“The World in 2030” by Dr. Michio Kaku

– I am delighted, really delighted, that we have such a wonderful turnout on this miserable day that will mark the Yankees’ win of the
first game of the Series! (audience cheers and applauds) For those of you who are new to the event, let me tell you a little bit about the Presidential Lecture Series. We started this series in the year 2001 and the purpose of the lecture series is to showcase the tremendous
talent of the faculty of the City University of New York and the formula is very simple, in the fall semester, we invite one of the
distinguished professors of the City University of New York or some national figure
that has something to do with the City University of New York, and in the spring, we
invite one of our own to be the Presidential Lecture speaker. We have a committee of faculty which is composed of Dr. Shina Gillespie, Dr. Peter Gray, Dr. Kenneth Pearl, and Dr. Sasan Karimi, and if they’re here, please stand up so we can recognize you, those of you who are here. I know Sasan is here. (audience applauds) These are the individuals
who bear the brunt of the consequences of
asking the wrong speaker to come and speak to you, but they haven’t missed yet, and frankly, I think that today, we have one of the most popular, the first time that we
have a television star among our midst and the first time, well, maybe not the first time because every Academic Senate, you have one of those, but the first time we have one of the recognized
100 brightest people in New York City by New York Magazine. This is Professor Kaku who is Distinguished
Professor at City College and he is a theoretical physicist and the Henry Semat Professor at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center of the
City University of New York. He has taught for over 30 years, and he’s a graduate of
community College of Harvard. (audience laughing and chattering) (audience applauds)
You got it now, right? And now he’s at the Harvard
of community colleges, Queensburough, and he’s
earned his doctorate obviously in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley. He’s one of the founders
of the string field theory. Now you know about string theory. Maybe some of you may know some about it, but I know that all of
you know about Star Trek and all of you know
about beam me up, Scotty, and all of you know about energy fields, so you all know a little
bit about string theory. I really personally believe that Dr. Kaku is a contender and eventually will be a winner of the
Nobel Prize in Physics because of his work, and
I hope that that happens. (audience applauds) You wanna have the pleasure of seeing him in person today, but if you
wanna see him on television, on December 1st, he starts a new series on the Syfy Channel called, I’m sorry, I don’t know the title of the series, but he starts a series on
December 1st on the Syfy Channel and I hope that you will see it. I was very interested in
looking over the book, The Physics of the Impossible, because it addresses how
science fiction technology will be something real in the future and you can think about the possibilities. Think about somebody in the year 1901 thinking about going from New York to Europe in five hours. Think about the impact of technology, and I’m certain he’s gonna
talk about all of that, but use a little bit extrapolation and look at what can happen in the future, and then a little bit to the Star Treks of the world and see how somebody has imagined what can
happen in the future, but that’s all in our imagination. Let’s talk to an expert, let’s talk to somebody
who knows the theory behind all of that technology. Please, please help me welcome Dr. Kaku, please. (audience applauds) – Thank you very much. (audience applauds) (faint speaking) Thank you very much. After such a great introduction, I can’t wait to hear the speaker myself. (audience laughs) Let me also say, I have
an admission to make. I have to confess that
yeah, New York Magazine voted me as one of the
most 100 Smartest People in New York, however, in all fairness, I have to say that Madonna
also made that same list, (audience laughs) so how accurate could that list be? Now today, I’m gonna
talk about the future, 20, 30, 40 years into the future. I’ve had the privilege to interview 300 of the world’s top scientists. Now I’m a physicist. We’re the ones who invented the laser, we invented the transistor, we created the electronic computer, we created television,
radio, microwaves, MRI, we created the internet, we wrote the World Wide Web, and whenever we create something, we predict how our creation is gonna proliferate through society. When we helped to invent the internet, one physicist made a prediction. He said that the internet
will become a forum of high culture, high
art, and high society. (audience laughs)
Well today, we know that 5% of the internet is pornography, but that’s because teenage
boys log on to the internet, not anyone here. Just wait till the grandmas and grandpas log on to the internet. Then 50% of the internet
will be pornography. (audience laughs) Let me also say that when I
was just a little bit younger than you guys, I was
fascinated by physics. For me, physics was the way to go, so when I was in high
school, I went into my mom and I said, “Mom, can I have permission “to build an at atom
smasher in the garage, “A 2.3 million electron volt, “electron particle accelerator?” And my mom looked at me
and said, “Sure, why not? “And don’t forget to
take out the garbage.” So, I took out the garbage
and I went to Westinghouse and I got 400 pounds of transformer steel, 22 miles of copper wire, and I built a 2.3 million electron volt electron accelerator in my garage. The magnetic field was 10,000 gauss. If you walked by the magnets, it was powerful enough
to pull the fillings out of your teeth if you
got too close to my magnets. Finally, it was ready. I plugged it into the wall socket. It consumed six kilowatts
of raw, electrical power, I can hear the crackling
of all the capacitors, and then I heard this pop, pop, pop sound and the whole house was
plunged in darkness. I had blown out every
single fuse in the house. My poor mom. She come home from a hard day’s work, the lights would flicker and die, and then she’d say,
“Where is the fusebox?” And then she’d say, “Why
couldn’t I have a son “who plays baseball? (audience laughs)
“Maybe if I buy him “a basketball and for God’s sake, “why does he have to build
these machines in the garage? “And hey, why can’t he find
a nice Japanese girlfriend? “Why does he build these
machines in the garage?” Well, that machine got me into Harvard and began my career as a physicist. So today, I’m gonna give you
a guided tour of the future. However, there is a danger that sometimes we physicists know too much. Let me tell you a story,
and then I’ll begin. Over 200 years ago, we had the great French Revolution, and one day, there were three gentlemen about to lose their
head to the guillotine. There was a priest, a lawyer, and a theoretical physicist just like me about to have our heads cut off. Well, they put the priest’s
head on the chopping block. Now they asked him, “Do
you have any last words “before we cut your priestly head off?” And the priest said, “Yes, yes.” He said, “God, God from above, “He shall certainly set me free.” While all eyes were on the blade, they raised the blade. The blade came down, swish! And it stopped right before it hit the neck of the priest. Well, the mob had never seen this before. They were shocked! They said, “God has
