Transitioning into the Hybrid Age

Paul Raven @ 10-05-2011

That’s what we’re doing right fuggin’ now, according to Parag and Ayesha Khanna at BigThink [via Kyle Munkittrick’s PopBioethics]:

Mankind is now experiencing its fifth and most intense technological revolution, and we are transitioning into the Hybrid Age. Most people believe we are still living in the Information Age, but in fact we have already reached an inflection point, a brewing storm that will once again drastically change individual life and society. The revolution in the nature of technology is fundamentally distinct from previous ones in five ways…

Those five ways are ubiquity, intelligence, socialisation, integration and disruptiveness. Not really new ideas to most Futurismic regulars, I’d imagine; more of a sort of umbrella-rebranding of a slow Singularitarianism, perhaps:

… what truly differentiates the Hybrid Age from previous revolutionary periods is that it will become global very quickly. Billions of the world’s poor from Africa to India are already participating in technological experimentation and have themselves become the innovators of paradigm-shifting services. In India, 8 million new mobile connections are activated every week. In Kenya, local engineers developed the mobile phone banking system Safaricom and M-Pesa that made traditional banks in the country immediately redundant. Chris Anderson, founder of TED, calls such disruption “crowd accelerated innovation.” Thus the poor who have access to technology will play an unexpected role in the Hybrid Age, using technology to create opportunities for themselves and unexpected disruptions for the developed world.

A slow singularity where the global poor bootstrap themselves up onto the G12’s playing field and start running with the ball? I’d love to see it; maybe getting shouldered aside by the young nations we’ve held back for so long might make us pull our collective heads out of our collective political backsides.