Author 400692

Ray
Kurzweil, fully Raymond "Ray" Kurzweil
1948

American Author, Computer Scientist, Inventor, Futurist, Co-Founder of Singularity University and Director of Engineering at Google, Recipient of the MIT-Lemelson Prize, National Medal of Technology, 19 Honorary Doctorate Degrees and Inducted into National Inventor's Hall of Fame,Principal Developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, 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

Author Quotes

Our immediate reaction to hearing someone has died is that it's not a good thing. We're sad. We consider it a tragedy. So for thousands of years, we did the next best thing which is to rationalize. 'Oh that tragic thing? That's really a good thing.' One of the major goals of religion is to come up with some story that says death is really a good thing. It's not. It's a tragedy. And people think we're talking about a 95-year-old living for hundreds of years. But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking radical life extension, radical life enhancement.

Some scientists say, ?Well, it?s not a scientific issue, therefore it?s not a real issue. Therefore consciousness is just an illusion and we should not waste time on it.? But we shouldn?t be too quick to throw it overboard because our whole moral system and ethical system is based on consciousness. If I cause suffering to some other conscious human, that?s considered immoral and probably a crime. On the other hand, if I destroy some property, it?s probably okay if it?s my property. If it?s your property, it?s probably not okay. But that?s not because I?m causing pain and suffering to the property. I?m causing pain and suffering to the owner of the property. And there?s recognition that animals are probably conscious and that animal cruelty is not okay. But it?s okay to cause pain and suffering to the avatar in your computer, at least today. That may not be the case 20 years from now.

The story of evolution unfolds with increasing levels of abstraction.

Today, solar is still more expensive than fossil fuels, and in most situations it still needs subsidies or special circumstances, but the costs are coming down rapidly ? we are only a few years away from parity. And then it?s going to keep coming down, and people will be gravitating towards solar, even if they don?t care at all about the environment, because of the economics. So right now it?s at half a percent of the world?s energy. People tend to dismiss technologies when they are half a percent of the solution. But doubling every two years means it?s only eight more doublings before it meets a hundred percent of the world?s energy needs. So that?s 16 years. We will increase our use of electricity during that period, so add another couple of doublings: In 20 years we?ll be meeting all of our energy needs with solar, based on this trend which has already been under way for 20 years.

What we spend our time on is probably the most important decision we make.

Our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality of information technology is exponential, and that makes a profound difference. If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion.

Sometimes people talk about conflict between humans and machines, and you can see that in a lot of science fiction. But the machines we're creating are not some invasion from Mars. We create these tools to expand our own reach.

The telephone is virtual reality in that you can meet with someone as if you are together, at least for the auditory sense.

Transcendent Man has already premiered at the Tribeca film festival and it will have an international premier at the Amsterdam documentary film festival next month. There?s quite a lot of interest in that, and there are discussions with distributors. So it?s expected to have a theatrical release both in this country and internationally early next year. And The Singularity is Near will follow. Movies are a really different venue. They cover less content than a book but they have more emotional impact. It?s a big world out there. No matter how many times I speak ? and even with all the press coverage of all these ideas, whether it?s featuring me or others ? I?m impressed by how many otherwise thoughtful people still haven?t heard of these ideas. I think it?s important that people not just understand the Singularity, which is some decades away, but the impact right now, and in the fairly near future, of the exponential growth of information technology. It?s not an obscure part of the economy and the social scene. Every new period is going to bring new opportunities and new challenges. These are the issues that people should be focusing on. It?s not just the engineers who should be worrying about the downsides of biotechnology or nanotechnology, for example. And people should also understand the opportunities. And I think there are anti-technology movements that continue to spread among the intelligentsia that are actually pretty ignorant.

When I came to MIT [in 1967] it had one computer; you needed influence to get inside the building and you had to be an engineer to use it. Now computers are everywhere, including the poorest nations of the world, and the law of accelerating returns means they get cheaper as they become more ubiquitous. The computer you just called me on is a billion times more powerful per unit currency than the one I used when I was a student, and it will be a billion times more powerful again in another 25 years.

