essays collection By Author | A-Z

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 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 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 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 | A Personal Postscript

February 21, 2001

Pattern matching is the basis of Raymond Kurzweil’s inventions in optical character recognition, speech recognition and synthesis, and electronic music. From Ray Kurzweil’s revolutionary book The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990.… read more

THE AGE of INTELLIGENT MACHINES | Thoughts About Artificial Intelligence

February 21, 2001

One of the visionaries in the field of AI shares his thoughts on AI, from the beginning of the last decade. From Ray Kurzweil’s revolutionary book The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990.… read more

THE AGE of INTELLIGENT MACHINES | Knowledge Processing–From File Servers to Knowledge Servers

February 21, 2001

This chapter from The Age of Intelligent Machines (published in 1990) addresses the history and development of AI, and where it was headed, circa 1990.… read more

THE AGE of INTELLIGENT MACHINES | Can Computers Think?

February 21, 2001

The complexities of the mind mirror the challenges of Artificial Intelligence. This article discusses the nature of thought itself–can it be replicated in a machine? From Ray Kurzweil’s revolutionary book The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990.… read more

THE AGE of INTELLIGENT MACHINES | Brother Giorgio’s Kangaroo

February 21, 2001

Scientist-painter Harold Cohen reveals the mystery works behind his famous “artificially” intelligent AARON program, which draws landscapes and portraits. A profound symbiosis of man and machine, as computer imitates art and art imitates life, it demonstrates the growing capacity of technology to reflect the subtlety of human experience. From Ray Kurzweil’s revolutionary book The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990.… 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 10,000-Year Library

April 11, 2001 by Stewart Brand

Much of the information of the past–as well as the present–is endangered or lost forever. Underground rock vaults, “time mail,” and a museum built around a 10,000 year clock are some of the ideas for assuring that vital information survives future crashes of civilizations.… read more

The (needed) new economics of abundance

May 8, 2006 by Steve Burgess

Molecular manufacturing coupled with AI could bring about a “personal manufacturing” revolution and a new era of abundance. But abundance could be highly disruptive, so we need to design a new economics of abundance so society is prepared for it.… read more

Texas thinks small, plans Nanotech Corridor

June 11, 2001 by Amara D. Angelica

Texas wants to be the nanotech equivalent of Silicon Valley. It has a good start north of Dallas: big bucks, top talent, leading university, and proximity to nanotech pioneering company Zyvex and the Telecom Corridor. But other centers around the country are also in the race to lead the nano world.… 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

Technotopia and the Death of Nature

May 22, 2002 by James John Bell

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

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