withdrawal symptoms again.

I wanted very much to discuss fictional characters with Chloe, like the malevolent Druid Dwarf or whoever these figures are, but I had to desist.

The real danger to gaming is when... you... or when I stopped being present in the real world more often than I was in the game world.


If you get to the point where... you're thinking about the game more than you're thinking about real life... what you're gonna do for food, what you're gonna do the next day or two, you're not thinking about a relationship or a job or a career.

If you're thinking about the game... it's a problem... because eventually it'll get in the way of everything real.

Our sun, the giver of life.

At the same time it is hostile, destructive.

Protuberances unimaginable in size are being hurled into the universe.

These flares may become the undoing of modern civilization.

The best known historical example of a very large solar flare is an event called the Carrington event which happened in 1859.

This was observed by an astronomer named Carrington who saw a patch of the sun as he was monitoring sun spots, grow brighter.

In those days, the predominant form of technology was a telegraph, that was our main form of communication, and this very, very large flare that happened, that created a brightness change so great that Carrington could actually see it with his eye, which is very uncommon, actually induced currents in telegraph wires that created fires in the paper of the telegraph machines.

There's even reports from that time of Aurora being seen as far south as the equator, and there being Auroras so bright at the Northern latitudes that it was possible to read by them at night.

We've been fortunate that nothing as large as the Carrington Event has happened in these times of modern technology but even the smaller solar flare events that we do see do disrupt our communications and create outages in our power grid and disruptions for our satellites.

What the fuck?

New York City.

What Hurricane Sandy caused here could happen on a worldwide scale and much worse.

No electricity, no internet, no drinking water, no flushing of toilets, no gas and no shopping.

All you could see was the outline of the hospital against a darkened sky.

A lone flashlight up in one of the hospital rooms there as doctors and nurses rushed from patient to patient.

Out front, ambulances.

These images from my iPhone as we approach the hospital, just one of the nearly 300 patients who were one by one brought out and taken to safety.

What we got going on here is a complete blackout in New York City, and um...

I'm on the third floor of Clear Channel where Z100, KTU, Lite FM, Q, we're all located on the third floor.

Every station is off the air in New York City.

I don't think it's ever happened in the history of broadcasting in New York.

It's like a Will Smith movie, man.

It's very weird. Very weird.

And I feel kind of helpless because I'm glad I'm here and I'm safe, but there's a lot of crap going on at home.

My neighbors tell me it's a big mess.

So I'm nervous about what I'm gonna head home to tomorrow.


This is a control room.

Meet Lawrence Krauss.

As a cosmologist he is studying the origins of our universe.

Much of his attention has been focused on our planet.

If there's a solar flare... if you destroyed the information fabric of the world right now, modern civilization would collapse.

Hundreds of millions of people will die.

Billions of people will die.

The world will become, for people like you and me, unimaginably ugly, difficult, and... there's great likelihood that I couldn't survive.

If the internet shuts down, people will not remember how they used to live before that.

I start to think of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

I mean, let's get back to the base of the pyramid and think about food and shelter.

You have food networks that are hugely dependent on being able to route digitally what the needs are and where and, through efficiencies created when the network is working well, you don't have warehouses near people stocked to the brim with food.

If you disrupt those networks I imagine, what do they say?

"Civilization is always about four square meals away from utter ruin"?

That's something that it wouldn't be bad to prepare for.

As we've thought about an internet of things where often for purely, looked at at this moment, unnecessary reasons, we not only attach daily objects to the internet but make them reliant on that internet connection in order to function properly.

So the idea that our standard appliances couldn't work without connectivity, that we wouldn't be able to get... to a restaurant that in turn would be able to get to food and to organize staff...

I suspect, however, that some individuals will survive.

Let us remember that we come from a background where at one point there were less than a thousand individuals alive, probably down in the southern part of Africa, and we were a hair's breadth away from disappearing as a species.

We have no control over what the sun chooses to do.

