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

How the world will change. 2017: Self-driving cars: Google self-driving cars have gone half a million miles without human drivers on highways and city streets, with no incidents. Within ten years they will be ubiquitous. Humans have a fairly narrow field of view, these cars have sensors, both visual and laser, and artificial intelligence to be able to assess what?s going on in their environment. Ultimately these cars will communicate with each other and co-ordinate their movements. You also won?t need to own a car, there?ll be a pool of them circulating, and you?ll just call one from your phone when you need it. 2018: Personal assistant search engines. Right now, search is based mostly on looking for key words. What I?m working on is creating a search engine that understands the meaning of these billion of documents. It will be more like a human assistant that you can talk things over with, that you can express complicated, even personal concerns to. If you?re wearing something like Google Glass, it could annotate reality; it could even listen in to a conversation, giving helpful hints. It might suggest an anecdote that would fit into your conversation in real time. 2020: Switch off our fat cells. It was in our interest a thousand years ago to store every calorie. There were no refrigerators, so you stored them in the fat cells of your body, which now means we have an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Thanks to the Human Genome Project, medicine is now information technology, and we?re learning how to reprogram this outdated software of our bodies exponentially. In animals with diabetes, scientists have now successfully turned off the fat insulin receptor gene. So these animals ate ravenously, remained slim, didn?t get diabetes, and lived 20 per cent longer. I would say that this will be a human intervention in five to ten years, and we will have the means of really controlling our weight independent of our eating. 2020: Click and print designer clothes at home. Currently there is a lot of overenthusiasm about 3-D printing. Typically where people are prematurely very excited it leads to disillusionment and a bust, like the dot.com crash. I think we?re about five years away from the really important applications. By the early 2020s we?ll be replacing a significant part of manufacturing with 3-D printing. We?ll be able to print out clothing and there?ll be an open source market of free designs. There will be personal 3-D printers, but also shared ones in your local Starbucks, for example. 2023: Full-immersion virtual realities. Computer games have pioneered virtual reality, and within ten years ? but probably more like five ? these will be totally convincing, full-immersion virtual realities, at least for the visual and auditory senses, and there will be some simulation of the tactile sense. To fully master the tactile sense we have to actually tap into the nervous system. That will be a scenario within 20 years. We?ll be able to send little devices, nanobots, into the brain and capillaries, and they?ll provide additional sensory signals, as if they were coming from your real senses. You could for example get together with a friend, even though you were hundreds of thousands of miles apart, and take a virtual walk on a virtual Mediterranean beach and hold their hand and feel the warm spray of the moist air in your face. 2030: Vertical meat and vegetable farms. There will be a new vertical agriculture revolution, because right now we use up a third of the usable land of the world to produce food, which is very inefficient. Instead we will grow food in a computerised vertical factory building (which is a more efficient use of real estate) controlled by artificial intelligence, which recycles all of the nutrients so there?s no environmental impact at all. This would include hydroponic plants, fruits and vegetables, and in vitro cloning of meat. This could also be very healthy ? we could have meat with Omega-3 fats instead of saturated fats, this sort of thing. 2033: 100 per cent of our energy from solar. We are applying new nanotechnologies to the design of solar panels, and the costs are coming down dramatically. A recent report by Deutsche Bank said that ?the cost of unsubsidised solar power is about the same as the cost of electricity from the grid in India and Italy. By 2014 even more countries will achieve solar grid parity?. So I do believe that within 20 years we could get all our energy from solar energy. I presented this not so long ago to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was actually my classmate at MIT?s Sloan School of Management, and he said: ?Ray, do we have enough sunlight to do this with?? and I said: ?Yes, we?ve got 10,000 times more than we need. 2040: Stay young for ever. Twenty years from now, we will be adding more time than is going by to your remaining life expectancy. We?ve quadrupled life expectancy in the past 1,000 years and doubled it in the past 200 years. We?re now able to reprogram health and medicine as software, and so that pace is only going to continue to accelerate. There are three bridges to life extension. Bridge 1 is taking aggressive steps to stay healthy today, with today?s knowledge. The goal is to get to bridge 2: the biotechnology revolution, where we can reprogram biology away from disease. Bridge 3 is the nanotechnology revolution. The quintessential application of that is nanobots ? little robots in the bloodstream that augment your immune system. We can create an immune system that recognizes all disease, and could be reprogrammed to deal with new pathogens.