spoken, let the priest go. “And now let’s see about the lawyer.” Yes, the lawyer. Now the bloodlust was starting. Yes, the lawyer. They put the lawyer’s
head in the chopping block and they asked him, “Do
you have any last words “before we cut your lawyerly head off?” And he said, “Yes!” He said, “Maybe the spirit of justice, “yes, justice and mercy,
she shall set me free.” Well, they raised the blade. The blade came down, swish! And it stopped right before
it hit the neck of the lawyer. Well, this time, the crowed went crazy. They said, “Let there
be a national holiday. “Today, God has spoken. “Justice, mercy have spoken today! “And now let’s see about
that theoretical physicist.” (audience laughs) Well, they put the physicist’s
head on the chopping block and they asked him, “Do
you have any last words “before we cut your head off?” And he said, “Yeah, yeah,
I got some last words.” And he said, “I don’t
now too much about God “and I know even less about the law, “but I do know one thing, “if you look up, you’ll see that the rope “is stuck on the pulley.” (audience laughs) And then he said, “If you remove the rope, “the blade should come down real good!” Big mistake, big mistake. Well, the rope came down,
the blade came down, and the poor physicist’s head came down and the moral of the story is, sometimes we physicists have to know when to keep our mouths shut, okay? (audience laughs) But nonetheless, let me
give you a guided tour through the future
because I’ve had a chance to interview over 300 of
the world’s top scientists. These are the people inventing the future. First of all, let me say that
if you get cable television, you get the Science Channel. On the Science Channel,
starting December 1st, as it was mentioned, my book, Physics of the Impossible
is gonna be appearing as a weekly TV series
that I’ll be hosting. Watch for it December 1st
every week after that. They call is Sci Fi Science, colon, Physics of the Impossible. – It looks awesome!
– So, let’s talk about that. First of all, how do we scientists know what’s gonna happen 10,
20 years in the future? How could we be so confident? Well, first of all, this is Moore’s Law. On a log chart, you
see that computer power doubles every 18 months. Now what does that mean? This means that when
you get a birthday card in the mail, you open it
up and it’s a chip in it and the chip sings. ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ Well, that chip has more computer power than all the Allied forces of 1945. Hitler, Eisenhower,
Churchill would’ve killed to get that chip, and what
do you do with that chip? You throw it away in the garbage. Or look at this chart. You’ll see that way back in the 1960s, NASA had almost no computer power. Your cellphone today, one cellphone today, has more computer power,
according to this chart, than all of NASA when they
put two men on the moon. This means that if cars
obeyed Moore’s Law, cars today would cost 10 cents. This means that when you park the car, you wouldn’t even bother to
put a quarter in the meter. The meter costs more than the car, so you just park the car
and walk away from it. So, what does this mean? This means that by 2020, computer chips will cost about a penny. That is the cost of scrap paper, so we now know the future of the computer. The future of the computer
will be everywhere and nowhere, hidden in the walls, hidden
in the fabric of our life just like electricity is,
everywhere and nowhere. And this is the internet. We wrote the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web was
written by a physicist to keep track of subatomic particles and you can see here that the internet corresponds to prosperity. Where there is the internet, there is prosperity, there’s
commerce, science, finance. Where there’s no internet,
there is poverty. So, one thing that we physicists do is we create something and then we simply give it away for free. So, how will you communicate with the internet in the future? These are glasses that have
full internet capability. You can download any website, any movie, do emails from these things, and they will also
recognize people’s faces. How many times have you
bumped into somebody on the street and you say to yourself, who is this person? Jim, John, Jake, I know this person. In the future, your glasses will say, it’s Jim, stupid, remember? (audience laughs) You met him last week! Do you wanna see his
entire biography for you in your glasses? And let’s say you’re at a cocktail party. You’re looking for a job and you don’t know who
the heavy hitters are. In the future, you will know exactly who to suck up to at any cocktail party. (audience laughs) Well, let’s say you don’t wanna look like a refugee from Star Trek. In the future, glasses will be fashionable with full internet capability. They can be flashed directly into the retina of your eye, they could be flashed right
onto the screen of your glasses or used as a jeweler’s lens as an attachment to your glasses. Fashion models will be
wearing these things. Young people will demand to
have full internet capability, any video, any movie,
any website, any music downloaded via your glasses. Now you may say to
yourself, wait a minute. Maybe I don’t wear glasses. No problem. In the future, they’ll be
in your contact lenses. These are internet contact lenses that we physicists are trying to build. Imagine taking a final examination. (audience laughs) Ha! Immediately, the light
bulbs begin to flash, right? Think of taking a final examination. Do you realize that in the future, professors are gonna have to throw out their final exam because
you can’t simply record memorization on a final exam anymore? You’ll have to convey
concepts, principles, rather than memorizing
the names of the crystals or the shapes of the minerals or whatever. Imagine full internet
capability in your glasses. Well, we physicists are working on this even as we speak. Imagine, for example,
going to a foreign country. You bump into somebody and they start to talk to
you in a foreign language. No problem. In the future, you will see subtitles. (audience laughs) Subtitles of a foreign
language in your contact lens. And let’s say you visit the ruins of Rome. It’s such a big disappointment. You read about the great Roman Empire, and then you see all that’s left, almost nothing left of the empire. You go to the Roman Forum
and you wanna use imagination thinking of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony at the Roman Forum. No problem, your contact lens will recreate the full animation of the height of the Roman Empire as you walk through the ruins. This is called augmented
reality, not virtual reality, a mixture of reality with animation, with subtitles, with translations. Let’s say you’re driving a car. Your contact lens will
give you exactly how fast you’re moving, how much gas you have, and will even point out landmarks as you are driving, GPS, all of that, without ever having to leave the steering wheel of your car. So, this is what happens with Moore’s Law. The computer chips will cost a penny. Like electricity, they’ll
be everywhere and nowhere. When you walk in a room today, what do you do? You look for the light switch, right? The first thing you do is you
look for the light switch. You assume the walls have electricity, even though it’s invisible. In the future, when
you walk into the room, the first thing you will do is look for the internet portal. You will assume the room is intelligent. So, this is your cellphone of the future. This is how you will
communicate with others. One screen for any video,
one screen for any website, one screen for any movie