We do know that there is a solar cycle, so there are times of high activity when there are many flares and there are times of low activity when there are relatively few.

Events like the Carrington Event appear to be fairly uncommon but not non-existent, they're not single isolated events.

We do see that flares are repeatable, it's just that the large ones are less common than the small ones.

So by observing other stars actually we can get some idea of how frequently these things happen and it seems to be every few hundred years or so.

So it's really a matter of time before we have a large solar flare.

Um, not a matter of... ...it's when.

Yes, not a matter "if" we'll have a large solar flare.

Will we disappear as a species?

Again, Werner, I can't tell you because I don't make predictions.

It would be... unimaginably bad and I prefer to not think about it right now.

Las Vegas, Nevada.

One of the casinos is preparing to host DefCon, the annual convention of the hacker community.

In less than two decades it has grown to 20,000 participants.

At least a thousand of them will be FBI, the CIA, Chinese secret service, and other interested parties.

We are about to meet Kevin Mitnick, a demigod among the community of hackers.

Just mentioning his name here makes everyone fall silent in awe.

Am I proud of being the world's most famous hacker?

Um... It's a title that's kind of cool to have, but I had a lot of trials and tribulations to get to that point.

A lot of bad things happened in my life, like, for example, going to a federal prison.

So it's a title that was earned, but I took the hard road.

When I was a federal fugitive I was really concerned obviously about getting arrested so what I did is I hacked into the cell phone company, one of the cell phone companies in Los Angeles, and through what we call metadata...

It's interesting because nowadays with the revelations of Edward Snowden, he talked about metadata being very critical in the NSA's ability to track us and surveil us and the NSA says, oh, it's only metadata, it doesn't mean anything.

Let me tell you how I was able to use metadata to track the FBI in the 1990s.

I was able to hack into the cell phone company and I was able to identify the phone numbers that belonged to the FBI white collar crime squad in Los Angeles.

And I was able to look at their...

I couldn't get the contents of the call but I could see who they called and who called them so I was able to get a lot of intelligence.

And then what I was able to do is, through this device, I was able to program this device with all the FBI cell phone numbers of the people that were in charge of my investigation.

It would start sending me pager alerts that the FBI cell phone is here, you know, within a mile.

So what I did that night is I took all my computer stuff: my floppy disk, my CDs, anything that's technology related...

I put it at a friend's house and then I went to Winchell's Donuts and I got a big...

I think it was a 24 box of, you know, donuts.

I took a Sharpie and wrote "FBI Donuts" on the box, I put it in the refrigerator and on a big post-it note outside the refrigerator you know the logo for Intel says "Intel inside"?

I put "FBI donuts inside" and stuck it on the refrigerator.

And it just so happens at 6:00 that morning I wake up... And how I wake up is I hear somebody jiggling the door.

The FBI knocks, they don't jiggle doors, and I go "who is it?" just instinctively because I thought someone was trying to break in.

"FBI, open up! Open up!"

And they're looking for anything electronic... a computer, a cell phone, and nothing's there.

And as soon as one of the guys gets to the refrigerator...

...he just goes... he goes "what the fuck?"

You know, he's pissed because they obviously knew I knew they were coming, so they were not happy.

I was arrested and I was in court and I thought I was going home that day and then this federal prosecutor tells the judge that we not only have to hold Mr. Mitnick without bail but we have to make sure he can't get to a telephone.

And I was really paying attention at this point, and then the prosecutor starts telling the judge that if we let Mr. Mitnick near a telephone, he can dial up to NORAD, dial up the modem, whistle into the phone and launch an ICBM.

Facing 400 years in prison I had nothing to lose.

I ended up being held in federal prison without bail in solitary confinement for a year.

After his time in solitary, Mitnick languished four more years in federal prison.

Because the internet was designed for a community that trusted each other it didn't have a lot of protections in it.

Uh, we didn't worry about spying on each other, for example.

We didn't worry about somebody sending out to us spam or bad emails or viruses because such a person would have been, you know, banned from the community.

