Slate | Ray Kurzweil discusses longevity, robot revolts at SXSW

March 12, 2012

Source: Slate — March 12, 2012 | Katherine Goldstein

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On Monday at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Ray Kurzweil, the prolific author, scientist, and futurist, presented a keynote conversation with Time magazine columnist Lev Grossman to discuss, in the broadest terms, his vision of the future, including augmented-reality glasses, 3D printing airplanes, and reforming our education system.

Here are three of his most interesting predictions.

1) Kurzweil, a long-time advocate of extreme human longevity, says that we will begin to think of improving our health and longevity along the same lines as writing computer programs. Genes, he argues, are essentially software — except we haven’t been able to refine them. In Kurzwell’s future, we’ll turn genes on and off, such as the genetic disposition to store calories in case nourishment isn’t available for long stretches, in a process akin  to updating a phone’s operating system. [...]