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

This is what I call a deathist statement, part of a millennium-old rationalization of death as a good thing. It once seemed to make sense, because up until very recently you could not make a plausibly sound argument where life could be indefinitely extended. So religion, which emerged in prescientific times, did the next best thing, which is to say, ?Oh, that tragic thing? That?s really a good thing.? We rationalized that because we did have to accept it. But in my mind death is a tragedy.

We'll be able to have very intelligent, little robots with computers going inside our bloodstream, keeping us healthy from inside, destroying cancer at the level of one cell.

A primary reason that people believe that life is getting worse is because our information about the problems of the world has steadily improved. If there is a battle today somewhere on the planet, we experience it almost as if we were there. During World War II, tens of thousands of people might perish in a battle, and if the public could see it at all it was in a grainy newsreel in a movie theater weeks later. During World War I a small elite could read about the progress of the conflict in the newspaper (without pictures). During the nineteenth century there was almost no access to news in a timely fashion for anyone.

Being a Singularitarian has often been an alienating and lonely experience for me because most people I encounter do not share my outlook. Most "big thinkers" are totally unaware of this big thought. In a myriad of statements and comments people typically evidence the common wisdom that human life is short, that out physical and intellectual reach is limited, and that nothing fundamental will change in our lifetimes. I expect this narrow view to change as the implications of accelerating change become increasingly apparent, but having more people with whom to share my outlook is a major reason that I wrote this book.

Evolution moves towards greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love. In every monotheistic tradition God is likewise described as all of these qualities, only without limitation: infinite knowledge, infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, infinite love, and so on. Of course, even the accelerating growth of evolution never achieves an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially it certainly moves rapidly in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably towards this conception of God, although never quite reaching this ideal. We can regard, therefore, the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form to be an essentially spiritual undertaking.

I really do believe it is feasible to slow down the aging process. We call that a bridge to a bridge to a bridge -- to the full flowering of the biotechnology revolution.

In the coming decades, a radical upgrading of our body?s physical and mental systems, already underway, will use nanobots to augment and ultimately replace our organs. We already know how to prevent most degenerative disease through nutrition and supplementation; this will be a bridge to the emerging biotechnology revolution, which in turn will be a bridge to the nanotechnology revolution. By 2030, reverse-engineering of the human brain will have been completed and nonbiological intelligence will merge with our biological brains.

My health regime is a wake-up call to my baby-boomer peers. Most of whom are accepting the normal cycle of life and accepting they are getting to the end of their productive years. That's not my view. Now that health and medicine is in information technology it is going to expand exponentially. We will see very dramatic changes ahead. According to my model it's only 10-15 years away from where we'll be adding more than a year every year to life expectancy because of progress. It's kind of a tipping point in longevity.

One cubic inch of nanotube circuitry, once fully developed, would be up to one hundred million times more powerful than the human brain.9

A successful person isn't necessarily better than her less successful peers at solving problems; her pattern-recognition facilities have just learned what problems are worth solving.

Biology is a software process. Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells, each governed by this process. You and I are walking around with outdated software running in our bodies, which evolved in a very different era.

Find your passion, learn how to add value to it, and commit to a lifetime of learning.

I think [technology] relinquishment is a bad idea for three reasons: Firstly, it would deprive us of profound benefits. I think we have a moral imperative to try to cure cancer, for example, and overcome the suffering that still exists in the world. Secondly, it would require a totalitarian government to implement a ban on technology. And thirdly, it would force these technologies underground, where they would actually be more dangerous.

In the future everything will become intelligent. Nano bots will infuse all the matter around us with information; rocks, trees, everything will become these intelligent computers. So at that point we can expand out into the rest of the universe, we will be sending basically nano technology infused with artificial intelligence, swarms of those will go out into the universe and basically find other matter and energy that we can then harness to expand the overall intelligence of our human machine civilization. The universe will wake up, it will become intelligent and that will multiply our intelligence trillions of trillions fold. You know we can?t really fully contemplate it and that?s really the main reason this is called the singularity. So regardless of what you call it, it will be the universe waking up. So does God exist, well I would say not yet.

My main thesis, which I call the law of accelerating returns, is not affected by the kind of things you are referring to. The exponential growth of computation is measured in many different ways continued through the entire 20th century, completely unaffected by the little things like World War I and II or the Great Depression. It was not affected at all by the recent economic downturn. This exponential growth of solar energy has continued through thick and thin. As the cost per watt of solar falls significantly below coal and oil, people are going to go to that for economic reasons. It won?t be a political issue.

A thousand-bit quantum computer would vastly outperform any conceivable DNA computer, or for that matter any conceivable non-quantum computer.

But as the end of this particular paradigm became clear, research pressure grew for the next paradigm. The technology of transistors kept the underlying trend of the exponential growth of price-performance going, and that led to the fifth paradigm (Moore?s law) and the continual compression of features on integrated circuits. There have been regular predictions that Moore?s law will come to an end. The semiconductor industry?s roadmap titled projects seven-nanometer features by the early 2020s. At that point, key features will be the width of 35 carbon atoms, and it will be difficult to continue shrinking them. However, Intel and other chip makers are already taking the first steps toward the sixth paradigm, which is computing in three dimensions to continue exponential improvement in price performance. Intel projects that three-dimensional chips will be mainstream by the teen years. Already three-dimensional transistors and three-dimensional memory chips have been introduced. This sixth paradigm will keep the LOAR going with regard to computer price performance to the point, later in this century, where a thousand dollars of computation will be trillions of times more powerful than the human brain. [1] And it appears that Allen and I are at least in agreement on what level of computation is required to functionally simulate the human brain.

Fredkin talks about an interesting feature of computer programs, including cellular automata: there is no shortcut possible to what the outcome is. This is the essential difference between the analytic approach to traditional mathematics, including differential equations, and the 'Computer' approach with algorithms. You can predict the future state of a system without knowing if you're using the analytical method. All the intermediate steps But cellular automata you should calculate all the intermediate steps to know how the outcome will be, you cannot predict the future, except through off future waiting? Fredkin explains, You can answer a question faster than if you do not know is what happens.... Fredkin believes that the universe is literally a computer and that it is used by someone or something to solve a problem. It sounds like a joke with good and bad news: the good news is that our lives have a purpose; the bad news is that our lives are the target of some hacker away who wants to calculate pi with an infinite number of decimal places.

I think all human beings are and should be fearful [of death], but realizing that death is a real tragedy.

Information defines your personality, your memories, your skills.

My mission at Google is to develop natural language understanding with a team and in collaboration with other researchers at Google.

Aging is not one process. It's many different things going on that cause us to age. I have a program that at least slows down each of these different processes.

By 2010 computers will disappear. They?ll be so small, they?ll be embedded in our clothing, in our environment. Images will be written directly to our retina, providing full-immersion virtual reality, augmented real reality. We?ll be interacting with virtual personalities.

Future machines will be human, even if they are not biological.

I think we are evolving rapidly into one world culture. It's certainly one world economy. With billions of people online, I think we'll appreciate the wisdom in many different traditions as we learn more about them. People were very isolated and didn't know anything about other religions 100 years ago.

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