Our machines are getting smarter at a mind-bending pace. Tech writer Kevin Kelly, founder and former executive editor at Wired Magazine (his job title now is Senior Maverick), attempts to chart the future in his new book "The Inevitable: Understanding The 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future."
In this interview with Ross Reynolds, Kelly explores two of those forces: virtual reality, which he says is creating the next evolution of the internet, and artificial intelligence, of which he writes "it's hard to imagine anything that 'changes everything' as much as cheap, powerful, ubiquitous, artificial intelligence."
He confronts the questions of whether virtual reality is too real for most users, whether the big companies that make artificial intelligence (Google and Amazon) will take advantage of their power, and now that we're dependent on these devices, what happens when the power goes out.
Web Exclusive: Listen to an extended version of this interview:
Kelly has been on the forefront of technology journalism for 35 years. From 1984 to 1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. Kelly was a founding board member of the WELL, a very early online service started in 1985. His books include "Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Economic and Social Systems," "New Rules for the New Economy," and "What Technology Wants."
His first career was as a nomadic photojournalist. One summer he rode a bicycle 5,000 miles across America. For most of the 1970s he was a photographer in remote parts of Asia, publishing his photographs in national magazines.
He makes a point noting in his biography he has no college or university degrees.