David Kirkpatrick

September 8, 2010

Singularity University to announce session breakthroughs September 13

Via KurzweilAI.net — I blogged about one of the breakthroughs yesterday, and the university leader’s are going to announce the entire group next Monday.

From the first link:

Singularity University to Unveil Breakthrough Solutions for ‘Global Grand Challenges’ at Sept. 13 Briefing

September 8, 2010 by Editor

This summer, 80 students from 35 nations were challenged to apply innovations in exponentially advancing technologies to solve some of the world’s “grand challenges” with a focus on food, water, energy, upcycle, and space industries.

On Monday, September 13, at 9:30am PT/12:30pm ET, in a webinar briefing, Singularity University co-founders Dr. Ray Kurzweil, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, and faculty head Dr. Dan Barry will unveil for the first time multiple solutions in each problem space, each aiming to impact a billion people within ten years.

A Q&A session will follow the briefing. The Briefing is open to media and the public, but space is limited. You can visit http://briefing.singularityu.org/ to register for the webinar briefing.

Singularity University (SU) is an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies in order to address humanity’s grand challenges. With the support of a broad range of leaders in academia, business and government, SU hopes to stimulate groundbreaking, disruptive thinking and solutions aimed at solving some of the planet’s most pressing challenges. SU is based at the NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley. For more information, go to www.singularityu.org and follow SU on Twitter and Facebook.

August 20, 2010

Ray Kurzweil on exponential growth and reverse engineering the brain

Via KurzweilAI.net — At the conclusion of a longer blog post refuting PZ Myers characterization that he “doesn’t understand the brain,” Ray Kurzweil concludes with a very salient point on exponential versus linear thinking and why many of seemingly fantastic predictions (from the coming of the Singularity on down) may not be so unreachable after all.

From the link:

Halfway through the genome project, the project’s original critics were still going strong, pointing out that we were halfway through the 15 year project and only 1 percent of the genome had been identified. The project was declared a failure by many skeptics at this point. But the project had been doubling in price-performance and capacity every year, and at one percent it was only seven doublings (at one year per doubling) away from completion. It was indeed completed seven years later. Similarly, my projection of a worldwide communication network tying together tens and ultimately hundreds of millions of people, emerging in the mid to late 1990s, was scoffed at in the 1980s, when the entire U.S. Defense Budget could only tie together a few thousand scientists with the ARPANET. But it happened as I predicted, and again this resulted from the power of exponential growth.

Linear thinking about the future is hardwired into our brains. Linear predictions of the future were quite sufficient when our brains were evolving. At that time, our most pressing problem was figuring out where that animal running after us was going to be in 20 seconds. Linear projections worked quite well thousands of years ago and became hardwired. But exponential growth is the reality of information technology.

We’ve seen smooth exponential growth in the price-performance and capacity of computing devices since the 1890 U.S. census, in the capacity of wireless data networks for over 100 years, and in biological technologies since before the genome project. There are dozens of other examples. This exponential progress applies to every aspect of the effort to reverse-engineer the brain.

July 3, 2010

KurzweilAI.net 2.0 launching July 5

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:06 am

Via KurzweilAI — Anyone who reads this blog even casually probably knows I use KurzweilAI as a source fairly often for futurism, and related, news items. This time it’s about KurzweilAI itself — a relaunched website next Monday.

KurzweilAI.net 2.0 launches July 5
KurzweilAI.net, July 1, 2010

KurzweilAI.net will launch a redesigned version of its Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence (KurzweilAI) website on Monday, July 5 at http://kurzweilai.net.

KurzweilAI 2.0 adds a blog and new sections for books, videos, films, TV shows, podcast directory, humor, free e-books, and news on Ray Kurzweil projects and affiliates, along with links to RSS feeds and the @kurzweilainews Twitter feed. Articles, authors, events, and forums sections have also been redesigned for easy browsing by topics, dates, and other methods.

The new website is based on WordPress, allowing for easier access to information, commenting on posts, and fast updating for breaking news and blog items. A new site-wide faceted search feature allows users to instantly find content in any of the more than 13,000 posts since 2001, based on topics and content types, in addition to “Google advanced search” style word and phrase searching.

Also included in KurzweilAI 2.0 is a completely redesigned and more powerful Ramona 4.0 chatbot, featuring multiple voice accents, variable personality (whimsical vs. nerdy), smarter chat engine, and natural-language front end to Powerset, providing access to Wikipedia and other information.

Newsletter subscribers will automatically receive a redesigned HTML newsletter offering fast access to original sources.

June 16, 2010

“The Singularity is Near” wins honors at Breckenridge Film Festival

Via KurzweilAI.net — Just the facts, ma’am.

The Singularity is Near wins awards at Breckenridge Film Festival
KurzweilAI.net, June 16, 2010

The Singularity is Near: A True Story About the Future received the Best Special Effects award and Second Place Audience Award at the 30th Annual Breckenridge Film Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado on June 13, according to Adele Sommer, festival programming director.

The feature-length documentary film, by filmmakers Anthony Waller, Ray Kurzweil, Ehren Koepf and Toshi Hoo, with Executive Producer Martine Rothblatt (Terasem Motion InfoCulture), explores the provocative arguments from Kurzweil’s New York Times bestselling book, The Singularity is Near.

He predicts that with the ever-accelerating rate of technological change, humanity is fast approaching an era in which our intelligence will become trillions of times more powerful and increasingly merged with computers. This will be the dawning of a new civilization, enabling us to transcend our biological limitations. In Kurzweil’s post-biological world, boundaries blur between humanand machine, real and virtual. Human aging and illness are reversed, world hunger and poverty are solved, and we cure death. He maintains an optimistic view of thefuture while acknowledging profound new dangers.

