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THE AGE of INTELLIGENT MACHINES | Can Machines Think?

February 21, 2001

The “inner light, that private way that it is with you that nobody else can share … is forever outside the bounds of computer science,” argues philosopher Dennett. From Ray Kurzweil’s revolutionary book The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990.… read more

THE AGE of INTELLIGENT MACHINES | Postscript

February 21, 2001

Inventor, futurist Ray Kurzweil surveys the complex and daunting initiative to create truly intelligent machines. Neural net decision-making rivals experts, pattern recognition mimics human capabilities. While true human intelligence dwarfs today’s artificial intelligence, there is no fundamental barrier to the AI field’s ultimately achieving this objective, he says. From Ray Kurzweil’s revolutionary book The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990.… 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 Age of Virtuous Machines

June 1, 2007 by J. Storrs Hall

In the “hard takeoff” scenario, a psychopathic AI suddenly emerges at a superhuman level, achieving universal dominance. Hall suggests an alternative: we’ve gotten better because we’ve become smarter, so AIs will evolve “unselfish genes” and hyperhuman morality. More honest, capable of deeper understanding, and free of our animal heritage and blindnesses, the children of our minds will grow better and wiser than us, and we will have a new friend and guide–if we work hard to earn the privilege of associating with them.… 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

The Central Metaphor of Everything?

December 4, 2001 by Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier’s Edge article takes a skeptical look at Moore’s Law and its application to trends outside of computer hardware. Will computers become smarter than us in twenty years? Is the computational metaphor actually impeding progress?… read more

The Coming Merging of Mind and Machine

February 21, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil predicts a future with direct brain-to-computer access and conscious machines. From Scientific American.… read more

The coming superintelligence: who will be in control?

July 25, 2001 by Amara D. Angelica

At some point in the next several decades, as machines become smarter than people, they’ll take over the world. Or not. What if humans get augmented with smart biochips, wearables, and other enhancements, accessing massive knowledge bases ubiquitously and becoming supersmart cyborgs who stay in control by keeping machines specialized? Or what if people and machines converge into a mass-mind superintelligence?… read more

The Computational Perspective

November 19, 2001 by Daniel Dennett

What does computation mean? Daniel Dennett discusses information architecture beyond the mechanized causation in computers and frames the question in terms of the organization of matter itself. What do models of computation tell us about the material world?… read more

The Computational Universe

October 25, 2002 by Seth Lloyd

The amount of information you could process if you were to use all the energy and matter of the universe is 10^90 bits and the number of elementary operations that it can have performed since the Big Bang is about 10^120 ops. Perhaps the universe is itself a computer and what it’s doing is performing a computation. If so, that’s why the universe is so complex and these numbers say how big that computation is. Also, that means Douglas Adams was right (the answer is “42″).… read more

The Computer as a Communication Device

November 9, 2001 by J.C.R. Licklider, Robert Taylor

This landmark 1968 essay foresaw many future computer applications and advances in communication technology, such as distributed information resources and online interactive communities that are commonplace today as Internet chat rooms and peer-to-peer applications.… read more

The Cyclic Universe

January 22, 2003 by Paul J. Steinhardt

Is the universe expanding indefinitely–the Big Bang model–or does it go through cycles of expansion and contraction? Paul Steinhardt, who is Albert Einstein Professor of Science at Princeton University and on the faculty of both the Department of Physics and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, suggests a cyclic model that could successfully compete with the Big Bang model.… read more

The Drexler-Smalley debate on molecular assembly

December 1, 2003 by Ray Kurzweil

Nanotechnology pioneer Eric Drexler and Rice University Professor and Nobelist Richard Smalley have engaged in a crucial debate on the feasibility of molecular assembly. Smalley’s position, which denies both the promise and the peril of molecular assembly, will ultimately backfire and will fail to guide nanotechnology research in the needed constructive direction, says Ray Kurzweil. By the 2020s, molecular assembly will provide tools to effectively combat poverty, clean up ourread more

The Economics of Innovation

August 6, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

An examination of the changing nature of wealth, written for “The Futurecast,” a monthly column in the Library Journal.… read more

The Emergent Self

August 3, 2001 by Francesco Varela

The late Francesco Varela postulates that organisms have to be understood as a mesh of virtual selves–a bricolage of various identities. How virtual is the reality we live in, and do various realities emerge from cognitive and biological systems?… read more

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