Tech Heads: Cisco's Dave Evans predicts the future

We talk to Cisco's chief futurist about his predictions for the technology of the future - from cyborgs, parallel universes and internet telepathy to the ultimate fate of humanity itself.

IT Pro: With man-machine integration, do you think something like that, or perhaps something else entirely, would constitute a technological singularity? Where our conceptions of ourselves as human beings change so radically that we wouldn't recognise ourselves as we are now?

It's certainly possible. That's a lot of the work that Ray Kurzweil does and talks about. It's more a philosophical question than technological. Our thinking is constrained by our own ability to think - our cranial capacity limits what we can think about philosophically or technically. If we can extend our cranial capacity, physical or virtually, it's theoretically possible that we can reach a new plateau of thinking. You're right that we may get to a point where we've increased our abilities so much that we look at ourselves in completely different ways and the singularity does occur. I'm not sure if it will or not, I don't know that it will occur in quite the time horizon that other futurists think. I think it may be a bit longer than that we have other challenges facing us right now as a species.

our cranial capacity limits what we can think about philosophically or technically. If we can extend our cranial capacity, physical or virtually, it's theoretically possible that we can reach a new plateau of thinking.

One of the things that I factor into my calculation, if you will, is ourselves. Human beings get in our own way. There's a lot we could do technically speaking in a perfect world, but there's cultural issues, political issues, social issues. Take stem cell research as an example. There are all kinds of things you could do with stem cell research, but what about the ethical issues? What about the religious issues, those kinds of things? I don't know yet that we're quite at the evolutionary stage where we can start to advance at those rates, we still have to get out of our own way. We'll get there, assuming there's no reset event that occurs. It's quite a few years out still.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now

Most Popular

Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/354526/memes-and-viking-funerals-the-internet-reacts-to-the
Microsoft Windows

Memes and Viking funerals: The internet reacts to the death of Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020