Google+ The World 2 Come: Book of the Year: "Singularity is Near" by Ray Kurzweil

Monday, September 26, 2005

Book of the Year: "Singularity is Near" by Ray Kurzweil

Keywords: technological singularity, Ray Kurzweil

"At the onset of the twenty-first century, humanity stands on the verge of the most transforming and the most thrilling period in its history. It will be an era in which the very nature of what it means to be human will be both enriched and challenged, as our species breaks the shackles of its genetic legacy and achieves inconceivable heights of intelligence, material progress, and longevity.

For over three decades, the great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he presented the daring argument that with the ever-accelerating rate of technological change, computers would rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now, in The Singularity Is Near, he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our own creations.

That merging is the essence of the Singularity, an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today—the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity. In this new world, there will be no clear distinction between human and machine, real reality and virtual reality. We will be able to assume different bodies and take on a range of personae at will. In practical terms, human aging and illness will be reversed; pollution will be stopped; world hunger and poverty will be solved. Nanotechnology will make it possible to create virtually any physical product using inexpensive information processes and will ultimately turn even death into a soluble problem.

While the social and philosophical ramifications of these changes will be profound, and the threats they pose considerable, The Singularity Is Near maintains a radically optimistic view of the future course of human development. As such, it offers a view of the coming age that is both a dramatic culmination of centuries of technological ingenuity and a genuinely inspiring vision of our ultimate destiny."
Source: Singularity.com

Discuss:
Ray Kurzweil's "The Singularity is Near" - Slashdot
KurzweilAI.net

Interview:
In Search of the Sixth Sense - Fast Company

Audio:
Ray Kurzweil - The Long Now Foundation
Rise of the Machines - On Point
Ray Kurzweil - IT Conversations
Ray Kurzweil - Podtech.net

Speculation:
The Day You Discard Your Body - Marshall Brain

See also:
Event of the Week: Accelerating Change 2005 - The World 2 Come
Book of the Week: "Accelerando" by Charles Stross - The World 2 Come

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