It would be really nice when I got a message if I knew where the message came from.

But the way that the protocols of the internet work, that's fundamentally impossible.

And so I kind of have to look at the message and guess, is this somebody pretending to be somebody else.

We can design systems that are really anonymous or that are utterly identifiable down to the person and it's time for us to think about what contexts we'd want to support what.

A system that is utterly identifiable at all times is a nightmare.

It's exactly what we don't want to hand a country that doesn't embrace the rule of law... ready made for them to employ with their populace.

At the same time, a system that can provide no accountability at all...

We have pockets of that online and most people do not find that appealing.

In any frontier, before the law gets there, there's always people seeking to take advantage of the system.

I've seen in the United States, for instance, probably something like five or six billion identities lost but there aren't that many people in the United States which makes everyone a little inured to it every time.

What does it really mean when they hear their identity's been compromised?

It's not always an identity compromising totality.

Sometimes it's just a small portion of it.

Your identity comprises many, many things.

There is one you and there are many components that represent you digitally.

Some compromises in that system have very little impact on you, and some huge, but the line between your physical life and digital life is becoming far more blurred and there will come a point where the threats online will hamper your ability to embrace new technology.

That's what my colleagues and I have to push back.

Governments who can achieve all the same effects they would for international affairs or foreign affairs without having to rely on tools of war... it's another tool at the table, right?

War is an extension of politics by other means?

Well, now there's another one with much less risk, easier to fund, and it puts even some smaller nation states on the same playing field as larger ones.

So dozens of nation states have an ability to hack others and they use this as an extension of foreign policy.

We became curious to look into the biggest cyber attack known until today.

You were at the Sandia National Laboratory.

What sort of a company is Sandia, can you explain?

Sure. Sandia National Laboratories is a government research laboratory, a Department of Energy Research laboratory that does work in the national interests: weapons work, there's solar energy research, micro machine research, cyber security research, those sorts of endeavors.

Nuclear weapons?

Nuclear weapons, yep.

It's part of the nuclear weapons complex for stockpile stewardship along with some of the other laboratories just to ensure that the weapons will function properly and... as they age through the years.

So a wonderful target for cyber-attacks.

It is. It can't get any better.

It's, uh, it has a big target on it, yes.

You stumbled over a problem?

A problem, yes.

Terrifying in scope, basically, you know, hundreds of organizations... military, defense, industrial based compromised as far as their networks and, you know, just... people maintaining a presence on the network for the sole purpose of siphoning off information of value.

But we know World Bank was affected, NASA was affected, military was affected.

That's correct.

I just cannot talk about it. I'm sorry.

Alright, but... we do know a name.

We do have a beautiful name: Titan Rain.

Mm hmm.

Can you at least nod? Yes.

The scope of our conversation was extremely reduced, but some of the information here became part of court proceedings.

The transcripts are public record, including the name coined by the FBI.

You were not up at night in the office, you were up at night at home?

Up at night at home, yes.

Lots of coffee?

Lots of coffee.

Lots of Nicorette.

And how rewarding is it to trail the enemy?

To find the track?

It's very rewarding.

It's like a puzzle, finding patterns within chaos that shouldn't be there and finding these anomalies.

And once you scratch the surface, you start to put together clues and develop a better picture.

You can be certain that you're pursuing a certain person or a certain entity and it could just be a ghost.

Until you have some physical proof, you have someone that kicks a door down and sees that this is the person that's actually behind the keyboard, it can all be a myth or an illusion.

It could be, you know, a layered sort of thing or all at once, you know, just to bring down power, financial systems, and just degrade, corrupt them.

Sometimes it's even worse, rather than bringing it down you corrupt it and undermine faith, let's say, in the stock market.

Don't bring it down, you start altering prices, you start altering records, and you delete them en masse and just cause chaos so the markets cannot even restore and come up for days.

