By Artemio Zavala
Michio Kaku's speech offered an expansive view of future technologies. His predictions were carefully grounded within the laws of physics and turned out to be quite marvelous. He foresees technologies like "retinal display" contact lenses that connect directly to the internet, driverless cars, the mixing of real and virtual reality, and software "robotic doctors" that might replace most people's initial visit to the doctor. Kaku was also optimistic about progress in medicine, biotech and nanotechnology suggesting that we'll have medical "tricorders" like the ones on Star Trek, miniature nanobots coursing through our veins, and advanced gene therapy. Kaku also believes that computers, artificial intelligence and robots will advance rapidly, even though he foresees a possible slowdown in the rate of improvement as Moore's Law potentially hits a wall. One area where I think Kaku failed to discuss was how all this will impact culture and the economy. Kaku seems glued to the idea that only technology will change; yet he didn’t talk about how this technology might negatively affect society. If there will be robots that will cook and software that will do the jobs of doctors, and might even become conscious one day, then it seems clear that technology like that would be able to do the jobs of millions of people who sit in offices or work in service industries. Maybe Kaku fails to see the possible impact that his fantastic ideas might have on society? Nevertheless, his ideas were simply astonishing and I truly found his speech to be quite intriguing.