The bestselling author of The Age of Spiritual Machines presents the next stage of his compelling view of the future: the merging of humans and machines.
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
The Singularity Is Near portrays what life will be like after this eventa 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.
The Power of Ideas
I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human
heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain
unfolding to success.
Nikola Tesla, 1896, inventor of alternating current.
At the age of five, I had the idea that I would become an inventor. I had the notion that inventions could change the world. When other kids were wondering aloud what they wanted to be, I already had the conceit that I knew what I was going to be. The rocket ship to the moon that I was then building (almost a decade before President Kennedy's challenge to the nation) did not work out. But at around the time I turned eight, my inventions became a little more realistic, such as a robotic theater with mechanical linkages that could move scenery and characters in and out of view, and virtual baseball games.
Having fled the Holocaust, my parents, both artists, wanted a more worldly, less provincial, ...
If you liked The Singularity Is Near, try these:
Taking us behind the scenes with today's foremost researchers and pioneers, Garreau reveals that the super powers of our comic-book heroes already exist, or are in development in hospitals, labs, and research facilities around the country -- from the revved up reflexes and speed of Spider-Man and Superman, to the enhanced mental acuity and ...
An intriguing presentation by an unabashed advocate of the technological tricking and co-opting of mother nature.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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