The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence

Front Cover
Viking, 1999 - Computers - 388 pages
Ray Kurzweil, called a "restless genius" by "The Wall Street Journal," is responsible for some of the most compelling technology of our era. The brains behind the Kurzweil Reading Machine (which helps Stevie Wonder read his mail), the Kurzweil synthesizer, and the voice-recognition program that appears on Windows 98, he is also a formidable thinker who a decade ago predicted the emergence of the World Wide Web and that a computer would beat the world chess champion. Finally, someone with the authority to speak about the future also has the courage and imagination to do so. "The Age of Spiritual Machines" is no list of predictions but a framework for envisioning the 21st century in which one advance or invention leads inexorably to another. After establishing that technology is growing exponentially, Kurzweil forecasts that computers will exceed the memory capacity and computing speed of the human brain by 2020, with the other attributes of human intelligence not far behind. By that time paraplegics will be able to walk by using a combination of nerve stimulation and robotic devices. You will be able to choose the personality of your automated computer assistant, who will conduct business on your behalf with other automated personalities. A mere nine years later, you will be able to enhance your intelligence with neural implants. The upshot is that human identity will be called into question as never before, as a billion years of evolution are superseded in a mere hundred by machine technology that we ourselves have created. We will become cyborgs, but what will computers become?

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User Review  - Razinha - LibraryThing

This one was a little flat for me, and not just because of the title. I can't fathom why he would equate "spiritual" and "intelligence" - of course, both are evolutionary products, but they are not ... Read full review

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Ray Kurzweil gives a very positive and inspiring view of the possibilities of human achievement in the near and longer term future. The ideas if realized will be the best things to advance the human race and create progress and wealth.

Contents

THE LAW OF TIME AND CHAOS
9
THE INTELLIGENCE OF EVOLUTION
40
OF MIND AND MACHINES
51
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

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/

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