If we could convert 0.03 percent of the sunlight that falls on the earth into energy, we could meet all of our projected needs for 2030.

It is true that Watson is not quite at human levels in its ability to understand human language (if it were, we would be at the Turing test level now), yet it was able to defeat the best humans. This is because of the inherent speed and reliability of memory that computers have. So when a computer does reach human levels, which I believe will happen by the end of the 2020s, it will be able to go out on the Web and read billions of pages as well as have experiences in online virtual worlds. Combining human-level pattern recognition with the inherent speed and accuracy of computers will be very powerful. But this is not an alien invasion of intelligence machines?we create these tools to make ourselves smarter. I think [Paul] Allen will agree with me that this is what is unique about the human species: we build these tools to extend our own reach.

My view is that the likely outcome is that on the one hand, from the perspective of biological humanity, these superhuman intelligences will appear to be their transcendent servants, satisfying their needs and desires. On the other hand, fulfilling the wishes of a revered biological legacy will occupy only a trivial portion of the intellectual power that the Singularity will bring.

Another promise is to be able to create devices that are size of blood cells and by the way biology is an example of nanotechnology, the key features of biology are at the molecular level. So, that?s actually the existence proof that nanotechnology is feasible but biology is based on limited side of materials. Everything is built out of proteins and that?s a limited class of substances. With nanotechnology we can create things that are far more durable and far more powerful. One scientist designed a robotic red blood cell it?s a thousand times more powerful than the biological version so, if you were to replace a portion of your biological red blood cells with this respirocytes the robotic versions. You could do an Olympic sprint for 15 minutes without taking a breath or sit at the bottom of your pool for 4 hours. If I were to say someday you?ll have millions or even billions of these nanobots, nano-robots , blood cell size devices going through your body and keeping you healthy from inside, I might think well, that sounds awfully futuristic. I?d point out this already in 50 experiments in animals of doing exactly that with the first generation of nano engineered blood cell size devices. One scientist cured type 1 diabetes in rats with the blood cell size device. Seven nanometer pores let?s insulin out in the controlled fashion. At MIT, there?s a blood cell size device that can detect and destroy cancer cells in the bloodstream. These are early experiments but keep in mind that because of the exponential progression of this technology, these technologies will be a billion time more powerful in 25 years and you get some idea what will be feasible.

Death is a great tragedy?a profound loss?I don?t accept it?I think people are kidding themselves when they say they are comfortable with death.

I consider myself an inventor, entrepreneur, and author.

If we look at the life cycle of technologies, we see an early period of over-enthusiasm, then a 'bust' when disillusionment sets in, followed by the real revolution.

It took the printing press 400 years to reach a large audience. It took the telephone 50 years, the mobile phone seven years, and social networks only three.

My vision is not a utopian one. For example, I?m working with the U.S. Army on developing a rapid response system for biological viruses, and that?s actually the approach that I advocate ? that we need to put resources and attention to the downsides. But I think we do have the scientific tools to create a rapid response system in case of a biological viral attack. It took us five years to sequence HIV; we can sequence a virus now in one day. And we could, in a matter of days, create an RNA interference medication based on sequencing a new biological virus. This is something we created to contend with software viruses. And we have a technological immune system that works quite well. Also, we also need ethical standards for responsible practitioners of AI, similar to the Asilomar Guidelines for biotech, or the Forsyth Institute Guidelines for nanotech, which are based on the Asilomar Guidelines. So it?s a complicated issue. We can?t just come up with a simple solution and then just cross it off our worry list. On the other hand, these technologies can vastly expand our creativity. They?ve already democratized the tools of creativity. And they are overcoming human suffering, extending our longevity and can provide not only radical life extension but radical life expansion.