The possibilities of taking over spacecraft and lowering the orbits of the spacecraft so they burn up, and vital GPS communications and other sorts of communications are... there's nothing there to replace them anymore.

Could it be that we are right now already in a cyber war that we don't even notice?


It doesn't matter how much money a company invests in technology.

You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on your firewall, on your intrusion prevention systems and your spam, on your anti-virus, and if I could just manipulate one person inside that company, I'm in.

95% of the work, when I used to do this in the past, is research and finding out about the human element and gathering information and emails and their personal emails and the conference that they were just at and who spoke before them and that person's email address so I can send that person a rigged PDF attachment that may look perfectly normal and forge it because I just spoke with this guy so I'm gonna open it.

And nothing happens on my computer but in the background a little Trojan is dropped that starts communicating that allows me access and then I, you know, gather more information.

I grab his contact book, I find the people that know the information that I'm interested in exploiting, and then I send an email from him with the same type of attachment and eventually I have what I want.

People are the weakest link in security.

People. Not the technology.

Now through this special TV offer you can receive a Motorola flip phone with Cellular One service for just pennies a day.

Now everyone can enjoy the freedom of a personal cellular phone.

You can make a call anywhere...

Or get a call anytime.

So I'm living in Denver, Colorado, incidentally I'm not living under the name Kevin Mitnick, I'm under the name of Eric Weiss.

Why Eric Weiss?

Because at the time I was a federal fugitive I was hiding from the FBI and my idol was Harry Houdini and that's Harry Houdini's real name, so I thought I had a sense of humor.

So I call directory assistance, I get the number to Motorola.

I'm now talking to the Vice President for Research and Development for all of Motorola Mobility and I go "Hey, this is Rick over at Arlington Heights" because I found out they had an Arlington Heights facility.

"I'm looking for the project manager of the MicroTAC".

And the VP goes "Oh, that's Pam.

She works for me, would you like her extension?"

I go "Sure, give it to me", and he gives me the extension.

So my next call is to Pam but I don't get her, I get her outgoing greeting on her voicemail and she told her callers that she just left on a two week vacation, the date she's returning, and if you need any help whatsoever please call Alicia at extension blah, blah, blah.

So of course my next call is to Alicia and she answers the phone and I go "Hey, Alicia, this is Rick over at Arlington Heights.

Did Pam leave on vacation yet?"

Of course, I already knew she had.

And she goes "Yes" and I go "Well, before she left, she said that you could help me get a copy of the MicroTAC source code. She said you would help me out".

About five minutes later she goes "I found the source code".

You know, she gave me the release number and she goes "but there's a problem.

Rick, I'm gonna have to talk to my security manager about what you're asking me to do. I'll be right back".

And I go "No, wait, wait!"

'cause I didn't want her to talk to any security manager because obviously they'd figure out what's going on.

About eight minutes later she comes back on the line.

I'm nervous, thinking they hooked up a tape recorder and that's gonna be Exhibit A in the court case later.

And she goes "Rick?" And I go "uh-huh?" and she goes "That IP address you gave me to do the file transfer is not inside Motorola's campus, it's outside, and because of that I can't transfer the file because we need to use a special proxy server to do so and I don't have an account".

And I go "Uh-huh", you know and I just go

"Alright, thank you very much" and she goes "Wait, wait, I have some great news for you".

I go "what?"

She goes "My security manager gave me his personal user name and password so I could log onto the proxy server to send you the file!"

Motorola had a bunch of security, technical security, but it only took me 15 minutes with a good gift of gab to get the crown jewels.

So that's how that worked.

But you didn't sell it. It was curiosity.

No. It was a sport.


This is Taurus, the concept that has evolved from the work of these teams of scientists and engineers.

They believe the huge space colony could be built before the year 2000.

Constructed almost entirely from ore mined on the moon, the Taurus colony would become home for 10,000 people.

Ideas of creating colonies outside of planet Earth have been around for a long time.

The problem of water, air and shelter looks already solved.

In fact, nothing looks inviting out there.

