Kurzweil teleports to nanotech conference

March 7, 2002 | Source: KurzweilAI

Richardson, Texas, March 7, 2002 — Ray Kurzweil “teleported” today to the Nanoventures 2002 conference, which is focusing on commercialization of nanotechnology.

Photo: Nathen Fox

Speaking from an office in New York City, Kurzweil gave a keynote address on the future of nanotechnology to more than 400 venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and others in Texas via Teleportec’s two-way “Teleportation Technology,” which creates the appearance of a life-size, 3-D person at a remote location and gives the speaker telepresence to achieve two-way eye contact for real-time, two-way interaction.

“The most significant implication of nanotechnology is that we will be able to expand human intelligence through direct intimate connection with non-biological intelligence,” said Kurzweil.

“We’ve already demonstrated actually the ability for electronic devices that are very small based on nanotechnology principles to communicate wirelessly with biological neuron–technology called a neuron transistor, which actually communicates in both directions so it does not require surgery.

“Nanobots that are sitting in the bloodstream and the capillaries will actually establish two-way communication with our biological neurons.

“So we’re not talking about one thin pipe of communication between our biological brain and a computer as if we’re just taking a PC and putting it inside our brain; we’re talking about pervasively being able to have distributed intelligence with millions or billions of different points in our brain, basically augmenting our human capability.

Right now, we’re restricted to a mere 100 trillion connections, added Kurzweil. “I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty limiting…there are [hundreds] of conferences I’d like to go to, like this one, there are hundreds of books I’d like to read, there are 1000s of websites I’d like to visit and my bandwidth is just too limited.

“We’ll be able to add virtual connections. Instead of 100 trillion we’ll be able to have 200 trillion or 100 trillion times 1000.”

Paradigm shift

“Ray Kurzweil’s use of the Teleportec system has shown that natural human interaction is not limited to the physical presence of people in the same location,” said Duffie White, inventor of the system and CEO of Teleportec, based in Dallas and Manchester, England.

“This could cause a paradigm shift in the ability of people to accelerate the imparting of knowledge. Collaboration between people at different locations globally can speed up team accomplishments while still retaining all of the personal benefits of close human interaction.”

White said Teleportec Conference Systems are comparable to high-quality video conferencing systems. The system can transmit life-size images for two-way interaction with bandwidth as low as 128 Kbps, but optimal transmission at 1.5 Mbps speed, he added.

“I thought it worked really well,” Steve T. Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, told KurzweilAI.net. “I thought it was at least 95% of the real thing. In fact, the person that followed strangely enough seemed pale and flat. In comparison Ray almost was more realistic and three-dimensional. I thought it was a great symbolic adjunct to this conference as well.”

“The Teleportec event was a huge success,” said Katharine Green, Director, Corporate Communications at Zyvex. “Many people in the audience
were surprised to find out that Ray wasn’t really there. One of the
aisle monitors (who was collecting questions on index cards to hand
in to session moderators) actually wondered why he couldn’t hand Ray
questions on index cards.”

Kurzweil’s appearance followed in the footsteps of Arthur C. Clarke, who was teleported from Sri Lanka to Comdex in November 2001 to participate in a keynote address, and EDS Fellow Jeff Wacker, the first person to be teleported transatlanticly in June 2000.

KurzweilAI.net correspondent Nathen Fox contributed to this report.