that’s ever been done. You’ll access the entire database of the planet Earth almost for free, and let’s say you have a Blackberry. You know how tiny that
Blackberry typewriter is? Well, in the future, we’ll have e-paper. You’ll simply scroll out, scroll out paper which is intelligent, and you’ll type on that sheet of paper. So, your cellphone is an entire PC. In fact, it has more power
than a supercomputer of today. In fact, wallpaper will be so cheap that when you put up wallpaper,
it’ll be intelligent. Wallpaper will be as intelligent as your computer today. This is your living room of the future. This is how you will
communicate with people. Let’s say you’re on a college campus and let’s say it’s Friday night and you do not have a date. We all know what you
do, you get stone drunk. (audience laughs)
In the future, you’ll go up to the wall screen and you’ll say, mirror,
mirror on the wall, who’s available tonight? (audience laughs) The wall screen will then contact all the other wall screens
that are out there. The wall screen knows exactly
the kind of person you like, physical characteristics, age, whatever, and hook you up to whoever else is looking at their magic mirror and saying mirror, mirror on the wall. Then you’ll go out and have some fun, come back to your apartment, and then you wanna see a movie. So, you’ll say to the wall screen, mirror, mirror on the wall, we wanna see Casablanca, except remove Humphry Bogart’s face and put my face instead, (audience laughs) and remove Ingrid Bergman’s face and put my date’s face instead. Now some people are a
little bit afraid of this, but realize that when the internet was first created by we physicists, it was male, it was hierarchical, it was to dominate over the Soviet Union. Why did the Pentagon give
us millions of dollars to create the internet? It wasn’t so that you
could email your friends. That’s not why we physicists
created the internet. It was created to dominate a nuclear war with Russia so we can communicate and rebuild America after
New York City is in ruins, Los Angeles, Chicago are vaporized. That’s how we’re gonna recreate
America after World War III. Today, the internet is female. 51% of the users of the internet are women and they use it to touch people. That’s what it’s all about. Technology looks frightening
when you don’t know it, but then you realize the whole
purpose of the technology is to be female, to touch
people, make contact with people, so the internet has flipped, flipped from being a war-fighting device to be a device that allows you to communicate to all your friends. That dog, for example, on the left, is a cyber dog. It doesn’t really exist. It babysits your kids, runs, barks. That dogs does everything
except pee on your carpet. (audience laughs) Let’s say it’s Thanksgiving
time and you’re lonely ’cause one son’s in Australia,
another one’s in Russia, another one’s on the South Pole. No problem, you’ll all gather around your own wall screens, you’ll
put on your contact lenses and you will see everybody
around the dinner table as you carve up the turkey in cyberspace. Also, we’re putting chips everywhere. Chips are going into toys now. Toys are becoming intelligent. This is causing a problem
for the English language, a contradiction in terms
called smart Barbie dolls. Another contradiction in
terms is Microsoft Works. (audience laughs) That is also a contradiction in terms. So again, any technology looks frightening when you first see it,
and then you realize, hey, the whole purpose of this
technology is to touch someone, to reach out and to touch people. This is your office of the future. Today of course, your office is built around the PC, but why should that be? The PC of the future will disappear. The future of the
computer is to disappear. Electricity has disappeared. We no longer see electricity. Intelligence will also disappear into the fabric of our lives. These are scrap computers. This is your office of the future. You’ll scribble on a sheet that has full word processing capability, Paint capability, and
then you’ll throw it away, and as you go from room to room, the files move with you. Your files are more
important than the computer. The computer only cost a
few pennies, after all. In fact, when you go shopping, today you have a barcode
whenever you buy something. In the future, instead
of having a barcode, it’ll have a chip. The chip will cost less than
the barcode of the future. And so, this is how you will
move from office to car, car to home, home to office. The software follows you
seamlessly everywhere you go. This is your cubicle of the future. This is how you will operate. And like I said before, if you don’t like to be in a cubicle, you
just talk to the wallpaper. The wallpaper is fully
intelligent with a screen, what have you. This is the car of the future. I had a chance to drive this car. This car has no driver. It is a driverless car. These cars have now
driven hundreds of miles in the Mojave Desert without a driver. GPS is the secret to
allow this car to drive, and for the Discovery Channel, they put me in the driver’s seat. I started to drive the car and then I went like this. Try to drive like this next time. This means that traffic accidents could disappear from the English language. Traffic jams, traffic
accidents could disappear as the cars literally drive themselves. And let’s talk about health. Health is gonna be turned upside down. First of all, when you go to the doctor, your doctor will be in your toilet. You’ll go to the doctor three times a day. The doctor will analyze your body fluids and it will tell you
that you eat too much, too much animal fat, too much salt, too much sugar in your diet. Isn’t the future wonderful? Even your toilet will tell you that you have an unhealthy diet. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this could be the cure for cancer because today, if you feel
something in your breast, it’s too late, it’s really too late. You have 10 billion cancer cells
growing inside your breast. Surgery is required almost immediately. In the future, when you go to the toilet, your toilet will analyze proteins emitted from cancer,
colonies of maybe a hundred cancer cells, not 10
billion, but a hundred, and tell you oh, by the way, you’ll have breast cancer in 10 years. Well, watch out, but no rush. And there’ll be chips scattered throughout your bathroom
which’ll analyze DNA. How do we know this? ‘Cause my friends are
building these chips! They’re called DNA chips. Chips that allow you to scan DNA within a matter of minutes, so even as you’re going to the bathroom, combing your hair, what have you, your bathroom is giving you a complete medical examination. And we now know that DNA is computer tape. Instead of zeros and ones, zeros and ones, zeros, and ones, we have ATCG, ATCG, and we could read computer tape just like we read DNA. So how will we do it? Every time you blow on a glass, you blow on a glass, you leave DNA there. It will sample the DNA and
scan for all your genes. I had my genome scanned. Most of my genes have been
scanned, put on a CD-ROM, which I then showed to the camera. Realize that you will have this very soon. To have all your genes
read today costs $50,000. Within a few years,
it’ll be down to $1,000 and perhaps in 10 years, it’ll
be maybe a hundred bucks. This is your owner’s manual. In your home, you have an
owner’s manual for your VCR, your iPod, your computer, your TV set. You have an owner’s manual for everything except one thing, your body. This will be your owner’s manual. In fact, when they scanned my DNA, they even told me where my ancestors came
from 20,000 years ago. – Wow!
