- Andrew Kos
- Bill Burlein
- Bryan Williams
- Christian Vozar
- Jeff Brown
- John Kraus
- Joseph Mak
- Mark Daugherty
- Matt Van Bergen
- Melissa Geoffrion
- Michael Kang
- Michael Chan
- Michael Hodgdon
- Mike Motherway
- Molly McDaniel
- Nadia Maciulis
- Pat McLoughlin
- Paul Michelotti
- Puru Hemnani
- Rohit Srinath
- Ryan Lunka
- Tom Kelly
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Silicon.com is running an interview with technology innovator, Ray Kurzweil. I thoroughly enjoyed Kurzweil’s books The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near in which he draws out the curve of technology from the start of human history through the present day, and into the future.
He predicts (among many other things) that machines will unequivocally pass the Turing Test by 2029. But what’s more compelling is that this is largely moot since the line between machine and human will be so blurred.
Kurzweil envisions a world, well within our lifetime, where machines have access to our “software” (genes), and can reprogram us to better fight cancer, retain less fat, or even augment our memory.
Sound crazy? Consider this quote from the article:
“The computer in your cell phone today is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful and about a hundred thousand times smaller [than the one computer at MIT in 1965] and so that’s a billion-fold increase in capability per dollar or per euro that we’ve actually seen in the last 40 years,” says Kurzweil.
“The rate is actually speeding up a little bit so we will see another billion-fold increase in the next 25 years. And another hundred-thousand-fold shrinking. So what used to fit in a building now fits in your pocket, what fits in your pocket now will fit inside a blood cell in 25 years.”
Imagine nanotech running through your body that can regulate blood pressure, kill cancer cells as they are first detected, strengthen neural pathways in the brain effectively making us “smarter”, or shut off the aging process in our cells altogether.
And that’s just the next 30 years…
My grandmother passed away this summer at the age of 97. She was already in her 60s when computers started to enter the mainstream. Now in my 30s, what will I see over the next 30 years that will change my world?
Agree with him or not, he paints a compelling picture, and he has history on his side. If the line between machine and human becomes increasing blurred, where does our biology end and our consciousness begin? What would such a world do to our sense of morality, ethics, and even Religion?
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