The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

Front Cover
Viking, 2005 - Science - 652 pages
82 Reviews
The great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil is one of the best-known and controversial advocates for the role of machines in the future of humanity. In his latest, thrilling foray into the future, he envisions an event—the “singularity”—in which technological change becomes so rapid and so profound that our bodies and brains will merge with our machines.

The Singularity Is Near portrays what life will be like after this event—a human-machine civilization where our experiences shift from real reality to virtual reality and where our intelligence becomes nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than unaided human intelligence. In practical terms, this means that human aging and pollution will be reversed, world hunger will be solved, and our bodies and environment transformed by nanotechnology to overcome the limitations of biology, including death.

We will be able to create virtually any physical product just from information, resulting in radical wealth creation. In addition to outlining these fantastic changes, Kurzweil also considers their social and philosophical ramifications. With its radical but optimistic view of the course of human development, The Singularity Is Near is certain to be one of the most widely discussed and provocative books of 2005.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
52
4 stars
20
3 stars
5
2 stars
3
1 star
2

Book was as described but the shipping sucked

User Review  - dubbas11 - Overstock.com

Product was as described. The shipping was horribly slow and customer service offered a discontinuous colletion of utterances to try and explain why the shipping sucked. Either the staff at ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This book... changed my life. I was 18 years old, enjoying the summer between high school and college when I read this book. Prior to reading this book, I didn't have a real sense of direction or purpose, and was very unsure as to where to invest my efforts, and in what fields to seed my passion... However, after exploring Ray's brilliant ideas in this thorough and extremely detailed vision of the future, I started to genuinely believe in the existence of a beautiful potential for humanity, going as far as "permeating the universe with intelligence"... If you consider yourself a thinker, and are unfamiliar with the idea of the technological singularity, then this book is the "bible" of the movement. Ray humorously describes a person known as a "Singularitarian", and this book certainly made me one.
Also if you can accurately explain the ideas in this book to people at a "cocktail party" you will be known as the deep, worldly, and intelligent one.
 

All 11 reviews »

Other editions - View all

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2005)

Ray Kurzweil is a prize-winning author and scientist. Recipient of the MIT-Lemelson Prize (the world's largest for innovation), and inducted into the Inventor's Hall of Fame, he received the 1999 National Medal of Technology. His books include The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Age of Intelligent Machines.

Visit Ray Kurzweil on the web:

http://www.kurzweiltech.com

http://www.kurzweilai.net/

Bibliographic information