Sep 292005
 
Ray Kurzweil

Futurist Ray Kurzweil

CNET posted an interview with one of my favorite authors, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil to promote his new book “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology.” Kurzweil, whose previous books include “The Age of Intelligent Machines” and “The Age of Spiritual Machines,” predicts that we will reach the Singularity, a time when changes to ourselves and our environment due to advances in computing, AI, nanotechnology, and biology will exceed the ability for pre-Singularity humans to understand or even predict, by 2045. This belief is rooted in his now famous 2001 essay, The Law of Accelerating Returns, in which he generalizes Moore’s law to include technologies outside of the integrated circuits that Moore’s law covers.

While I sometimes find myself disagreeing with some of the details of the arguments for Kurzweil’s predictions, it’s hard to disagree with most of his broader points, and his relatively moderate view of a “soft takeoff” Singularity is certainly more comforting than some extreme and dire predictions that have been made by other theorists like Hugo de Garis. Kurzweil’s track record for making predictions and actually taking part in technological developments is as solid as any philosopher-scientist alive today, making his voice one that should not be ignored and given due consideration.

The full text of the CNET interview is available here: “Ray Kurzweil deciphers a brave new world.”

To learn more about Ray Kurzweil, visit his website KurzweilAI.net.

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