– So I now know my family lineage now to 20,000 years. So, what will it be like to go to the doctor’s office? We will not only scan your DNA, if we find something wrong with an organ, we will replace it and grow another one. This is an ear, except
it’s made out of plastic, plastic sponge that dissolves with time. We take some cells from your ears, seed it into this ear, and it grows. It grows, leaving a perfect ear. Then the plastic dissolves with time because it is biodegradable. Here’s bone on the
left, ears on the right. Today, we can grow bone, blood, skin, cartilage. We can grow noses, ears,
blood vessels, heart valves. The first bladder was
grown three years ago. The first windpipe was
grown just a few months ago, and we will grow the first liver, perhaps, in five more years. So for you alcoholics in
the audience, there’s hope. If you can hold on for five more years, you may be able to have your own liver. So let’s now have the first DVD where we’re now gonna go into
the hospital of the future. What’ll it be like if we can grow organs by seeding it with cells? What’ll it be like if surgery
is done in three dimension? So, let’s have the first video from the Discovery Channel,
a program that I hosted called 2057, 50 Years From Now. So, as computer power
doubles every 18 months, it means that every aspect of our life, finance, commerce, health, is
gonna be turned upside down as we begin to realize that computer power can enrich our lives. This is the world’s first
bladder, a human bladder, that was grown from a
young girl’s own cells and implanted into that young woman. That was three years ago, a development at Wake Forest University, where we taped changed history and within five years, we hope
to have the first pancreas, the first liver, perhaps
even the first kidney. These are the frontier organs that are now being looked at to be grown in the laboratory. The first windpipe was
grown just three months ago, and in mice, we actually
grew an entire heart. An entire mouse heart
was grown just last year, and how is it possible? Because computer power means that we can sequence genes, we can put doctors in
touch with each other. It has accelerated medical advances. And now, let me say a few things about
artificial intelligence. Well, one day will we have robots, the robots that well, we
see in science fiction? Well, this is ASIMO. ASIMO is the world’s most advanced robot. ASIMO can run, ASIMO can
walk, climb up stairs, ASIMO can dance. In fact, ASIMO can dance better than me. I had a chance to meet ASIMO, and the question is how smart
is our most advanced robot, and can these robots even have emotions so that we can bond with them? Let’s have now the second video where we will now go to Tokyo. We’re now gonna go to Tokyo and meet the world’s most advanced robot, and the question is well, one day, will they become smarter than us? Will one day they put us in zoos and throw peanuts at us and
make us dance behind bars? Well, let’s–
– Conceive robots. – The question is, how
smart are our robots? Well, one day, will
they be smarter than us and put us in zoos? Well first of all, here is the governor of
California in a very bad mood. (audience laughs) So one day, will we have to deal with mad governors? Well, let’s take a look at ASIMO. So you ASIMO, the world’s
most advanced robot. How smart is ASIMO? Well, let me tell you. ASIMO as as smart as a
cockroach, a retarded cockroach, a stupid, lobotomized, retarded cockroach. ASIMO takes about six hours
to walk across the room, every movement pre-programmed. That scene that you saw took three hours, took three hours for us to program every single move of that robot. So, why is Japan spending so
much time on these robots? Well, let me tell you a secret. Japan’s population is the fastest aging population on Earth. They have very few young people, they have a lot of old people. These are future robot nurses. That’s why Japan is spending so much money building robot. That’s the future of nursing, not the future of human intelligence. However, in the coming
decades, as robots get smarter, perhaps they’ll be as smart as a mouse, eventually as smart as a dog or a cat, and then decades after that, maybe as smart as a monkey. At that point, I think
we should put a chip in their brain to shut them off if they start to get murderous thoughts, but that’s not for a while. That’s decades into the future. We’ll have plenty of warning, and in fact, for the
Science Channel special that I’m hosting on December 1st, we went to all the world’s leading artificial intelligence laboratory, and you can see how primitive
our robots really are. Well, I’ll say a few more
things the that we discuss in the Science Channel
documentary, invisibility. Believe it or not, we physicists believe that invisibility is possible. We flew down to Duke University and we filmed the world’s first microwave invisibility device. It’ll make an object
invisible to microwaves and we went to Berkeley, where they can actually now
do it for visible light. Now there is a problem. If you are inside an invisibility cloak, you cannot see outside. It’s only a one-way trip. Therefore, if you are inside
the invisibility cloak, ya need to punch two eyeballs so you can see outside,
so from the outside, you see two floating eyeballs, or here, a floating head. So remember that metamaterials allows us to bend microwave radiations around an object just like
water flows around a boulder. If you were downstream from a boulder, you don’t know that there
is a boulder upstream. That works for microwaves and at Berkeley and Caltech, on a microscopic scale, they showed that it works
for visible light as well, so this means that in the
coming years, coming decades, we may be able to attain full invisibility just like you see in the movies, but we don’t have it yet. Also, teleportation. Wouldn’t it be great
to simply zap yourself across the room, just
like they do in Star Trek? Well, this is called
quantum teleportation, and for the Science Channel TV series, we went down to Maryland, to the University of Maryland, where we actually
photographed with a TV camera, actually photographed an atom being zapped across the room. A TV screen lit up every
time an atom was teleported from one chamber to the next chamber. Now this, of course, creates problems ’cause if you’re Captain Kirk, you have to die, you have
to dissolve in the process in creating a copy of
Captain Kirk over there, so who is that imposter over there? That imposter over there
looks like Captain Kirk. He sells Priceline just