There is a private company, SpaceX, which is pursuing this idea in practical terms.

Here rockets are being assembled for the transport.

The founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, is not just a dreamer.

He made his fortune with PayPal, he's building Tesla electric cars, and is now constructing the largest factory for batteries on this planet.

After setbacks, he's now successfully launching rockets.

For the first time in the history of Earth, in 4.5 billion years, the window of possibility is open for us to extend life to another planet.

To the best of our knowledge life exists only on Earth.

You know, there's a good argument that it exists elsewhere but we've seen no sign of it.

I think it's important for us to take advantage of that window while it is open and to establish life on another planet in the solar system just in case something goes wrong with Earth.


And, uh...

You know, there could be either a natural or manmade disaster that knocks the technology level below that where it's possible to travel to another planet.

The key to establishing a self-sustained large civilization is getting the cost-per-unit-mass low enough that there's an intersection of sets: the set of people that wish to move to Mars and the set of people that can afford to move to Mars inclusive of government aid.

I mean, right now we can't even get one person to Mars.

So, clearly... I would come along.

I wouldn't have a problem.

One way ticket. That sounds great.

I'd be your candidate. Okay.

I do think we'll want to... offer round trips because a lot more people would be willing to go if they think that if they don't like it, they can come back.

But how would we talk to them who chose to stay?

Who would tell them the outcome of the World Series?

Mars is actually a comparatively easy internet thing to establish, at least for local internet because you wouldn't be living everywhere on Mars so you'd really just need maybe four satellites to have global internet coverage because of how sparse the civilization would be on Mars.

And then some relay satellites to get back to Earth.

Particularly when Mars is on the other side of the sun, you'd need to sort of bounce it off a relay satellite, you couldn't communicate directly with it.

The skyline of Chicago.

It looks devoid of its inhabitants.

We have to assume that nearly everyone has left for a colony out there.

# Are you lonesome tonight? #

# Do you miss me tonight? #

# Are you sorry we drifted apart? #

# Does your memory stray #

# To a brighter sunny day #

The planetarium is the only point of contact.

Inside, a monument for those who have levitated and left.

Yes, things must be real good out there.

# Do the chairs in your parlor #

# Seem empty and bare? #

But then we met some stragglers left behind.

They're all on their smartphones.

Have the monks stopped meditating?

Have they stopped praying?

They all seem to be tweeting.

# Shall I come back again? #

# Tell me, dear, are you lonesome tonight? #

How could we communicate with stars out there that potentially have life?

Well, we can think of creating a kind of long range internet either through the use of radio waves or perhaps visible light.

So these would be the kinds of signals that we could generate in the case of lower energy signals like radio waves relatively cheaply and we could broadcast, if we came up with a suitable code some way of transmitting information over galactic and intergalactic distances.

But we would get an answer back in 800,000 years?

Maybe 2.5 million years?

Well, I think that the more one looks for planets in the universe beyond our solar system that are potentially places that might be hospitable to life, the more you appreciate the wonderful planet that we have here that allows us to do things like swim in an ocean, breathe the air without the help of our technology, and so, while I would like us to explore Mars more, I think the only thing that we've demonstrated is that we're very good at destroying the habitability of earth, rather than improving the habitability of a completely alien world.

The idea that Mars will somehow save us from the decisions we've made here is a false one.

And it's a little like saying that you're going to go live in the lifeboat when, you know, even lifeboats need somewhere to land.

I don't think I have good dreams.

I'm sure I have good dreams sometimes, but I don't seem to remember the good dreams.

The ones that I remember are the nightmares.

The Prussian war theoretician, Clausewitz, Napoleonic times, once famously said, "sometimes war dreams of itself".

Could it be that the internet starts to dream of itself?

Great question.

To think about dreaming, there are maybe two aspects.

One is... what I'll call awareness, when you wake up and you say "I was just dreaming this" and you know it.

Another aspect is just... some kind of pattern of activity that emerges, not because of some external stimuli but just because of something going on in unpredictable patterns.

