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Transcendent Man: The Life & Ideas of Ray Kurzweil
Time is short for humans, homo sapiens (modern), also known as homo sapiens sapiens, the most advanced of the family Hominidae (great apes). The journey of over 100,000 years by humans culminating in dominance of planet Earth is about to end. So says Ray Kurzweil in his vision of the future. Humans, of the genus Homo, the “wise man” or “thinking man”, are about to be transcended. This is not going to happen in some distant, vague, future event – Ray Kurzweil believes this will happen within 30 years. People living today will experience the technological singularity. The very technology created by humans and which enabled humans to ascend – machines, computers, artificial intelligence - is about to transcend and supersede humanity itself.
The beliefs and ideas of Ray Kurzweil evoke strong responses, both positive and negative, from others. He is lauded as a genius, honored as an inventor, and applauded by MIT and The White House. He is accused of peddling pseudo-religion, promoting rapture by technology, and even espousing blasphemy. Ray Kurzweil is persistent in his belief that the technological singularity is coming soon and he is trying to live long enough to not only witness this event, but participate in and potentially live forever. Kurzeil’s quest is not only to reveal our destiny but he believes that as matter is converted more and more into intelligence, the Universe itself will be “waking up”.
The exponential increase in technological advance is what Kurzweil is basing his projections on. The technological change, the advancements, are occurring faster and faster. Kurzweil says, “In about 40 years, it (technological advances) is going to be moving so fast, the pace of change is going to be so astonishingly quick, that you won’t be able to follow it unless you enhance your own intelligence by merging with the intelligent technology we created.” Kurzweil believes computers will have consciousness in 25 years. By the 2030s, “you’re not going to be able to tell a clear difference between human and machine intelligence.”
Transcendent Man Transcendent Man by director Barry Ptolemy introduces the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil, the renowned futurist who journeys the world offering his vision of a future in which we will merge with our machines, can live forever, and are billions of times more intelligent…all within the next thirty years.
Transcendent Man: The Life and Ideas of Ray Kurzweil
About Ray Kurzweil
A Brief Career Summary
Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.
As one of the leading inventors of our time, Ray was the principal developer of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s web site Kurzweil AI.net has over one million readers.
Among Ray’s many honors, he is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world’s largest for innovation. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002, he was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame , established by the US Patent Office.
He has received nineteen honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.
Ray has written six books, four of which have been national best sellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.
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