like Captain Kirk, okay? So, who is that person over there? You just saw him die and there he is, selling Priceline over there. It really makes you wonder, who are we? Are we just information, that
information can be zapped from one place to another? And believe it or not, telepathy is coming faster than you think. We taped this again for the
Science Channel special, 12 episodes, 30 minutes
apiece starting December 1st. Here’s how it works. This is Brown University, where with have a stroke
victim on the lower right. He is paralyzed. He cannot move, he cannot communicate with his loved ones, he is a quadriplegic, a stroke victim. On the upper left is a chip. They put the chip in his brain, shown on the lower left. You can see the dot
where the chip is placed. You hook up that chip to a laptop. That person, who is now totally paralyzed can now read emails, surf
the web, answer emails, do crossword puzzles,
do everything you can do on a computer, except this
person happens to be paralyzed. This means that in the future, you may want to simply
communicate with the web by thinking about it. We can also use this
technology, by the way, this is how it works, by the way. He’s allowed to see the laptop. You see the connection on the right, an electrode that hooks
up to a laptop computer, the world’s first direct
link between the human mind and a computer. And also, in Japan, they
very tediously map images of the brain onto an MRI scan and had a computer recognize them. We can actually see the outlines now, the decoded outlines of an object that you are looking
at with your eyeballs. This means that when you
are asleep and are dreaming, we may be able to photograph
some of the dreams that you have. This has already been
done at Kyoto University, not with dreams, but with the person looking at an object. A computer decodes the
images on an MRI scan. We can now recognize. The first thing that was
done was a horseshoe. You can actually see the horseshoe, the person’s horseshoe
that he’s looking at via an MRI scan, but in the article, it says that the next target is dreams. Maybe one day we’ll be
able to record your dreams. This is how it looks like. You have to put this
thing on top of your head, but in the future, it may be invisible. It may be painless and invisible and you’ll be able to surf
the web all by yourself. Also, we should point out, we should also point out
that we can actually use this for a lie detector test. When you tell a lie, your brain scan lights up like a Christmas tree. That’s because first, you
have to know the truth. Second, you have to create the lie. Third, you have the create
the coverup of the lie, and fourth, you have to
analyze the consistency of the coverup with all the other lies you’ve been telling all these years. That’s a lotta brainpower, and you can actually
see that on an MRI scan. Now let me say a few things
about the far future. So far, everything I’ve talked about is the near future. We’re talking about 10,
20, 50 years in the future. Now let’s look even farther. We went to NASA and we
visited the scientists who dream of one day building a star ship. This, of course, is far beyond anything we can muster with today’s technology. However, we actually
interviewed scientists who believed that it may be possible to bend the fabric of space and time so that we can leap forwards
across enormous distances, perhaps using Einstein’s theory. This is a black hole. Black holes are not
science fiction anymore. We photographed the accretion
disk of black holes. This black hole lies at the center of a gigantic galaxy, NGC 4258. That dot you see at the very center is about one light year across. In the inside of the dot
is a raging black hole. In fact, if you wanna
see a black hole tonight, go outside, look in the
direction of Sagittarius. That is the center of
the Milky Way Galaxy. There’s a black hole there
which, in some sense, lies at the center of our galaxy. So kids ask the question, if the moon goes around the Earth, the Earth goes around the sun, then what does the sun go around? Well, we know the answer to that. The sun goes around a black hole in the constellation Sagittarius at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Now if you look at that black hole, it’s rather disappointing. Dust clouds obscure the galactic nuclei. If you could somehow
remove the dust clouds, then you would see a fireball, a fireball rise every night, perhaps rivaling the moon in brightness with a raging black hole at the center. Unfortunately, dust clouds prevent us from seeing this huge fireball that by rights, should be
illuminating the night sky. And, if you have
wormholes, perhaps one day you may be able to even bend
the fabric of time itself. This of course, takes
us into science fiction, but actually, we do have
a theory of time travel. Now some of you may say to yourself, well, I’ve seen these time travel movies. I know what happens if
you of backwards in time. You meet your teenage
mother before you’re born and your teenage mother
falls in love with you. Well, you’re in deep doo-doo if your teenage mother
just fell in love with you before you are born. Now if you think you’re so smart, let me give you the mother
of all time travel stories and see whether you can figure this out. Let’s see whether you’re smart enough to figure this one out. The year is 1945, a stranger
comes in from the darkness, carrying a baby girl that
he leaves at an orphanage. Well, the nuns find this baby girl. They don’t know where
the baby girl came from, so the nuns call her Jane and Jane grows up as an orphan,
wondering who is my mother, who is my father? Well, when Jane is 17 years old, she’s a beautiful young woman and then she has her first boyfriend. A drifter comes drifting into her life, but it was not meant to be. They quarrel, she argues
with her boyfriend, and it’s a very sad story. First, she finds out that she’s pregnant. Her boyfriend has left her,
she’s abandoned and pregnant, she’s rushed to the
hospital nine months later, she delivers a beautiful baby girl, but somebody that night
breaks open the window of the hospital, kidnaps Jane’s baby girl, and leaves in the darkness. Well, it’s even worse than this. Jane is bleeding very rapidly. She’s gonna die. The doctors have to perform an emergency experimental operation. They have to change Jane into Jim. Well, Jim wakes up the next day with this huge headache,
and he’s told the bad news. First, the boyfriend left her pregnant, somebody stole her baby, and now she’s not even
Jane anymore, she’s Jim. Well, Jim grows up and
