POPLARVILLE - Renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku painted a fascinating picture of the future Thursday, Oct. 17, when he spoke at Pearl River Community College where he was the inaugural Honors Institute Lecture Series speaker.
“In the future, you will mentally control the things around you,” Kaku said after predicting revolutionary advances in computer chips that will connect the human brain and machines.
Kaku’s presentation, sponsored by the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, came close to filling the new Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts on the PRCC campus.
“It made me feel like I was involved in something a lot larger than just Pearl River because he’s so knowledgeble about a lot of things,” said Honors Institute student Brandon Edenfield of Diamondhead. “He gives that impression of power without being 6 foot 6 and 300 pounds. It was very enjoyable. He made it very personable even though he was speaking to a group.”
As both the size and cost of computer chips continue to shrink, they will control more and more of everyday life and lead to a revolution as signficant as the development of steam power in the 1850s, Kaku said.
“Computer power will be everywhere and nowhere,” Kaku said. “You will assume the floor, the walls, the ceilings are computerized.”
Internet glasses will become the must-have fashion accessory and will recognize the faces the wearer sees and print sub-titles if the wearer encounters someone speaking a foreign language, he said.
“Chips are the driving force behind this technology,” he said. “Augmented reality is how we will live in the future. We will take for granted that we will know everything about what or who we’re looking at. We’re talking about the digitalization of commerce.”
The music industry is already digitized with the communications business - newspapers, magazines and movies - following suit and education, medicine and transportation next on the horizon, he said.
Nano-particles already locate and kill cancer cells in the laboratory and eventually will do the same in the human body, he said.
“We will see an incredible invention that will remove the word tumor,” Kaku predicted.
Through state-of-the-art toilets and DNA chips, cancer colonies will be detected 10 years before they grow into a tumor, he said.
“This is incredible,” Kaku said. “This could revolutionize medicine.”
Laboratory researchers already grow human heart valves, blood vessels and cartlidge and are gradually penetrating the brain, he said.
But Kaku linked scientifc advances to economic hard times as profits are invested.
“Wealth comes from science and technology,” he said. “Science comes in waves and creates bubbles. Bubbles burst, and there’s the crash.”
He cited history - the invention of steam power in the 1800s led to the crash of the London Stock Exchange, creation of electricity and the internal combustion engine preceded the Crash of 1929 and the rise of Silicon Valley led to the most recent downturn.
“This created a huge bubble,” Kaku said. “In America, this bubble went into real estate. This bubble burst in 2008.”
Before his public presentation, Kaku met with Honors Institute students from the Poplarville campus and the Forrest County Center, taking time to answer questions, autograph books and pose for cell phone photos.
The next PRCC Honors Institute Lecture Series event will be The Spirit of Harriet Tubman, a one-woman show by Leslie McCurdy, on Feb. 25.
Dr. Michio Kaku talks with Pearl River Community College Honors Institute students before his public lecture Thursday, Oct. 17.
PRCC Public Relations photo
Krislyn Branford of Carriere and Joshua Matthews of Hancock County talk with Dr. Michio Kaku during a reception and meeting with Honors Institute students at Pearl River Community College. Kaku spoke the night of Thursday, Oct. 17, at at the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts.
PRCC Public Relations photo