I consider Ray Kurzweil a very close friend and a very smart person.
Ray is a brilliant technologist, futurist, and director of engineering at Google focused on AI and language processing.
He has also made more correct (and documented) technology predictions about the future than anyone:
As reported, “of the 147 predictions that Kurzweil has made since the 1990’s, fully 115 of them have turned out to be correct, and another 12 have turned out to be “essentially correct” (off by a year or two), giving his predictions a stunning 86% accuracy rate.”
Two weeks ago, Ray and I held an hour-long webinar with my Abundance 360 CEOs about predicting the future.
During our session, there was one of Ray’s specific prediction that really blew my mind.
“In the 2030s,” said Ray, “we are going to send nano-robots into the brain (via capillaries) that will provide full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system and will connect our neocortex to the cloud. Just like how we can wirelessly expand the power of our smartphones 10,000-fold in the cloud today, we’ll be able to expand our neocortex in the cloud.”
Let’s digest that for a moment.
2030 is only 15 years away…
Directly plugging your brain into the internet? (more…)
Published on Nov 5, 2013, by the Singularity University channel:
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We investigate three dominant areas of transhumanism: super longevity, super intelligence and super wellbeing, and briefly cover the ideas of thinkers Aubrey de Grey, Ray Kurzweil and David Pearce.
PostHuman: An Introduction to Transhumanism is the first of our planned video series on transhumanism, titled PostHuman.
Written by: Peter Brietbart and Marco Vega
Animation & Design Lead: Many Artists Who Do One Thing
Animation Script: Mihai Badic and Peter Brietbart
Narrated by: Holly Hagan-Walker
Music and SFX: Steven Gamble
Design Assistant: Melita Pupsaite
Additional Animation: Nicholas Temple
Other Contributors: Callum Round, Asifuzzaman Ahmed, Steffan Dafydd, Ben Kokolas
Special Thanks: David Pearce, Dino Kazamia, Ana Sandoiu, Dave Gamble, Tom Davis, Aidan Walker, Hani Abusamra, Keita Lych
I agree with Clay Mann‘s comment on this cutting-edge technology (or cutting-edge consciousness) news:
The biggest disappointment in the tech world right now has to be the lack of coverage of how big of a deal it was that Google hired Kurzweil. So this was a real treat to see him talking, even a little about the work he’s going to be doing at Google. Not a lot revealed, but if you’ve read his books, especially how to build a mind, it really sounds like he’s finally got his hands on the big data he needed to leap frog even Watson.
In an exclusive with Singularity Hub, Ray Kurzweil gave one of his first interviews since the December announcement that he joined Google full time as Director of Engineering. Speaking with Singularity Hub Founder Keith Kleiner, Ray discusses his new role, how his research interests connect with his latest book How To Create A Mind(which Keith recently interviewed Ray about here), and how technology will advance to produce a “cybernetic friend”
“The project we plan to do is focused on natural language understanding,” said Kurzweil. “We want to give computers the ability to understand the language that they’re reading.”
Regarding the specific kind of artificial intelligence that a Kurzweil-led project will aim to do, he said, “It will know at a semantically deep level what you’re interested in, not just the topic…[but] the specific questions and concerns you have.” He added, “I envision some years from now that the majority of search queries will be answered without you actually asking. It’ll just know this is something that you’re going to want to see.” While it may be take some years to develop this technology, Kurzweil added that he personally thinks it will be embedded into what Google offers currently, rather than as a stand-alone product necessarily.
Now if you’ve been following Singularity Hub’s coverage of personal assistants like Siri, Evi, and the latest, Maluuba, as well as Google Voice Search, then you know that natural language recognition is one of the highest priorities for tech companies today. That’s exciting because it means that holding sophisticated conversations with computers — in much the same way that Dave Bowman does with HAL 9000 in the movie 2001 – is going to become a reality very soon.
As Kurzweil points out, the hurdle currently is that language is hierarchical, and the human brain processes language in a hierarchical way, depending on what stimuli it receives during key stages of development. Computers like IBM’s Watson are just now being programmed to process human information in a related way. Inevitably, the sophistication of this software will grow — slowly, at first, but in all likelihood become exponential, as with many other technological trends that Kurzweil himself has identified.
Though the video is only 10 minutes, it’s great to hear Ray download some more tidbits about what he’ll be doing once he enters Google’s doors. Odds are that when he reemerges, the ability of our computers to understand us is going to take a quantum leap.
http://www.ted.com Onstage at TED2012, Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism — that we’ll invent, innovate and create ways to solve the challenges that loom over us. “I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems; we surely do. But ultimately, we knock them down.”
In the forthcoming book Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, Peter H. Diamandis (chairman and CEO of the X-Prize Foundation and cofounder and chairman of Singularity University) and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler give us an extensive tour of the latest in exponentially growing technologies and explore how four emerging forces — exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion — are conspiring to solve humanity’s biggest problems.
“This brilliant must-read book provides the key to the coming era of abundance, replacing eons of scarcity,” says Ray Kurzweil, inventor and author of The Singularity is Near.
Matt Ridley, author of the Rational Optimist, agrees: “This vital book … gives us a blinding glimpse of the innovations that are coming our way. …” Stewart Brand, editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, describes the book as “comprehensively sampl[ing] … the profound innovations going on to improve the human condition.”
The authors make a compelling case for optimism. We are introduced to dozens of innovators and industry captains making tremendous strides in healthcare, agriculture, energy, and other fields: Dean Kamen’s “Slingshot,” a technology that can transform polluted water, salt water, or even raw sewage into incredibly high-quality drinking water for less than one cent a liter; the Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize, which promises a low-cost, handheld medical device that allows anyone to diagnose themself better than a board-certified doctor; and Dickson Despommier’s “vertical farms,” which replace traditional agriculture with a system that uses 80 percent less land, 90 percent less water, and 100 percent fewer pesticides, with zero transportation costs.
As a bonus, the authors provide a detailed reference section filled with 90 graphs, charts, and graphics offering much of the source data underpinning their conclusions.
The story of Steve Jobs is an amazing one. He turned a few hundred dollars of spare parts into one of the most valuable companies in the world while revolutionizing one industry after another. In so doing, he was a prime example of the empowerment of the individual while in turn empowering everyone else. He showed the power of marrying science and art and democratized the tools of creativity. Jobs was truly a unique and remarkable innovator who has enriched all of our lives and we are all immeasurably saddened at his passing.