There is something missing from the discussion of the technological singularity, says James Bell: the true cost of progress will mean the unprecedented decline of the planet’s inhabitants — an ever-increasing rate of global extinction, some warn.… read more
December 3, 2002 by K. Eric Drexler, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Bradbury
What would it take to achieve successful cryonics reanimation of a fully functioning human brain, with memories intact? A conversation at the recent Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension between Ray Kurzweil and Eric Drexler sparked an email discussion of this question. They agreed that despite the challenges, the brain’s functions and memories can be represented surprisingly compactly, suggesting that successful reanimation of the brain may be achievable.… read more
How To Make a Nanodiamond: A Simple Tool for Positional Diamond Mechanosynthesis, and its Method of Manufacture
January 27, 2006 by Robert A. Freitas Jr.
Robert A. Freitas Jr. has filed the first known patent application on positional mechanosynthesis, which is also the first on positional diamond mechanosynthesis. The “Freitas process” — more fully described here — is a method for building a tool for molecularly precise fabrication of physical structures. Methods of making diamondoid structures are detailed here, but the same toolbuilding process can be extended to other materials, mechanosynthetic processes, and structures. And those tools can be used to create bigger structures, which ….… read more
May 5, 2006 by Nick Bostrom
If we believe that nanotechnology will eventually amount to a technological revolution, and if we are going to attempt nanoethics, we should consider some of the earlier technological revolutions that humanity has undergone and how our moral principles and technology impact assessment exercises would have fared.… read more
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
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.
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
A Simple Model of Unbounded Evolutionary Versatility as a Largest-Scale Trend in Organismal Evolution
June 25, 2002 by Peter D. Turney
The idea that there are large-scale trends in the evolution of biological organisms, such as increasing complexity, is highly controversial. But Peter Turney presents a simple computational model showing that local adaptation to a dynamic, randomly changing environment results in a global trend towards increasing evolutionary versatility, which implies an accelerating evolutionary pace, and that this trend can continue without bound if there is sufficient ongoing change in the environment.… read more
Nanomedicine, Volume IIA: Biocompatibility, the second volume in Robert A. Freitas, Jr.’s Nanomedicine series, has been published just in time to provide an authoritative scientific foundation to address the growing concerns about the biocompatibility of nanotechnology in the environmental and medical communities.… read more
The ability to build complex diamondoid medical nanorobots to molecular precision, and then to build them cheaply enough in sufficiently large numbers to be useful therapeutically, will revolutionize the practice of medicine and surgery.… read more
February 4, 2007 by Ray Kurzweil
Ray Kurzweil responds to John Brockman’s The Edge Annual Question – 2007: WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT? WHY?… read more