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The Washington Post | Elon Musk’s five insights into solar energy

January 16, 2014

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Source: The Washington Post — January 16, 2014 | Dominic Basulto

Ray Kurzweil has been quick to point out the remarkable growth that’s possible with solar technology. According to Kurzweil’s calculations, we can expect to be energy independent within the next 20 years.

In his 2012 book Abundance — endorsed by Kurzweil — entrepreneur Peter Diamandis makes the most eloquent case for why the sun is such an important player in any future scenarios of energy self-sufficiency. [...]

Style | It’s Her party: Spike Jonze rolls out his latest

January 16, 2014

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Source: Style — December 17, 2013 | Lauren Goodman

Her is the first film Jonze has written himself, and it’s stunning. Set in a future Los Angeles, there was much chatter about artificial intelligence afterward in the Q&A, which Larry Ellison moderated.

Jonze mentioned Ray Kurzweil, the futurist who works at Google and who Mike Mills also cited when I interviewed him last week for Nowness, about a film he made about the future for SFMOMA. [...]

Ion Cinema | Her review

January 16, 2014

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Source: Ion Cinema — December 18, 2013 | Jordan M. Smith

As with the larger whole of his work, Jonze challenges our notions of consciousness and embodiment through the naive notion of fantasy, but this time he takes pains to tie down Theodore’s romance with a technologically plausible narrative that sees Ray Kurzweil’s singularity coming steadily nearer.

Despite the ever-prevalence of tech and disconnection between people, Her is a powerful work of emotionally driven cinema. [...]

Reel Change | The radical, reassuring message of Her

January 16, 2014

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Source: Reel Change — December 22, 2013 | Noah Gittell

Key to any discussion about science-fiction movies, including Spike Jonze’s new film Her, is the concept of “singularity,” the predicted moment when human beings will create true artificial intelligence.

Writers like Vernon Vinge and Ray Kurzweil have predicted when this moment will occur (Vinge says 2030, while Kurzweil thinks it will be closer to 2045), but both agree that predicting the course of history after the singularity is impossible… read more

Gizmodo | Don’t worry about the chrimbo flab, Ray Kurzweil says we’ll soon be able to switch off our fat cells

January 16, 2014

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Source: Gizmodo — December 31, 2013 | Gary Cutlack

Ray Kurzweil, a man who has a lucky habit of guessing things about the future that usually turn out to be on the money, believes we’re on the cusp of extending our lives even further, thanks to nanobots and the looming ability to deactivate our body’s ability to store fat.

Kurzweil’s fantastic timeline sees mankind develop the ability to deactivate human fat cells by the year 2020, shutting… read more

Belfast Telegraph | Technology is poised to become a feast for the senses

January 16, 2014

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Source: Belfast Telegraph — January 16, 2014 | Rhodri Marsden

Few of us can conceive of the pace with which technological power is developing.

Ray Kurzweil (author, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google) predicts that, by 2025, we’ll have a computer which has the processing power of the human brain.

Society will also have to work out how it’s going to handle the hyper-connectivity of a multisensory internet. [...]

Mashable | Why Her is the best movie ever made about the singularity

January 16, 2014

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Source: Mashable — January 15, 2014 | Adario Strange

Popularized by science fiction author Vernor Vinge as well as inventor and now Google director of engineering Ray Kurzweil, the singularity is a theoretical point in future history when artificial intelligences exceed the power of the human mind, become self-aware and dramatically change the balance of power on the planet while simultaneously transforming the very nature of humanity itself.

Google recently doubled down on the idea of using… read more

Los Angeles Times | Transcendence into directing for cinematographer Wally Pfister

January 14, 2014

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Source: Los Angeles Times — January 10, 2014 | Steven Zeitchik

Inspired by the idea of the singularity — the term coined by futurist Ray Kurzweil to describe the merger of humans and sentient machines — Transcendence stakes out a middle ground between utopian and apocalyptic visions of the decades ahead.

“I wanted to get away from the cliched notion of a sentient machine taking over the world,” Pfister said. “Is it benevolent or malevolent? I want the audience… read more

Wired | Why Her will dominate UI design even more than Minority Report

January 13, 2014

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Source: Wired — January 13, 2014 | Kyle van Hemert

A few weeks into the making of Her, Spike Jonze’s new flick about romance in the age of artificial intelligence, the director had something of a breakthrough.

After poring over the work of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists trying to figure out how, exactly, his artificially intelligent female lead should operate, Jonze arrived at a critical insight: Her, he realized, isn’t a movie about technology. It’s a movie… read more

Smithsonian | This orb-shaped solar power device works on the cloudiest days

January 13, 2014

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Source: Smithsonian — January 8, 2014 | Tuan C. Nguyen

Nearly six years ago, futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted that, within 20 years, solar power technology would advance to the point where it would be able to supply all of the world’s energy needs.

His optimistic forecast wasn’t too far-fetched considering that the amount of energy Earth receives in just one hour would be enough to power humans’ lives for an entire year. [...]

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