Ray Kurzweil Predicts That Technology Will End Nation States

Countries are over.

Flickr / U.S. Naval War College

The age of individual countries is over, says futurist Ray Kurzweil.

In a video posted to Kurzweil’s Singularity University YouTube account, the Google-employed futurist talks about how technology has already started to merge the world into a single, global culture.

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 continues, 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 were pretty limited to a single country. When international news was reported, it happened through a national paper. That isn’t true today, he says.

The internet has created a culture where governments and countries matter less than ever, Kurzweil says.

Getty Images / Alexander Koerner

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 aren’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 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 A.I., it’s likely our understanding of nations will change entirely again.

Definitely read this: 8 Staggering Predictions From Ray Kurzweil

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