becomes a barroom drunk. Every time someone says, who are you Jim? Where did you come from? Who was your mother or your father? Well, finally Jim one day
is once again stone drunk at the bottom of a bar after a bar fight, but the bartender comes
up to him and says, “Jim, Jim, wake up! “You see, I’m not really a bartender, “I’m a time traveler. “Come into my machine and let us find out “who is this Jim slash Jane.” So, they go back, back,
way back into the past. So poor Jim, he doesn’t quite know where he is in the past,
but suddenly he meets this beautiful 17-year-old girl and it’s love at first sight, but it was not meant to be. They quarrel and then Jim finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant, and then Jim says to himself, “Oh my God, history is repeating itself. “This happened to me! “Well, I wanna make sure that my baby “gets the best education possible.” That night, nine months later,
Jim goes to the hospital, breaks open the window, kidnaps
his own precious baby girl and then Jim and his baby girl go back into the time machine
again, back, way back into the past until it is 1945. It is a dark and stormy night. Jim comes in from the darkness carrying his precious baby girl that he drops off at an orphanage. Well, the nuns don’t know what to do with this baby girl
they found the next day, so the nuns call her Jane, and Jane grows up
wondering who is my mother? (audience laughs)
Who is my father? I was left as a foundling on the doorstep of this orphanage. Well, Jim finally gets it together. Jim says, “I don’t wanna
be a drunk all my life. “I’m gonna join the time travelers corps.” So, Jim has many heroic
exploits in the annals of time. Now, Jim is an old man. He says to himself, “I’ve had a good life, “but I want one final mission. “For my last mission in time, “I’m gonna go backwards
in time, put on a wig “to impersonate a bartender, “to meet a certain barroom drunk “who just got into a fistfight” ’cause someone said, “Who are you, Jim? “Who is your mother or your father?” Now for 10 points, who can tell me, who is Jim’s mother,
father, son, daughter, granddaughter, grandfather,
great-great grandfather? In the back? – Himself, himself.
– Yeah. Jane is a family tree unto herself. Can you imagine the family get together and they get into a food fight and somebody says you did this to me, no, you did that to yourself! (audience laughs) Well, we physicists think about this. This is a wormhole. This is what I do professionally. I work in something called string theory. I’m the co-founder of string field theory, and we think that perhaps
the fabric of space and time can be bent. In which case, perhaps
you may, just may be able to go backwards in time. However, the energy necessarily for this is the energy of a black hole, so this is not for us any time soon. However, 150 years ago, there
was a gentleman in England, a mathematician at Oxford University who wrote the first book on wormholes. Who was this professor of mathematics at Oxford University? Does anyone know the name of this Oxford University professor? (audience chattering) His name was Professor Charles Dodgson. He could not write under his real name ’cause he was an Oxford Professor, so what did he create? A pseudonym, Lewis Carroll. This is the world’s first representation of a wormhole in the English language, written by a distinguished
professor of mathematics at Oxford University who wrote under a penname, Lewis Carroll. In fact, Queen Victoria was so enchanted by Alice in Wonderland that she wrote Professor Dodgson a letter. Queen Victoria said,
“Please, please, please, “give me your next book,” which he did. It was a treatise on higher mathematics that he sent to Queen Victoria. So now let’s say a few things. Some people say that well,
if this is for the future, let’s talk about the future, far future. When we physicists look into outer space, we don’t look for little green men. When we look into outer space, we look for Type I, Type II,
and Type III civilizations. A Type civilization has the
power of an entire planet. They are a planetary civilization. They harness the weather, they
can play with thunderstorms, they play with hurricanes and volcanoes. That’s Type I. Type II is stellar. They consume the power of a star like the Federation of
Planets in Star Trek. Star Trek would be a very
typical Type II civilization. Type III controls the
power of an entire galaxy like the Empire of Empire Strikes Back. Once they had William
Shatner on startrek.com and he was answering all the
questions of the Trekkies. The Trekkies would ask
William Shatner questions like what is the fourth dimension, what is antimatter, what is a black hole? And William Shatner was getting
more and more frustrated. The people at startrek.com said finally he got so frustrated,
he pounded on the desk and he said, “Dammit, dammit,
I’m an actor, I’m an actor. “I know nothing about Star Trek, I mean, “about the fourth dimension, antimatter. “Get a physicist. “Ask about Priceline, anything!” So they had me on later
and I had to answer all the questions of a Trekkie. Well, Star Trek is a Type II civilization. They can barely harness
the power of a star. This is Type I. A Type I civilization is planetary. In about a hundred years, a hundred years, we will be a Type I civilization. What are we today? We are Type 0. We don’t even rate on the scale. We get our energy from
dead plants, oil and coal. This is Type II, Type II is stellar. They control the power of a star. They are immortal. Nothing known to science can destroy a Type II civilization. Even if their mother star goes supernova, they can simply leave
or just move the planet, and this is Type III, where
they can actually play with black holes. I once gave this talk in London at the planetarium there, and a little boy comes up to me about
oh, age 10, a real pest. He comes up to me and he yanks on my pants and he says, “Professor,
Professor, you’re wrong! “There’s Type IV!” And the I looked down on
this 10-year-old little boy and I said to him, “Shut up, kid. (audience laughs) “Why don’t you go play in traffic? “There’s a nice intersection over there.” And he wouldn’t go away! He kept yanking on my pants and he said, “Professor, you’re wrong! “There’s Type IV!” And I said, “Look kid, there are planets, “stars, and galaxies, that’s it! “So any advanced civilization
would have to be planetary, “stellar, or galactic.” And he insisted, “You’re
wrong, there’s the power “of the continuum.” Now, any Star Trek fans out there? What civilization harnesses
the power of the continuum? – Cube.
