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The Library Journal | The virtual book revisited

February 1, 1993

An addendum to predictions that appeared in The Age of Intelligent Machines, written for “The Futurecast,” a monthly column in The Library Journal.

One of the advantages of being in the futurism business is that by the time your readers are able to find fault with your forecasts, it is too late for them to ask for their money back. Like the sorcerer who predicted he would live forever, he was never proven wrong – at least not during his lifetime.

Nonetheless, I like to monitor the progress of my predictions. I take satisfaction when projections that seemed so startling when first proposed become progressively less so as the world accommodates ever accelerating change.

Food For Thought

September 27, 2001 by David Dalrymple

Ten-year-old college student David Dalrymple recently spoke at the International Food Policy Research Institute’s “Sustainable Food Security for All by 2020″ Conference, sharing some suggestions about solutions to world hunger and regulation of food and drugs. This paper, written months before his presentation, has some of the ideas he shared at the conference.… read more

My Question for Edge: Who am I? What am I?

January 14, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

Since we constantly changing, are we just patterns? What if someone copies that pattern? Am I the original and/or the copy? Ray Kurzweil responds to Edge publisher/editor John Brockman’s request to futurists to pose “hard-edge” questions that “render visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefine who and what we are.”… read more

Robots in the bloodstream: the promise of nanomedicine

February 26, 2002 by Robert A. Freitas Jr.

In just a few decades physicians could be sending tiny machines into our bodies to diagnose and cure disease. These nanodevices will be able to repair tissues, clean blood vessels and airways, transform our physiological capabilities, and even potentially counteract the aging process.… read more

Congressional hearing addresses public concerns about nanotech

April 13, 2003 by Amara D. Angelica

Concerns about the possible negative consequences of nanotech may stifle vital nanotech research that could otherwise result in medical and other important breakthroughs. Expert witnesses at a congressional hearing recommended wider public debate, greater resources to develop defensive technology, and funding of societal, ethical, and environmental impact studies along with technology forecasting and basic science studies.… read more

Molecular Manufacturing: Too Dangerous to Allow?

March 26, 2006 by Robert A. Freitas Jr.

Despite the risks of molecular manufacturing, such as global ecophagy, replication is not new. Engineered self-replication technologies are already in wide commercial use and can be made inherently safe. And defenses we’ve already developed against harmful biological replicators all have analogs in the mechanical world that should provide equally effective, or even superior, defenses.… read more

Why Language Is All Thumbs

March 14, 2008 by Chip Walter

Toolmaking not only resulted in tools, but also the reconfiguration of our brains so they comprehended the world on the same terms as our toolmaking hands interacted with it. With mirror neurons, something entirely new entered the world: memes–a far more effective and speedy method for pooling knowledge and passing it around than the old genetic way.… read more

Evolution and the Internet: Toward A Networked Humanity?

February 26, 2001 by Danny Belkin

Integration of human and machine will lead to an interconnected “organism”–the next major evolutionary step forward for humanity, says immunology PhD candidate Danny Belkin.… read more

Track 7 Tech Vectors to Take Advantage of Technological Acceleration

May 9, 2001 by Max More

In this update and expansion of his essay, “Taking Advantage of Technological Acceleration,” Max More reveals how businesses can keep up with accelerating technologies in seven primary vectors or metatrends.… read more

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

Are You Ready for a Virtual Reality?

November 2, 2001 by Joyce A. Schwartz

“If you work on technologies, you need to anticipate where technologies are going,” Kurzweil said at the 2000 ACM Siggraph in New Orleans.… read more

What is the missing ingredient — not genes, not upbringing — that shapes the mind?

January 21, 2002 by Steven Pinker

The 5th Annual Edge Question reflects the spirit of the Edge motto: “To arrive at the edge of the world’s knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.” Steven Pinker’s question: what shapes the mind?… 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

The Vasculoid Personal Appliance

October 22, 2002 by Robert A. Freitas Jr.

Robert A. Freitas Jr. (author, “Nanomedicine”) visualizes a future “vasculoid” (vascular-like machine) that would replace human blood with some 500 trillion nanorobots distributed throughout the body’s vasculature as a coating. It could eradicate heart disease, stroke, and other vascular problems; remove parasites, bacteria, viruses, and metastasizing cancer cells to limit the spread of bloodborne disease; move lymphocytes faster to improve immune response; reduce susceptibility to chemical, biochemical, and parasitic poisons; improve physical endurance and stamina; and partially protect from various accidents and other physical harm.… read more

The Power of an Idea

July 6, 2003 by Ray Kurzweil

National Federation of the Blind (NFB) founder Dr. Kenneth Jernigan “realized that the pace of technology was accelerating, and these hastening advances would either be liberating for blind people, or would represent another barrier,” said Ray Kurzweil in a speech at NFB’s 2003 annual convention. Jernigan’s solution, a research and training institute, was an example of the power of an idea.… read more

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