The Singularity is drawing near, according to futurist Ray Kurzweil, who fervently believes machines will make us immortal. Singularity, a mathematician’s wet dream where exponential iterations of computer Artificial Intelligence (AI), results in superintelligent sapient machines. Vernor Vinge, computer scientist and sci-fi writer, popularized the term with his 1993 article, “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era.” It is this intersection where machine overtakes man when things get weird, according to proponents!
Kurzweil projects the year revealed in a recent Time magazine title, “2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal“. The futurist consumes 150 daily vitamin supplements to insure he’s alive in 2045, at age 97. Kurzweil also wants to bring his beloved father back. A benevolent view is asserted where machine will augment man.
Charlie Rose interviewed Kurzweil with Director Barry Ptolemy about their recent film, “Transcendent Man“. The interview and film portray the Singularity as a movement on the upswing. Critics take a less charitable view, such as P. Z. Myers in this Newsweek article, “… “I am completely baffled by Kurzweil’s popularity, and in particular the respect he gets in some circles, since his claims simply do not hold up to even casually critical examination…It’s a New Age spiritualism—that’s all it is.” It seems, computer nerds only want to find God, too.
The proponents do not claim to know where a cyborganic future may lead? There are existential risks, according to Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. The risks run the gamut from a shutdown extinction event of a digital existence to a take over by a transcending upload! The present writer leans towards a view the Singularity represents a new belief system where common men and women may be mislead!
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