essays collection By Author | A-Z

Researching Health and Well-Being at the Library

August 6, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

Researching immortality, written for “The Futurecast,” a monthly column in the Library Journal.… read more

Response to ‘The Singularity Is Always Near’

May 3, 2006 by Ray Kurzweil

Technium

In “The Singularity Is Always Near,” an essay in The Technium, an online “book in progress,” author Kevin Kelly critiques arguments on exponential growth made in Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity Is Near. Kurzweil responds.

Allow me to clarify the metaphor implied by the term “singularity.” The metaphor implicit in the term “singularity” as applied to future human history is not to a point of infinity, but rather to the event horizon surrounding a black hole. Densities are not infinite at the event horizon but merely large enough such that it is difficult to see past the event horizon from outside.

I say difficult rather than impossible because the Hawking radiation emitted from the event horizon is likely to be quantum entangled with events inside the black hole, so there may be ways of retrieving the information. This was the concession made recently by Hawking. However, without getting into the details of this controversy, it is fair to say that seeing past the event horizon is difficult (impossible from a classical physics perspective) because the gravity of the black hole is strong enough to prevent classical information from inside the black hole getting out.

Response to Fortune Editors’ Invitational

July 11, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil was invited to participate in the 2001 Fortune Magazine conference in Aspen, Colorado, which featured luminaries and leaders from the worlds of technology, entertainment and commerce. Here are his responses to questions addressed at the conference.… read more

Response to Mitchell Kapor’s “Why I Think I Will Win”

April 9, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil responds to Mitch Kapor’s arguments against the possibility that an AI that will pass a Turing Test in 2029 in this final counterpoint on the bet: an AI will pass a Turing Test by 2029.… read more

Response to Stephen Hawking

September 5, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

Stephen Hawking recently told the German magazine Focus that computers were evolving so rapidly that they would eventually outstrip the intelligence of humans. Professor Hawking went on to express the concern that eventually, computers with artificial intelligence could come to dominate the world. Ray Kurzweil replies.… read more

Review of Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us by Rodney Brooks

January 28, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil reviews Rodney Brooks’ latest book on robotics for Wired Magazine. Brooks challenges Jaron Lanier’s claim that AI is “based on an intellectual mistake” and Kurzweil’s statements on reverse-engineering the brain and the date of the “Singularity.” Kurzweil responds.… read more

Singularity Math Trialogue

March 28, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil, Vernor Vinge, Hans Moravec

Hans Moravec, Vernor Vinge, and Ray Kurzweil discuss the mathematics of the Singularity, making various assumptions about growth of knowledge vs. computational power.… read more

Singularity Q&A

December 9, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

techno human

Originally published in 2005 with the launch of The Singularity Is Near.

Questions and Answers

So what is the Singularity?

Within a quarter century, nonbiological intelligence will match the range and subtlety of human intelligence. It will then soar past it because of the continuing acceleration of information-based technologies, as well as the ability of machines to instantly share their knowledge. Intelligent nanorobots will be deeply integrated… read more

Spielberg catches Kubrick’s baton: a review of the film AI

June 18, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

AI the movie

The androids and other intelligent machines in A.I. represent well-grounded science futurism, says AI pioneer Ray Kurzweil.

Stanley Kubrick developed his ideas for a movie to be called A.I. for over ten years, passing the baton to Steven Spielberg upon his untimely death. As was his working style, Kubrick did not write a screenplay, but kept copious notebooks of ideas. The task of carrying Kubrick’s conception to fruition presented Spielberg with a singular opportunity, but also unique challenges, the most obvious being how to meld Kubrick’s dark visions with his own affirming perspective.… read more

Statement for Extropy Institute Vital Progress Summit

February 18, 2004 by Ray Kurzweil

Responding to the Presidential Bioethics Council report, “Beyond Therapy,” Ray Kurzweil has written a keynote statement for the Extropy Institute’s Vital Progress Summit, an Internet virtual discussion and debate.… read more

Technology in the 21st Century: an Imminent Intimate Merger

May 14, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

At the Foresight Institute “Exploring the Edges” Senior Associate Gathering, April 27, 2002, Ray Kurzweil presented the case of the emergence of biological and machine intelligence, answering the three major challenges: limited resources, inadequate software, and ethical concerns. Here are the presentation slides and audio.… read more

Testimony of Ray Kurzweil on the Societal Implications of Nanotechnology

April 8, 2003 by Ray Kurzweil

Despite calls to relinquish research in nanotechnology, we will have no choice but to confront the challenge of guiding nanotechnology in a constructive direction. Advances in nanotechnology and related advanced technologies are inevitable. Any broad attempt to relinquish nanotechnology will only push it underground, which would interfere with the benefits while actually making the dangers worse.… read more

The 21st Century: a Confluence of Accelerating Revolutions

May 15, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

In this keynote given at the 8th Annual Foresight Conference, Raymond Kurzweil discusses exponential trends in various technologies, and the double-edged sword accelerating technologies represent.… read more

The Age of Knowledge

August 6, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

An illustration of the second industrial revolution written for “The Futurecast,” a monthly column in the Library Journal… read more

The Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension

November 21, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

On November 15-17, 2002, leaders in life extension and cryonics came together to explore how the emerging technologies of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and cryonics will enable humans to halt and ultimately reverse aging and disease and live indefinitely.… read more

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