I think already the internet has the second of those, has unpredictable patterns all the time.

They cause things like flash crashes on the financial markets.

So we have plenty of kind of currents running around in the internet that are unpredictable, in some cases unstoppable.


Now it comes to what do we mean by imaginative.

But if we mean...

We call a person imaginative if they come up with ideas that we didn't think of and that we nevertheless admire.

If they can...

Usually admiration is part of it.

So for the internet, so far I think it's mostly just unpredictable.

I haven't seen anything the internet did on its own that I admire.

Does the internet dream of itself?

It does in the sense that it can beget additional networks layered on top of it that have the characteristics of the underlying internet.

So just as the basic internet is a series of computers that happen to talk internet to each other so that you can move a bit from here to there, there's a fellow named Sir Tim Berners-Lee who could conceive of something called the World Wide Web and choose not to copyright it, not to patent it, to allow anybody to speak "server" and some people speak "client" and then before you know it, you've got websites.

The web is the internet dreaming of itself.

Could it be that the internet dreams of itself?

It's a fascinating idea.

In fact, there was a wonderful science fiction story which later got turned into a movie, Blade Runner, and I think it was called

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

The robot's dream, but the internet is nothing but connections.

Will it have its own consciousness?

Will it have its own set of rules?

And perhaps... on an even more scary realm, a science fiction realm, will the internet therefore make its own decisions?

And will the decisions about how communication happens go out of human hands?

That's certainly a possibility.

But since we don't even understand consciousness, I am hesitant to make any predictions and I think anyone who claims they know what's going to happen to the internet, is not worth listening to.


The Industrial Age... the steel mills are long gone.

A new industry has established itself.

Here robots are being designed.

This one, named Chimp is testing its limbs on its own.

Soon battalions of them connected via internet could perform rescue missions in disaster zones.

I think it's gonna run through the lift joints momentarily.

We're still a long ways away from a robot having a complete understanding of the world, of cause and effect, of desires and hopes and dreams, and those are the things that still make humans human and robots on a much lesser scale.

Well, you could think of this scenario almost as robot dreaming.

This is, you know, a robot conceptualizing what is gonna happen in the future and thinking about different scenarios and for any of these motions it's considering thousands and thousands of scenarios per second that might happen, especially when you get to the point of robots exchanging information with one another, then you might have a robot dreaming about places it hasn't even been.

This is the Chimp view of the world now using a high resolution laser scanner and it has to really build up its... its learning of what's going on in the environment.

In this case it's a valve that it's trying to turn and we see the pre-planning... this is like the robot imagination of what's gonna happen: where the gripper is gonna be, how it's gonna come into that valve, and how it can manipulate it.

It could have opened the valve in Fukushima and prevented an explosion?

That was one of the key things that spurred this research... realizing that it was too dangerous for humans to go in but if you could have had a robot go in and just do some simple things, straightforward things that the humans were unable to do: open valves to change the cooling flow patterns, maybe turn on pumps again.

That would have made all the difference in preventing the hydrogen build-up and the subsequent explosion.

How valuable is the cockroach for you?

I think any insect is amazingly, uh... advanced, compared to the state of the art robots right now.

If you think about a cockroach, the fact that it can scurry around on the floor, it can avoid dangers, it can find food for itself, it can reproduce, and it can live for several years on its own, robots are nowhere near that point yet and I think it'll be great when we have even as much capability as a cockroach.

I can not only imagine artificial intelligence evolving spontaneously on the internet but I can't tell you it hasn't happened already.

Because... it wouldn't necessarily reveal itself to us.

I think that the biggest risk is not that the AI will... develop a will of its own, but rather that it will follow the will of people that establish its utility function, its optimization function, and that optimization function, if it is... not well thought out, I mean even if it's relatively... if its intent is benign, it could have quite a bad outcome.

