Knowing is dodo, i.e. extinct, obsolete, finito!

Think about it - when was the last time you remembered a phone number? A home address? An email address? We don't anymore because we don't need to anymore. Knowing data that can be easily stored and recalled via a smartphone is a waste of brain power. Brain power is better used for analysis, creativity, acquiring skills etc.

I use 'knowing' to describe facts and data such as phone numbers, dates, formulas, etc. I feel our minds are evolving in front of us yet we don't see it. A huge catalyst introduced to the human environment recently is technology and our biology is responding to it right now!

Some of us remember a little show called Seinfeld. Half of the episodes would be impossible if set in today's technological world. Quick example is the 54th episode titled The Movie. Jerry is running late to meet the gang at the movies and hilarity ensues. A text or call from your smartphone today would kill the plot. Or maybe if Elaine gave The Soup Nazi one star on Yelp, he would've lifted the ban? What if Crazy Joe Davola tweeted and facebooked his rage towards Jerry? Elaine surely would've dumped him instead of inviting him to The Opera. The Seinfeld tangent shows how quickly our reality has evolved down to the fundamental level due to technology.

Back to our evolving minds; we have information on demand today which was unavailable ten years ago. If you need to know a piece of data, it's one Google search away on your smartphone which you carry EVERYWHERE. Brains are forgetting the neural connections which recalled your bestie's phone number at one point. Why?

Maybe the better question to ask is why do we need to remember phone numbers? We don't. The fact that we can't remember phone numbers also shows our brains have begun relying on smartphones. Without any conscious effort on our part, our brains have started delegating the non-critical chore of recalling data to the smartphone. Our biological selves are relying on non-biological peripherals of the environment. Our brains are treating technology as an extension of our selves.

I recently downloaded an app called iTranslate. You type or speak in one language and it spits out the verse in another language. Recently, iTranslate added a feature where I can communicate with a second iTranslate installed on another phone. Here's a scenario: I am in Berlin and don't speak any German. I meet a German, let's call him Hans, who speaks zero English. We both have iTranslate on our iPhones. I can say 'What's there to do in Berlin on a Monday night?" into my phone, it gets translated in German, sent to Hans' speaker phone and actually asks Hans my question in German. He responds via iTranslate verbally and boom, his recommendation is recited to me in English via my iPhone's speaker.

If technology like iTranslate hits the tipping point and makes it to the first page on our smart phones, what would it mean for language? Do we even need to learn a new language? Imagine if the response is instant. Quick enough that I can have a conversation speaking in English and by the time Hans hears my words, they are already in German. Remembering/learning a new language would go the way of phone numbers and dodos...

Ray Kurzweil has been making predictions since the 1980's, most of which have come true. Here's what Ray has to say about humans and technology.

"By the 2030s, the nonbiological portion of our intelligence will predominate."

"…a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed."

It's all a bit eerie but change always is. It has happened before. A change in the environment forced our ancestors off trees and onto ground which resulted in walking upright. The new environment meant hunting on the ground so language developed and brains got larger. Fast forward to today. Hard to think of a bigger environmental disruption than technology and internet. Time to retire the Homo Sapiens jersey and sport a new team - Homo Technicus or Homo Contineo, maybe? What ever it ends up being, I'll Google it when I need to know.