G’Day World #57 – Ray Kurzweil

Another BIG interview today with one of my top ten list – Ray Kurzweil.

I’ve been reading Ray’s books and articles on the the future of artificial intelligence and health for years and I’m convinced he’s on the money on both subjects. If you want to get a glimpse of what is likely to happen to human civilization in the next 30 years, you need to listen to this show.

But don’t just take my word on it.

On the back of his latest book, THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR: When Humans Transcend Biology, there is this quote from Bill Gates: ”Ray Kurzweil is the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence.”

The Singularity Is Near

So who is Ray Kurzweil?

Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, 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. Ray has successfully founded and developed nine businesses in OCR, music synthesis, speech recognition, reading technology, virtual reality, financial investment, cybernetic art, and other areas of artificial intelligence. All of these technologies continue today as market leaders. Ray’s Web site, KurzweilAI.net, is a leading resource on artificial intelligence.

I got an enormous kick out of doing this show and I hope you enjoy it.

6 thoughts on “G’Day World #57 – Ray Kurzweil

  1. Once again, the Great Kurzweil recycles the same, tired old arguments for seeing the Singularity in his lifetime. Just like futurists of old, he uses super-extrapolation as an excuse for his wild timescales, while totally disregarding the potential ethical and political roadblocks which will most likely slow down progress.

    The Singularity is Near makes for fun science-fiction/fantasy, but don’t expect an actual Singularity anytime soon.

  2. adbatstone, if you’re going to make bold statements like that, you should back it up with some examples and facts. I think Kurzweil handled those arguments in a lot of detail in the book.

    History indicates that technological progress tends to move on through ethical and political roadblocks – they are usually only stopped by technological or economic blocks.

    Look at stem cell research as a recent example – despite heavy ethical and political concerns in most Western countries, all are now relenting, once they realized the health and economic benefits of the research.

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