For example, if you were... a hedge fund or a private equity fund and you said, well, all I want my Al to do is maximize the value of my portfolio, then... the Al could decide, well, the best way to do that is to short consumer stocks, go long defense stocks, and start a war.

And that would obviously be quite bad.

Such an attack would be much more prosaic than an invasion of these aliens in the SpaceX reception area.

I think we're gonna get to the point where almost everything we do will be done by machines.

And we'll still need people but if you ask the question about will there ever be... an artificial intelligent machine that makes movies?

Absolutely yes.

Will it be quite as good as yours? No one can even come close.

Of course not.

But actually I think almost everything we do, we find machines doing better, and the reason why that's the case is because machines learn faster than people can learn.

But they cannot fall in love as we can.

And will it be useful for machines to fall in love?

Would we want to have machines that are just like people? I would say no.

Honestly, if a dishwasher came to me and said

"look, I'm falling in love with the refrigerator and, as a result, I have no time to wash the dishes".

I wouldn't like that dishwasher.

We're going to have a revolution not only in our technology, but in our theology.

We don't even have a name for it but it's around the internet, it's around connectivity, it's around building machines to think for us and I think we're due for another shift in our morals, in our.... in our definition of what it means to be human.

We're right just at the beginning of that, and so you can see us trying to kind of... feel out and invent this new society and invent these new ideas of what's right and wrong.

What can we depend on each other for... or what can we expect from each other?

How much do we want to do that?

So I think it's an incredibly creative time in human history... not just technologically but also morally and culturally.

This room should know I'm here.

I should be able to talk to it.

It should be able to give me an answer verbally.

I should ask where, for example, is a high-speed printer?

Or where did I leave my keys?

Or where's a book on this subject?

And it should answer me with speech, with a hologram, with a display, in a very natural way.

I should maybe use gestures and touch, and even smell and all my senses to interact in a very humanistic way with this technology around us.

And once that technology comes out into our physical world and becomes embedded in our walls, in our desk, in our bodies, in our fingernails, in our cars, in our offices, in our homes, it should disappear and become invisible.

Whereas electricity... there's a socket in the wall, you plug in, you get electricity.

You don't care how it's made. It's not a complicated interface.

It's invisible.

The internet is yet to evolve to that goal I was hoping for of being invisible.

What's interesting about the internet is what you're gonna build on top of it for you and for me.

I call it the internet of me.

It is a world where when you walk into a room the lights dim to your preference level.

You may have music that starts up.

It may even have complex protocols for having to interact with somebody else's internet of me.

That's interesting, and the world that will emerge as a result, eventually you won't even need phones.

The environment will be so wired that your experience will be brought to you.

Your calls will be brought to you, your advertising, your content, your work... all of it will come with you. That's an internet of me.

It is going to take a leap of thought, a leap of courage... societally for us to accept a generation that's always had an egotistical world.

We tell children very often you have to play with others, you have to share, your worldview isn't unique.

But when the world, the objects in it start to tell them that they are, that they're different, that's egotistical.

But it will also be a magical world, one where the wave of a hand creates doors moving and objects changing position.

Imagine a generation that's never known anything else but that.

I deeply regret the fact that deep critical thinking and imaginative thinking, that creative thinking is lost.

In my opinion, computers and in some sense the internet are the worst enemy of deep critical thinking.

Youth of today are using machines to basically replace their examination of the things they're observing.

They don't understand what they're looking at or what they're hearing or what they're learning.

They depend upon the internet to tell them and decipher it.

They look at numbers instead of ideas.

They fail to understand concepts, and this is a problem.

My hope would be there are still going to be the appeal of deep immersion in something, that through the school system we still subject our kids to, we can really to turn them onto its charms so they become intrinsically self-motivated to pursue it.

Whether we use science or ancient Greek or philosophy, it's those tools that are important.

Those are the things that people are gonna be able to use in the future.

The actual information they learn in school won't be important because it'll be dwarfed by the information that's coming out on the internet every single day.

Historians I think will also see an interesting thing.

