Ray Kurzweil, who’s about the closest thing to a hero we’ve got these days, gets mentioned quite a lot in this New York Times writeup on The Singularity University, which was started by Google Founder Larry Page to introduce entrepreneurs to emerging technology in the areas of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, energy, biotech, robotics and computing. The cost for the 10 week course that aims to prepare you for the future? $25,000. Looks like I won’t be going anytime soon.
Vice Magazine has an interview with Ray Kurzweil, inventor, futurist, and prophet of the Singularity. For those of you who don’t know, Ray believes that we are nearing the a new age when robotics, genetics, and nanotechnology and superhuman machine intelligence will usher in a new age where the line between biological and machine, real and virtual will be no more. A lot of people think Kurzweil is a kook, but I eat this shit up. A lot of people derisively call this the Rapture of the Nerds because of all the talk of brain uploading, nanoswarms and other far out sci-fi sounding concepts, but Ray is a man of great reputation and has built his books around a lot of sound science, and I remain convinced that it’s not a question of if but of when.
The truth is computer continue to increase at an accelerated pace, and it doesn’t look like Moore’s law is slowing down yet. Projects to simulate a full scale human mind are in the works and should be successful in the next 20 years or so. Once we manage to simulate the mind on a scale faster than real time, things are going to change quickly. It will be the last invention we need make, as computers begin redesigning themselves and living the equivalent of a few days in mere hours. There’s no telling where things will go from there.
It may sound scary to some of you, but to me it sounds very exciting.