Another theory is the idea of purposeful complexity. If you achieve a certain level of complexity, then that is conscious. I actually like that theory the most. I wrote about that extensively in The Singularity is Near. There have been attempts to measure complexity. You have Claude Shannon?s information theory, which basically involves the smallest algorithm that can generate a string of information. But that doesn?t deal with random information. Random information is not compressible, and would represent a lot of Shannon information, but it?s not really purposeful complexity. So you have to factor out randomness. Then you get the concept of arbitrary lists of information. Like, say, the New York telephone book is not random. It?s only compressible to a limited extent, but it?s not a high level of complexity. It?s largely an arbitrary list.

Doing real world projects is, I think, the best way to learn and also to engage the world and find out what the world is all about.

I decided to be an inventor when I was five. My parents had given me a few various enrichment toys like erector sets, and for some reason I had the idea that if I put things together just the right way, I could create the intended effect.

If you write a blog post, you've got something to say; you're not just creating words and synonyms. We'd like the computers to actually pick up on that semantic meaning.

It?s not the case that there are only a fixed number of positions, and if old people don?t die off, there?s no room for young people to come up with new ideas, because we?re constantly expanding knowledge? Knowledge is growing exponentially. It?s doubling approximately every year.

Nanotechnologies are broad concept, it?s simply refers to technology where the key features in measuring the small number of nanometers. A nanometer is the diameter 5 carbon atom so it?s very close to the molecular level and we already have new materials and devices that had been manufactured at the nanoscale. In fact, chips today, the key features are 50 or 60 nanometers so that is already nanotechnology. The true promise of nanotechnology is that ultimately we?ll be able to create devices that are manufactured at the molecular level by putting together, molecular fragments in new combinations so, I can send you an information file and a desktop nanofactory will assemble molecules according to the definition in the file and create a physical objects so I can e-mail you a pair of trousers or a module to build housing or a solar panel and we?ll be able to create just about anything we need in the physical world from information files with very inexpensive input materials? just a few years ago if I wanted to send you a movie or a book or a recorded album, I would send you a FedEx package, now I can e-mail you an attachment and you can create a movie or a book from that. On the future, I?ll be able to e-mail you a blouse or a meal. So, that?s the promise of nanotechnology.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Don?t be too concerned about what?s practical. Follow your passion and be who you would like to be

I describe a more meaningful concept of Purposeful Complexity in the book. I propose that there are ways of measuring purposeful complexity. In this theory, humans are more conscious than cats, but cats are conscious, but not quite as much because they?re not quite as complex. A worm is conscious, but much less so. The sun is conscious. It actually has a fair amount of structure and complexity, but probably less than a cat, so?

I'm an inventor. I became interested in long-term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started.

It's the third requirement that concerns me; the neurotransmitter concentrations, which are contained in structures that are finer yet than the inter-neuronal connections. These are, in my view, also critical aspects of the brain's learning process. We see the analogue of the neurotransmitter concentrations in the simplified neural net models that I use routinely in my pattern recognition work. The learning of the net is reflected in the connection weights as well as the connection topology (some neural net methods allow for self-organization of the topology, some do not, but all provide for self-organization of the weights). Without the weights, the net has no competence.

New technologies can be used for destructive purposes. The answer is to develop rapid-response systems for new dangers like a bioterrorist creating a new biological virus.

Around the 2030s, tiny "nanobots" able to repair and preserve our organs will keep us healthier and smarter.

Electronic circuits are millions of times faster than our biological circuits. At first we will have to devote all of this speed increase to compensating for the relative lack of parallelism in our computers, but ultimately the digital neocortex will be much faster than the biological variety and will only continue to increase in speed.

I do have to pick my priorities. Nobody can do everything.

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