This remarkable story begins 13.7 billion years ago, about 5.3 billion before our planet was born 4.5 billion years ago. It then took about 4 billion more for Earth to become teeming with simple, single-celled organisms which eventually—after still another 800 million years—evolved into you and me.
Within little more than the last century, others just like us, have harnessed the power of lightning and atoms; mastered flight many times faster than the speed of sound; transmitted information from everywhere to everywhere else via orbital satellites; walked on the Moon; and conceived artificial brains that can already outsmart their human creators.
And both for better and worse, we’re now really only just getting started.
Larry Bell is the author of Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity; The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives; and Cyberwarfare: Targeting America, Our Infrastructure and Our Future.