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Discovery News | Futurist Ray Kurzweil joins Google: DNews nugget

December 17, 2012

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Source: Discovery News — Decemeber 17, 2012 | DNews editors

Ray Kurzweil is more than an inventor. Sure, he gave us the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.

But Kurzweil is more than that. He is keenly focused on… read more

The Huffington Post | Mind uploading & digital immortality may be reality by 2045, futurists say

June 18, 2013

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Source: The Huffington Post — June 18, 2013 | Tanya Lewis

By 2045, humans will achieve digital immortality by uploading their minds to computers, or at least that’s what some futurists believe. This notion formed the basis for the Global Futures 2045 International Congress, a futuristic conference held here June 14-15.

The conference, which is the brainchild of Russian multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov, fell somewhere between hardcore science and science fiction. It featured a diverse cast of speakers,… read more

Mashable | Children’s book teaches kids death is wrong

March 18, 2014

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Source: Mashable — March 17, 2014 | Rebecca Hiscott

Popularized by researchers like gerontologist Aubrey de Grey and futurist Ray Kurzweil — who predicts a machine will be able to pass the Turing test by the year 2029 — the doctrine of transhumanism holds that humans can transcend their physical limitations using technology.

Central to this philosophy is the belief that technology will eventually be able to extend human life spans by hundreds of years, or perhaps indefinitely.

TechCrunch | Yes Gmail users have some privacy, here’s what you can expect

August 14, 2013

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Source: TechCrunch — August 14, 2013 | Gregory Ferenstein

Google can share your data across services, such as maps and docs. Google’s new Director Of Engineering, futurist Ray Kurzweil, told me that he wants to build a search engine that knows what users want before they do.

In order to give you up-to-date traffic directions on your commute, shopping recommendations, and tailored search answers, it’s helpful to know where you live, where you… read more

News Corp Australia | Google’s latest company Calico plans to do anti-ageing research

November 27, 2013

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Source: News Corp Australia — November 27, 2013 | Victoria Craw

Now Google bosses have turned their sights on a much more complex subject – the human body. The tech giant has recently embarked on a series of high profile hires for its new venture Calico, a company which wants to extend human life by up to 100 years.

It comes after the company hired Ray Kurzweil as engineering director, the 65-year-old credited with inventing speech recognition technology who… read more

Boing Boing | A beautiful, synapse-by-synapse tour of a brain

January 31, 2014

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Source: Boing Boing — January 31, 2014 | Maggie Koerth-Baker

The video is lovely, with some great shots of lab work and an animated tour of the mouse brain slices.

The animation looks like driving down a highway and watching buildings on the roadside appearing, becoming larger, and then shrinking in the rearview. It also underlines a bit why I’m pretty skeptical of Ray Kurzweil’s singularity.

Or, at least, his estimations of how long it will take… read more

Slate | Johnny Depp is starring in a movie about the singularity

December 20, 2013

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Source: Slate — December 20, 2013 | Will Oremus

Ray Kurzweil is convinced the technological singularity is nigh. So is Johnny Depp’s character, it seems, in a Hollywood flick that’s due out in April.

This may be the singularity’s mainstream moment. Kurzweil is its preeminent latter-day apostle, and he was recently hired as an engineer by Google to work on hastening its arrival by teaching computers to understand English. Now we’ve got Captain Jack Sparrow explaining it in a… read more

Venture Beat | The coming era of unlimited and free clean energy

September 22, 2014

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Source: Venture Beat — September 21, 2014 | Vivek Wadhwa

Futurist Ray Kurzweil notes that solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years, as costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs.

Energy usage will keep increasing, so this is a moving target. But, by Kurzweil’s estimates, inexpensive renewable sources will provide more… read more

BBC News | Where tech and philosophy collide

August 12, 2009

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Source: BBC News — August 12, 2009 | Iain Mackenzie

Critics of transhumanism say it will lead to a world where the wealthy have access to life extending and enhancing innovations, while the poor languish with unmodified, “Mark 1″ human bodies….Technology is affordable only by the wealthy when it doesn’t work very well,” counters Ray Kurzweil. “By the time it is perfected it ends up being extremely inexpensive.

Consider mobile phones; only the wealthy could afford them when they… read more

Forbes | Calling all transhumanists

October 2, 2009

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Source: Forbes — October 2, 2009 | Courtney Boyd Myers

The Singularity is not yet here, but its annual conference is, uniting futurists and their man-machine dreams. Technology futurists love to talk about the Singularity as the point in time when technology starts to progress so rapidly that machine intelligence melds with and surpasses human intelligence. It is to futurists what the Rapture is to fundamentalist Christians.… read more

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