Hopefully, Paul Allen is right

It's no news to anyone that technology has a lot of impact on health care, or at least potential impact. From my perspective, not all of it is positive.

Ideally, technology would usher in an age of disease-free longevity without distorting any of the distinctively human virtues that we associate with having life bounded at a small and unknown number of years. A la Star Trek, we'd have easy and painless medical care, though still provided by doctors and maybe the occasional nurses (who should, ideally, mostly be out of jobs while exploring the galaxy or staying at home with their babies instead).

In my personal dystopia, technology would make our meat superfluous, our meaty natural lives foreign and surreal to us, and our psychology morphed beyond recognition. This dystopian vision is pretty much the promise of the Singularity.

While there are Singularity skeptics, the logic of it seems pretty compelling to me. You don't have to know a lot about the specifics of computing or neuroscience to believe in the Singularity. Given the right economics, it's pretty much a given if you assume that the mind can be explained within the realm of natural sciences and engineering.

My dystopia is not a world I want to live it, so my great hope is that the Singularity will wait for my death.

Technology Review publishes a short piece by Paul Allen predicting that the Singularity is a long way off, due to lack of knowledge about the human brain.

I hope he's right. However, his theory is self-serving in that, if the key to the Singularity is more basic scientific knowledge, it would increase the historical importance of his own philanthropic work.