The great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil is one of the best-known and most controversial advocates for the role of machines in the future of humanity. In his latest book, 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 machines.
The Singularity Is Near portrays what life will be like after this event— a 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. In practical terms, this means that human aging and pollution will be reversed; world hunger will be solved; our bodies and environment transformed by nanotechnology to overcome the limitations of biology, including death; and virtually any physical product can be created from information alone. The Singularity Is Near also considers the social and philosophical ramifications of these changes, and is certain to be one of the most widely discussed and provocative books of 2005.
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Advance Praise For The Singularity is Near
"Ray Kurzweil is the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence. His intriguing new book envisions a future in which information technologies have advanced so far and fast that they enable humanity to transcend its biological limitations-transforming our lives in ways we can't yet imagine."
"A brilliant book with deep insights into the future from one of the leading futurists of our time."
-Marvin Minsky, Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT
"If you have ever wondered about the nature and impact of the next profound discontinuities that will fundamentally change the way we live, work, and perceive our world, read this book. Kurzweil's Singularity is a tour de force, imagining the unimaginable and eloquently exploring the coming disruptive events that will alter our fundamental perspectives as significantly as did electricity and the computer."
-Dean Kamen, physicist and inventor of the first wearable insulin pump, the HomeChoice portable dialysis machine, the IBOT Mobility System, and the Segway Human Transporter; recipient of the National Medal of Technology
"One of our leading AI practitioners, Ray Kurzweil, has once again created a 'must-read' book for anyone interested in the future of science, the social impact of technology, and indeed the future of our species. His though-provoking book envisages a future in which we transcend our biological limitations, while making a compelling case that a human civilization with superhuman capabilities is closer at hand than most people realize."
-Raj Reddy, founding director, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University; recipient of the Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery
"Ray's optimistic book well merits both reading and thoughtful response. For those like myself whose views differ from Ray's on the balance of promise and peril, The Singularity is Near is a clear call for a continuing dialogue to address the greater concerns arising from these accelerating possibilities."
-Bill Joy, cofounder and former chief scientist, Sun Microsystems
Ray Kurzweil is a prize-winning author and scientist. Recipient of the MIT-Lemelson Prize (the world’s largest for innovation), and inducted into the Inventor’s Hall of Fame, he received the 1999 National Medal of Technology. His books include The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Age of Intelligent Machines.
Visit Ray Kurzweil on the web:
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