Countries Are Over
He predicts that we’ve already passed the tipping point for the power of individual countries as the internet and international news spread to impact the planet as one. As this merging of culture, finance, and technology continue the face of the world is changing to be less focused on individual countries, he says. Perhaps, if singularity predictions turn out to be true, we’ll all be sharing a collective mind anyway.
“You can argue, and some people have, that the nation state has ended as we knew it, 20-30 years ago, pre-internet,” Kurzweil says to open the video. He points out that before the internet things like culture, finance, and news was pretty limited to a single country. When international news was reported it happens through a national paper. That isn’t true today, he says.
Something like a pension crisis in Italy has a major impact on the world economy, Kurzweil points out. And things like manufacturing or app development isn’t limited to a single country, but elements are made all over the world.
“It used to be like a century ago that the nation state was quite supreme, and things really were controlled within nations,” says Kurzweil. “We are very much becoming one world society.”
This doesn’t mean that national tensions no longer exist, or that we have moved beyond using nationality to define ourselves. But looking at today compared to 30 years or 100 years ago, Kurzweil thinks that these differences have already started to go away.
“We’re building up a world culture, a world legal system. Nations continue to be powerful, but I think they’re going to continue to get less influential,” Kurzweil says.
One of Kurzweil’s most famous predictions is for the singularity, which is when people will merge consciousness with artificial intelligence that has superhuman abilities. He has suggested that the singularity will happen in 2045. At that point, if people across the world have all merged minds with AI, it’s likely our understanding of nations will change entirely again.