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The Library Journal | The virtual book revisited

February 1, 1993 by Ray Kurzweil

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.

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

Live Moderated Chat: Are We Spiritual Machines?

July 24, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil, Jay W. Richards, William A. Dembski

On July 19, 2001, the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design hosted an online chat with Ray Kurzweil, Jay Richards, and William Dembski, three of the co-authors of the new book, Are We Spiritual Machines? Ray Kurzweil vs. the Critics of Strong A.I. The discussion focused on the nature of consciousness, free will vs. determinism, complexity, and implications of the eroding boundary between humans and intelligent machines.… read more

Nanotechnology Dangers and Defenses

March 27, 2006 by Ray Kurzweil

To avoid dangers such as unrestrained nanobot replication, we need relinquishment at the right level and to place our highest priority on the continuing advance of defensive technologies, staying ahead of destructive technologies. An overall strategy should include a streamlined regulatory process, a global program of monitoring for unknown or evolving biological pathogens, temporary moratoriums, raising public awareness, international cooperation, software reconnaissance, and fostering values of liberty, tolerance, and respect for knowledge and diversity.… 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.

Accelerated Living

September 24, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

In this article written for PC Magazine, Ray Kurzweil explores how advancing technologies will impact our personal lives.… 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

Sander Olson Interviews Ray Kurzweil

February 10, 2006 by Sander Olson, Ray Kurzweil

Nonbiological intelligence is multiplying by over 1,000 per decade. Once we can achieve the software of intelligence, which we will achieve through reverse-engineering the human brain, non-biological intelligence will soar past biological intelligence. By the 2040s, nonbiological intelligence will be a billion times more powerful than the 10^26 computations per second that all biological humanity represents.… read more

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

How Can We Possibly Tell If It’s Conscious?

February 7, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

Abstract of talk to be delivered at the “Toward a Science of Consciousness” Conference, April 10, 2002. Sponsored by the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona.… read more

Learning in the Age of Knowledge

August 6, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

An overview of how education is changing with technology, written for “The Futurecast,” a monthly column in the Library Journal.… read more

A myopic perspective on AI

September 2, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

In a recent Red Herring magazine article, writer Geoffrey James said “pundits can’t stop hyping the business opportunities of artificial intelligence” and described AI as a “technological backwater.” Ray Kurzweil challenges this view, citing “hundreds of examples of narrow AI deeply integrated into our information-based economy” and “many applications beginning to combine multiple methodologies,” a step towards the eventual achievement of “strong AI” (human-level intelligence in a machine).… 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

A Dialog with the New York Times on the Technological Implications of the September 11 Disaster

September 27, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

In preparation for the New York Times article, “In the Next Chapter, Is Technology an Ally?,” Ray Kurzweil engaged in a conversation with computer scientist Peter Neumann, science fiction author Bruce Sterling, law professor Lawrence Lessig, retired engineer Severo Ornstein, and cryptographer Whitfield Diffie, addressing questions of how technology and innovation will be shaped by the tragic events of September 11, 2001.… read more

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