Ray Kurzweil and the Singularity

What is the singularity? And what is so special about its promoter Ray Kurzweil? Kurzweil has gained the position as Director of Engineering at Google, thanks to his innovative work in the field of Artificial Intelligence. He is an expert futurist who has correctly predicted the majority of our technological advances. He is also an inventor, writer, and an expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence. But what brought him to fame was his promoting of the upcoming Technological Singularity.

Forbes has called him the “ultimate thinking machine”, the¬†Wall Street Journal “the restless¬†genius”, Inc. Magazine “the¬†rightful¬†heir of Thomas Edison”, and PBS has listed him¬†among¬†the 16 “revolutionaries who made America”.

In 1999, he received the US National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. He won the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the worlds largest for innovation. He has received many many more awards and honors, including nineteen honorary doctorates, and honors from another 2 U.S. presidents.

There is no doubt about it, Kurzweil is a legend in the field of technology and futurism.

Kurzweil’s Predictions

Ray Kurzweil
Ray Kurzweil

For those who are unaware of the future as predicted by Kurzweil, it would certainly be worth giving the warning: Continue reading with an open mind. He predicts that by 2020 the internet of things will be in full swing, by 2029 Artificial Intelligence will pass the Turing Test, by 2045 humanity will reach its Technological Singularity, and along with it (or even before it), humanity will become immortal in a transhuman era.

In order to comprehend how such advances could be possible so soon in the future, he asserts that the¬†exponential growth¬†of our technologies must be understood.¬†Inherently, humans do not naturally think of growth as being exponential; we think of it as being linear. For that reason, upcoming technological change is not common knowledge, and is incomprehensible for those who are uneducated to exponential growth and the law of accelerating returns. Kurzweil says, ¬†“you have to really think about it and calculate it out, because it’s not intuitive”.

Below you can view Kurzweil talking about his predictions, and the possibility of immortality.

The term and concept of the Technological Singularity was first coined by Vernor Vinge in a 1993 paper, which you can read here. It is best described as the time when the rate of technological advancement gets to a speed that will immediately enable inconceivable further advances, often called an intelligence explosion. For more information, visit our main page about the Singularity.

For more information about how immortality is possible much sooner than many think, visit our central information page about immortality.

And you can¬†Click Here¬†to read about many more of Kurzweil’s predictions, and how they are faring so far.

Why we should take Kurzweil’s predictions seriously

Currently, the majority of human ideologies and religions are based on traditional schools of thought. The foreign policies of countries are based on these outdated ideologies, which do not take into account the exponential growth of our technologies and its law of accelerating returns.

For example, foreign policies are highly focused on securing non-renewable energy resources. Whilst in the short-term, that is vital, Kurzweil believes that within 20 years we will no longer be reliant on fossil fuels. He asserts that we will instead be self-sufficient and all of our energy needs will be supplied by advanced solar-power and energy storage.

Climate change is another issue. Currently a great amount of resource is given to tackling climate change. Why waste that resources, when in as little as 35 years we will have developed much easier methods of optimising our atmosphere thanks to our acquiring of super intelligence during the singularity?

Instead, during the global economic downturn, governments are restricting funds for security services, and focusing the priority for global relations on the aim of defending their ideologies and/or regime power.

Should Kurzweil be right, then what the most powerful governments should be doing is preparing, as priority, a system of collaborative global security, for along with the positives of technological advance, come the negatives, of which you can read about in our article, 5 Emerging Technologies that Could Destroy the World.

Without their being set as high priority, security, regulation and ethics management for our emerging technologies, our advance could be slowed down by organised crime, incompatible ideologies, and the radical elements of religious groups.

Security against the abuse of our emerging technologies must be our #1 global priority, closely followed by the safeguarding of our freedoms. We cannot over optimistically assume that these advances will come to pass with positive effects for all.

For more information about Kurzweil and his predictions, visit Ray Kurzweil’s website. His infamous book ‘The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology‘, is a must read for anybody interested in future possibilities.