Ray Kurzweil

So for the most part on this thing I try and keep my mouth shut about politics and controversial issues. I have actually written a number of blogs that I have never posted because I am not here to tell people what to think or how to think...instead,  I want to tell people TO think. Get out there, surround yourself with people, ideas, sights, sounds...that challenge you. Don't take everything you hear literally, ask questions.  The point I am trying to make here is that it doesn't matter if you are on your bike or wherever doing whatever, when you surround yourself with things that make you uncomfortable, you begin to push your physical and mental capabilities...

On Sunday I went to go see the movie Transcendent Man. If you haven't heard of Ray Kurzweil, I am sure that you will hear more of him in the near future, he is on the cover of next weeks Time Magazine and he has been stirring things up a lot recently. His ideas make a lot of people uncomfortable, myself included but I think that he has a lot of valid points. It was pretty cool to be surrounded by some of the most brilliant minds in the tech industry as the movie/talk was located in the heart of Silicon Valley and it attracted quite a few!

My dad has been telling me about this kind of stuff since I was young but I had a hard time knocking the images in my head of AI from the movies. Well lets just say my opinion has now changed, whether or not Kurzweil is right, Technology is headed for some big things. You can think what you want about all of this because right now it is all a bunch of theories and hypothesis and we will never really know until it happens but I was pretty impressed. I am pretty critical about this kind of thing as I have seen language and numbers create very convincing arguments that I know make no sense...

This would turn into an essay if I tried to explain all of Kurzweil theories so to keep it simple I included a couple of videos and some links. The base of the argument is that technology develops exponentially not linearly. This is best illustrated in the idea that a computer once took half a building, that same computer can now fit in our pocket and that same computer will in the near future be the size of a blood cell.  Sounds pretty crazy eh? That's what I thought but listen to arguments and have a read over the related information, its pretty interesting. I think that foreseeing the future and all the prophetic stuff is a little crazy as is the pill popping stuff but I also think that the guys is pretty freaking intelligent and has some very valid points.

Here is a video from TED...if you haven't checked out this website its worth a look, it is one of my favorite apps on my iPad...they have short lectures from all sorts of influential people in society from all subjects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerating_change

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2033076,00.html

Also, Watson, IBM's supercomputer is on Jeopardy tonight. If you have time, check it out. Everyones first impression to the fact that a computer is on Jeopardy is 'of course it will win, it can Google anything'. Well it is a bit more complicated than that and it is quite a large achievement.  To do well at Jeopardy yes you have got to be pretty smart but you also need an understanding of society and is relationships and the intricacies of the Engligh language.

Katie Holden