They'll probably call the time around now the Digital Dark Age.

It will be very mysterious because a lot of things happened quickly but the records will all be lost.

We don't have the handwritten letters like we have from, you know, the founders of the Constitution, The founding fathers.

We have their letters with each other.

We can see the sort of background conversation in creating the United States government.

We don't have the equivalent for the background conversation in creating the internet because it was all done on email.

There's a playful project called the Wikipedia Emergency Project that if there's ever going to be possibly a world changing event, a big volcanic eruption, Wikipedia volunteers are supposed to start printing out Wikipedia pages madly and storing the paper in places that their heirs could find it later.

MWhat this scanner measures, it's an MRI scanner, and it measures magnetic resonance energy that's emanating from the brain.

So it's really extra sensory.

It's precise enough to tell us what activity is occurring in each little volume element the size of a peppercorn.

When you read a sentence that says

"There are two elephants walking across the savanna" a computer program can tell that the same thought is going on in your brain whether you're watching the video or reading the sentence.

At a conceptual level it's the same.

It's also the same for people across languages.

There's a universality of the alphabet of human thoughts and it applies to the videos that Jack Gallant and his colleagues have found but also applies to spoken and written speech and it crosses languages.

We have a vocabulary, the brain has a vocabulary and we're beginning to discover it.

Right now we need this two million dollar machine that weighs 16,000 pounds, but you ask, in the future will some genius biophysicist invent a little cap or helmet that'll do it?

I think that that's likely.

The energy, the electromagnetic energy, is just sitting there. It's sitting there.

So when you talk about telepathy... telepathy is communication across a distance.

Well, we can already go a few millimeters and it's just a matter of time before we can go thousands of miles.

You could essentially, in the not too distant future, tweet thoughts.

So not type your little tweet, but think it, press a button and all your followers could potentially read it.

Could you detect, this woman who is passing by and spots you, is just about to fall in love with you?

Now that would be an innovation. That would be the... the killer application I guess you would say.

Well, I try not to make predictions about anything less than two trillion years from now for good reasons.

One is that no one will be able to know if I'm wrong.

But that's one of the wonderful things about the future is you don't know where it's gonna go.

And the internet is, like most results in science, out of control.

And if you think about predictions about the future as done in the past, they always miss the important stuff.

In fact, most science fiction missed the most important thing about the present world, which is the internet itself.

They had flying cars, they had rocket ships.

None of that exists, but the internet governs our lives today.

It used to be that when you communicated with someone the person you were communicating with was as important as the information.

Now on the internet, the person isn't important at all.

In fact it was developed so that scientists could communicate scientists like me could communicate with each other without knowing where the other person was or even who the other person was.

There's a famous cartoon from The New Yorker which says

"On the internet no one knows if you're a dog".

And in the future you won't know if you're communicating with dogs or robots or people, and it won't matter.

But becoming your own filter will be the challenge of the future.

Because the filter isn't provided with you.

There's no controls on the internet.

No matter what governments do or no matter what industries do, the internet is gonna propagate... out of control and people will have to be their own controls.

I think in the future, one next step from computation to communication will be to sensing and remote sensing.

And mind reading via the internet?

One of those sensors will be brain imaging sensors.

And you will transmit thoughts?

The two of you.

Will our children's children's children need the companionship of humans or will they have evolved in a world where that's not important?

It sounds awful, doesn't it? But maybe it'll be fine.

Maybe the companionship of robots, maybe the companionship of an intelligent internet will be sufficient.

Who am I to say?

# I'm standin' on a corner shovel in my hand I'm lookin' for a woman or a workin' man #

# Honey, let me be your salty dog Oh, let me be your salty dog #

# I won't be your man at all Honey, let me be your salty dog #

# Let me be your salty dog I won't be your man at all #

# Honey, let me be your salty dog #

# Well, let me be your salty dog I won't be your man at all #

# Honey, let me be your salty dog #

I want you do some pickin' 'cause I like that.