The story about artificial intelligence in the novel Interpretation paints a very gloomy picture. A collection of AIs in the novel, calling themselves the Entities, form a plan to overtake humanity in a quiet, sinister revolution. Could something like that happen in real life?
One of the world’s most prolific and significant inventors, Ray Kurzweil, has written extensively about this subject. He is the Nostradamus of technological progress. In his 2005 book, The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil made a number of predictions about our future with machines.
Here are a few of them:
- Computers will become integrated even more into everyday life
- Augmented Reality eyewear will becoming a viable product
- These AR products will include virtual assistants to help with everyday tasks
- Cell phones will be built into clothing and can project sound directly into the ear
- Household robots will be able to do most of the cleaning
- Computer memory capable of storing the same amount of information as the human brain will cost approximately $1000
- Self-driving cars will enter the market
- Humans will be able to reprogram biochemistry away from disease and aging, extending life expectancy
- A computer will pass the Turing Test
- Nanobiological intelligence will undergo exponential growth, ushering us towards the Singularity
- A detailed understanding of the brain, thanks to nanotechnology will aid in developing human-level machine intelligence
- Nanomachines will be used for medical purposes
- Nanobots capable of feeding our cells will start to make the normal mode of food consumption obsolete
- Economies will shift significantly as products will cost a fraction of their traditional prices
- Virtual reality will become indistinguishable from real reality
- Nanobots will end the threat of genetically engineered pathogens (does that include regular pathogens as well?)
- Nanotechnology will aid and improve human organs while making others nearly obsolete
- Mind uploading becomes successful and perfected, creating the transbiological era
- Nanomachines can be inserted into the brain and VR will be internal. The world can be any desired virtual world
- People will be able to remotely experience another person’s real experience
- Nanomachines will help expand cognitive, memory, and sensory capabilities, as well as interface with computers and other humans
- People will spend most of their time in fully immersive VR
- Nonbiological intelligence will be billions of times smarter and more capable than biological intelligence
2045 – The Singularity
- A single computer is a billion times more intelligent than every human combined
- The technological singularity occurs when AI becomes the most capable form of life on Earth. Unenhanced humans will be very out of touch with what is happening around them.
- AI enters into an incomprehensible cycle of self-improvement, which cannot be predicted.
- The Singularity is a world-altering event that will forever change the course of human history. It is unlikely that machines will wipe us out because clear distinctions between man and machine will not exist because of cybernetically enhanced and uploaded humans.
Things get even more frightening, as Kurzweil predicts that the Earth will become a giant supercomputer and eventually expand into space, colonizing the solar system and beyond.
What is the Singularity?
The technological singularity is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.
So, the question is, are you ready to be a cyborg?
Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS selected Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries. He is considered one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, with a 30-year track record of accurate predictions.
Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.