The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence

September 8, 2009
Author:
Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
Penguin Books (1/1/1999)

Amazon | How much do we humans enjoy our current status as the most intelligent beings on earth? Enough to try to stop our own inventions from surpassing us in smarts? If so, we’d better pull the plug right now, because if Ray Kurzweil is right we’ve only got until about 2020 before computers outpace the human brain in computational power.

Kurzweil, artificial intelligence expert and author of The Age of Intelligent Machines, shows that technological evolution moves at an exponential pace.

Further, he asserts, in a sort of swirling postulate, time speeds up as order increases, and vice versa. He calls this the “Law of Time and Chaos,” and it means that although entropy is slowing the stream of time down for the universe overall, and thus vastly increasing the amount of time between major events, in the eddy of technological evolution the exact opposite is happening, and events will soon be coming faster and more furiously.

This means that we’d better figure out how to deal with conscious machines as soon as possible — they’ll soon not only be able to beat us at chess, but also likely demand civil rights, and might at last realize the very human dream of immortality.