– Cube. – The Cube, very good! Now if you did not understand
what just transpired, get with the program! (audience laughs) Get with the program, okay? It’s on every Tuesday night. Get with the program for God’s sake, okay? So, one day, will we be able to harness this fantastic power, the
power of the 11th dimension? This is my domain, this is what I work on. I work on string theory. We’re gonna begin to
test the string theory starting next month. Watch for it, end of
November, beginning December, they’re gonna crank up the
biggest machine of science ever created, the Large Hadron Collider. Now we’re gonna be able
to test the perephery of this theory starting
next month outside Geneva. It’ll take years of course,
to analyze the data. However, let me also say that when we look at the Earth from outer
space, we see that the Earth sits in this gigantic bubble. You see, our Earth also radiates. We radiate radio and
television for 50 years. Surrounding the Earth, there is a sphere 50 light years in radius, expanding at the speed of television, containing our finest cultural archives, the noblest achievements of
the human creative spirit like I Love Lucy, Leave It To Beaver, and now joined by the immortal classics, Beavis and Butt-Head, part two, and Dumb and Dumber, part two, and any star within 50
light years of the Earth will pick up our cultural emissions and they’ll be convinced there is no intelligent life on the Earth. So anyway, let me now wind up. A few years ago, I spoke
at the Einstein Centennial, a great honor, but my
favorite Einstein joke is as follows. When Einstein was an old man, he was tired of giving the same talk
over and over again, so one day his chauffeur came up to him, and he said, “Professor, I’m a chauffeur, “but I’m actually a part-time actor. “I’ve memorized your talk. “I’ve heard it so often,
I’ve memorized it, “so why don’t we switch places? “I will put on a mustache and a wig “and I’ll be the great Einstein “and you can be my
chauffeur and take a break.” Well, Einstein loved the joke, so they switched places. So, the chauffeur gave these
talks all over the world for these fantastic talks with all the theatrical flourishes. Well, one day, a mathematician in the back asked a very difficult question and then Einstein thought
ah, the game is up, but then the chauffeur said, “That question is so elementary “that even my chauffeur
here can answer it for you.” (audience laughs) Okay, thank you very much! Thank you very much. You’ve been a great audience. Thank you. (faint speaking) Thank you. (faint speaking) Ah yeah, I’ll take a picture, yeah. (faint speaking) Yeah (laughing). A few questions. (audience applauds) – Wonderful, right? Really wonderful. Dr. Kaku will take two or three questions because time is short,
so you have a question? – [Woman] Wondering what
would the anti-aging technology be like? (audience laughs) – Oh yeah (laughing). Let me say two things. I have a whole chapter
in my book, Visions, about the aging process. First of all, if you go to a drugstore, you see all this advertisement, anti-aging this, take
10 years off your face, 10 years, that. How can the FDA allow all
these fraudulent claims to being made? So I actually interviewed an FDA official. He said the Food and Drug Administration can only monitor things
that penetrate the skin, medicines that penetrate the skin. Anything that does not penetrate the skin, they cannot monitor. But then, if it doesn’t
penetrate the skin, it doesn’t work. So in other words, you can
only lie through your teeth as long as it doesn’t work! Let me repeat that again. According to federal law,
you can make any statement you want about take life,
take 10 years off your face, whatever, anything you want, as long as it doesn’t penetrate the skin, as long as it doesn’t work. Now let me tell you the science. We went to MIT and we interviewed the discoverer of a rather important gene that’s creating headlines. Oprah Winfrey devoted a show to it, 60 Minutes devoted to a show to it. It’s called SIR2. It is a gene and a protein that seems to mimic caloric restriction. Now there is one and only one way of multiplying the
lifespan of an organism, all the way from yeast
cells, spiders, insects, mice, rabbits, dogs, cats, monkeys were analyzed
and the results came out from page of the New York
Times about two months ago. If you starve yourself and
consume 30% less calories, you live 30% longer. Now how many of us wanna starve ourselves? But the genetic mechanism of that is gradually being worked out. It turns out that the
human body or any organism has two choices, one is
if you undergo famine, you have to hunker down,
eat less, lower metabolism, and just ride out the famine. The other one is consume all
you want and have children, so a body has two choices. Animals mostly suffer famine. Famine is a normal state of most animals, so animals do this all the time. They hunker down, eat
less, reduce metabolism, and ride out the period of famine until they can gorge
themselves and have children. Well, ya found the gene,
SIR2, which actually mimics that behavior without
having of starve yourself. Now is it the fountain of youth? I interviewed the guy who discovered it and he said no, don’t believe the hype. However, he said once we do
find the fountain of youth, it may be part of it. So the point I’m raising is, we’re not working out the
genetics of the aging process. Did you know for example,
that some animals don’t die? Crocodiles, alligators, flounders, they just keep getting larger. They don’t die at all. They’re just as vigorous
at 70 as they are at five. So, how come your textbook says that crocodiles die at age 70? That’s because the zookeeper
died at age 70, okay? Crocodiles just keep on going. They have no known finite lifespan. They simply get bigger. So in the animal kingdom, it’s not necessarily to die or age. They just keep getting bigger. That’s why you don’t
see gigantic crocodiles, is because they die of starvation, accidents, or disease, but
they have no finite lifespan, so it’s not necessarily to die. They’re just as vigorous with no aging. So, the short thing of it is, A, it’s still a long ways to go. However, B, we scientists are now seriously looking
at the possibility of retarding the aging process. We do no, I repeat, not
have the fountain of youth. However, as one scientist said, I regret the fact that my generation may be the last generation to die. Well, I think that’s an exaggeration. I think people will be
dying for quite a while into the future, but it does mean that real progress is being made in the aging process, which is something I could not have said a few years ago. – How about you?