Our primate ancestors was the development of a larger cerebral cortex as well as the development of increased volume of gray-matter tissue in certain regions of the brain.32 This change occurred, however, on the very slow timescale of biological evolution and still involves an inherent

Supercomputers will achieve one human brain capacity by 2010, and personal computers will do so by about 2020.

The way that these massively redundant structures in the brain differentiate is through learning and experience. The current state of the art in AI does, however, enable systems to also learn from their own experience. The Google self-driving cars (which have driven over 140,000 miles through California cities and towns) learn from their own driving experience as well as from Google cars driven by human drivers. As I mentioned, Watson learned most of its knowledge by reading on its own.

Virtual reality worlds and internet applications would be accessed via implants, and robots would be petitioning for recognition of their rights as conscious beings.

When you talk to a human in 2035, you'll be talking to someone that's a combination of biological and non-biological intelligence.

Our technology, our machines, is part of our humanity. We created them to extend ourselves, and that is what is unique about human beings.

Technology has always been a double edged sword. Just like fire has been used for good and evil, AI can be as dangerous as fire when put in the wrong hands.

There are a variety of bodies that we will provide for our machines, and that they will provide for themselves: bodies built through nanotechnology (i.e., building highly complex physical systems atom by atom), virtual bodies (that exist only in virtual reality), bodies comprised of swarms of nanobots, and other technologies. Is this really me? For one thing, old biological Ray (that's me) still exists. I'll still be here in my carbon-cell-based brain. Alas, I will have to sit back and watch the new Ray succeed in endeavors that I could only dream of.

We appear to be programmed with the idea that there are 'things' outside of our self, and some are conscious, and some are not.

While we have the illusion that we receive high-resolution images of our eyes, the optic nerve sends only outlines and clues about interesting spots in our field of vision to the brain. We 'hallucinating' is actually the world from our cortical memory.

Paul Allen?s statement that every structure and neural circuit is unique is simply impossible. That would mean that the design of the brain would require hundreds of trillions of bytes of information. Yet the design of the brain (like the rest of the body) is contained in the genome. And while the translation of the genome into a brain is not straightforward, the brain cannot have more design information than the genome. Note that epigenetic information (such as the peptides controlling gene expression) do not appreciably add to the amount of information in the genome. Experience and learning do add significantly to the amount of information, but the same can be said of AI systems. I show in The Singularity Is Near that after lossless compression (due to massive redundancy in the genome), the amount of design information in the genome is about 50 million bytes, roughly half of which pertains to the brain. [4] That?s not simple, but it is a level of complexity we can deal with and represents less complexity than many software systems in the modern world.

The Blue Brain project expects to have a full human-scale simulation of the cerebral cortex by 2018. I think that's a little optimistic, actually, but I do make the case that by 2029 we will have very detailed models and simulations of all the different brain regions.

There are downsides to every technology, fires kept us warm but also burned down our villages.

We are beginning to see intimations of this in the implantation of computer devices into the human body.

With the increasingly important role of intelligent machines in all phases of our lives--military, medical, economic and financial, political--it is odd to keep reading articles with titles such as Whatever Happened to Artificial Intelligence? This is a phenomenon that Turing had predicted: that machine intelligence would become so pervasive, so comfortable, and so well integrated into our information-based economy that people would fail even to notice it.

Author Picture
First Name
Ray
Last Name
Kurzweil, fully Raymond "Ray" Kurzweil
Birth Date
1948
Bio

American Author, Computer Scientist, Inventor, Futurist, Co-Founder of Singularity University and Director of Engineering at Google, Recipient of the MIT-Lemelson Prize, National Medal of Technology, 19 Honorary Doctorate Degrees and Inducted into National Inventor's Hall of Fame,Principal Developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, 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