Thursday, September 22, 2005

An Evening with Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil
Originally uploaded by Richard Treadway.

This evening I attended the SD Forum Event "An Evening with Ray Kurzweil" at SAP in Palo Alto.

You can see my photos from the event here. You can get the slides from Kurzweil's presentation here.

Ray has a new book coming out soon called THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR - When Humans Transcend Biology.

Kurzweil's ideas are facinating and he is plugged into the center of so much innovation. Here are my main take aways.

Advancements in human intelligent thinking follow a straight line on a logarithmic plot. The first advance took hundreds of millions of years the last one took 10.

As advances are exponential, by 2013 computing power will surpass human intelligence and we will be able to model the human brain.

These advances happen incrementally and it won't become a human vs machine fight. The machines will be a part of intelligence - the assist we get from computers will become us. This is like all innovations that have changed us and become a part of everyday life. Computational power will be so small and available it will become part of our brain assisting our thinking in many ways.

If we can model human intelligence then we can separate our memory (software) from our brains (hardware). Just as you back up your data and programs and can move them to different processors you will be able to back up your memories, beliefs, and thoughts and load them into another brain. Wow imagine Douglas Adams idea of the "point of view gun" if we could load it with the real data.

The final thought... If we can live another 50 years then maybe we can live another 300.

Richard Treadway