– Your desire to prove Einstein’s theory correct,
how close are you? – Well, we wanna go beyond Einstein because Einstein’s theory breaks down at the center of a black hole and at the instant of creation. Einstein’s theory makes
no sense whatsoever. We need a higher theory. The only higher theory which includes the quantum theory and Einstein’s theory is string theory. It is the only game in town. Some people say well, if I
don’t like string theory, give me an alternative, and the answer is, there is none. It is oh, the only game in town. You either work on string theory or you just work in the wilderness. So next month, we’re gonna begin to crank up the Large Hadron Collider. Now the Large Hadron Collider will not eat up the Earth,
as some people claim because every day, cosmic
rays from mother nature rains radiation on the Earth more powerful than anything we can
create with this peashooter called the Large Hadron Collider, so we’re gonna begin to test
the perephery of the theory. The theory itself is too
difficult to test directly, but we have to find indirect proofs by looking for what are called sparticles. Sparticles are superparticles,
a new class of particles that we hope to create with
the Large Hadron Collider, and again, it’ll take a few
years to analyze the data, but the machine will be
cranked up next month. By the way, I just spoke
in Texas last month and the people in Texas know that they had the Super
Collider to be built outside Dallas, Texas. The Super Collider was
to be three times bigger than the Switzerland machine, so how come it’s not based
in the United States? How come we have this
brain drain to Switzerland? Well, it’s because in 1993,
there were cost overruns on the Super Collider and
the last day of hearings, a congressman asked a
physicists in the last day of hearings, quote, “Will we
find God with your machine?” on the last day of hearings. Everything hinged on this one answer. So, the poor professor of physics said, “We will find the Higgs boson.” At that point, you could hear all the jaws hit the floor of Congress. $11 billion for another
goddam subatomic particle. The vote was taken the next day and our machine was canceled, and that’s why we have this brain drain to Switzerland right now. Since then, we physicists have
been replaying that question over and over and over again in our minds. How should we have answered that question? Well, I would’ve said this, I would’ve said God, by
whatever signs or symbols you ascribe to the deity,
this machine will take us as humanly possible to his or her greatest creation, genesis. This is a genesis machine. It’ll recreate on a tiny scale the most momentous event in the history of our universe, its birth. Instead, we said Higgs boson
and our machine was canceled. (audience laughs) I just hope the next time
we get asked that question, we think about the
answer a little bit more. Okay, one last question?
– One last question. How about back there?
– I’m curious about ethics and I wonder if, you seem
like a really smart person, but so, in that technology,
you described at the beginning in the hands of some
not-so-intelligent people, it seems like you could set up a Big Brother situation very quickly like the doctor in my
toilet (faint speaking). – Okay first of all, when
people ask about 1984, I had a chance to go back
to 1984, rereading it again when I was rewriting my book, Visions, and I realized something. The internet could have been a device like what happened in 1984, a device which monitors
everything, knows everything. However, an event happened, and that is the Soviet Union broke up. The internet was a war-fighting machine, secret for the most part,
devised by military scientists, used by physicists like myself, but after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the National Science Foundation did something rather momentous, they gave it away for free. For free, they gave it away. Today, it is impossible to recreate 1984 because the internet is everywhere. If the president of the United States were to try to ban the internet, the reaction would be laughter. People would just laugh at him. It’s unstoppable, so I
think 1984 is not possible. However, there was another
book written around that time, and that other book was called Brave New
World by Aldous Huxley. That’s a book that we really
do have to worry about because in that book, that book was set 600 years in the future. In that book, they have cloning. In that book, they have drugs everywhere. In that book, they have the stratification of the human species. In that book, well, we have
about 80% of that book today. Forget 600 years in the future. Welcome to the Brave New World. So, we do have to worry about
some of the ethical questions raised in Brave New World, but as far as the problem of computers, the problem is not Big Brother, the problem is little brother. Every nosy busybody
can get on the internet and finds all sorts of information on you, and in the future, if
someone wants to find out about who you are, they’ll
go to your barbershop and get some of your hair follicles and sequence your entire genome. This means that the National Enquirer, instead of getting
photographs of Brad Pitt, will have his entire genome read by getting some of his hair and it’s gonna create a huge
problem of genetic privacy. Today, if you have a matchmaker, one of the principle
purposes of a matchmaker is to look for hidden
diseases in your family tree. Well, in the future, all
a matchmaker has to do is go to your barbershop
and can find all sorts of genetic diseases
inside your family tree. So, genetic privacy is gonna be a problem because DNA sequencing is so advanced and it’ll only cost a few hundred bucks to analyze every single gene in your body. Well, thank you very much.
– Thank you very much. – You’ve been a great crowd. – Thank you!
– Thank you! (audience applauds) (faint speaking) (audience applauds) – There are some refreshments outside and I’m certain that if
we do not overcrowd him, we might be able to have some contact or some personal discussion with Dr. Kaku. Thank you again for coming. – Okay.