To quote Ray Kurzweil, who channeled the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in describing life during the 18th century, life at one time was “short, and brutish and pretty violent”– at least before the advent of technological advances that have allowed the entire world, from the richest countries in Europe to the even the poorest countries in Africa, to make considerable gains in both health and wealth.
At the Singularity Summit, Kurzweil explained that at the turn of the 19th century, the average life expectancy in the world was only 37, with brilliant minds like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Schubert succumbing in their 30s to diseases that are easily preventable and treatable. However, as countries moved through the Industrial Revolution and into the Information Age, life expectancies have dramatically improved.
So what does the future hold for humanity? Advances in artificial intelligence will surely make us even healthier and wealthier world as Kurzweill explains below.