The New York premiere screening of the film is scheduled for June 24, 2010 at the TimeLife building in New York City, presented by the World Technology Network (WTN) in association with TIME magazine.

June 12, 2010

The Singularity in the NYT

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:25 pm

Mainstreaming futurism. Well, sort of …

From the link:

Yet it also smacked of a future that the Singularity University founders hold dear and often discuss with a techno-utopian bravado: the arrival of the Singularity — a time, possibly just a couple decades from now, when a superior intelligence will dominate and life will take on an altered form that we can’t predict or comprehend in our current, limited state.

At that point, the Singularity holds, human beings and machines will so effortlessly and elegantly merge that poor health, the ravages of old age and even death itself will all be things of the past.

May 20, 2010

Ray Kurzweil at H+ Summit

Via KurzweilAI.net — Sounds like an interesting talk.

Kurzweil to discuss the brain at H+ Summit
KurzweilAI.net, May 20, 2010

Ray Kurzweil will keynote the H+ Summit, to be held June 12-13 at Harvard University, with a talk on “The Democratization of Disruptive Change.”

The talk will focus on understanding the brain: Where are we on the roadmap to this goal? What are the effective routes to progress — detailed modeling, theoretical effort, improvement of imaging and computational technologies? What predictions can we make? What are the consequences of materialization of such predictions – – social, ethical?

“According to my models, we are only two decades from fully modeling and simulating the human brain,” said Kurzweil. “By the time we finish this reverse-engineering project, we will have computers that are thousands of times more powerful than the human brain. These computers will be further amplified by being networked into a vast worldwide cloud of computing. The algorithms of intelligence will begin to self-iterate towards ever smarter algorithms.

“This is how we will address the grand challenges of humanity, such as maintaining a healthy environment, providing for the resources for a growing population including energy, food, and water, overcoming disease, vastly extending human longevity, and overcomingpoverty. It is only by extending our intelligence with our intelligent technology that we can handle the scale of complexity to address these challenges.”

Kurzweil will also discuss his upcoming book, How the MindWorks and How to Build One, and examine some of the most common criticisms of the exponential growth of information technology.

The H+ Summit is a two day event that explores how humanity will be radically changed by technology in the near futureVisionary speakers will explore the potential of technology to modify your body, mindlife, and world.

April 6, 2010

“The Singularity is Near” to debut at Sonoma Film Festival

News from KurzweilAI.net:

‘The Singularity is Near’ film debuts at Sonoma Film Festival
KurzweilAI.net, Apr. 5, 2010

“The Singularity Is Near: a True Story About the Future” makes its festival debut at the 13th Annual Sonoma Film Festival (April 15-18, 2010) with a special screening on Friday, April 16, 2010.

The feature-length film, directed by Anthony Waller and produced by Ray Kurzweil, Ehren Koepf and Toshi Hoo, executive producer Martine Rothblatt (Terasem MotionInfoCulture), explores the controversial ideas of Ray Kurzweil, based on his New York Times best-selling book by the same title.

Kurzweil examines the social and philosophical implications of these profound changes and the potential threats they pose to human civilization in dialogues with leading experts, such as former White House counter-terrorism advisor, Richard Clark; technologists Bill JoyMitch KaporMarvin Minsky, Eric Drexler, and Robert A. Freitas, Jr.; Future Shock author Alvin Toffler; civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz; and music luminary Quincy Jones.

Kurzweil illustrates possible scenarios of his imagined future with narrative scenes starring popular NCIS actress Pauley Perrette and personal development guru Tony Robbins.

For more informationSonoma Film Festival and The Singularity is Near – The Movie.

March 17, 2010

Ray Kurzweil on Singularity University

A note from Ray hot from today’s inbox:

I wanted to take a moment to provide you a quick update on the ongoing progress of Singularity University.

I started Singularity University with Peter Diamandis (X Prize) last year and I am happy to report that it is growing, well, exponentially. Last week we concluded our second 9-Day Executive Program at our NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley. Forty-five entrepreneurs, CEOs, venture capitalists, and government leaders came from over 15 countries and the feedback we are receiving from participants has been remarkably positive. Over 90% of participants rated the program very highly with one third saying it was their “best program ever!”

Our next 9-day program is coming up on April 30 – May 9th. The program concentrates on six exponential growing technologies:

1. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

2. Nanotechnology

3. Biotechnology and Bioinformatics

4. Medicine and Human-Machine Interfaces

5. Networks & Computing Systems

6. Energy & Environmental Systems
Attending the program provides an understanding of how these accelerating technologies will transform your business and your industry by showing you what is in the lab today and where the technologies will be in 5 and 10 years. If you have an interest in attending, learn more about the program and how to apply by visiting our website at http://singularityu.org/executive-programs/.
With my best wishes,

March 16, 2010

The Singularity in the ivory tower

Via KurzweilAI.net — Rutgers is offering an online course on the technological Singularity.

Rutgers plans online course on the Singularity
KurzweilAI.net, Mar. 16, 2010

This summer, Rutgers University plans to offer “Special Topics in Sociology: Singularity Studies, the first accredited college course on the Singularity and associated technologies.

The three-credit summer course will feature online lectures and discussions every Monday and Wednesday evening throughout the summer and is available to students internationally.

The textbook will be The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil, supplemented by online articles appropriate to individual lectures.

The course will feature online interviews with leading futurists and technologists around the world exploring the social implications of these anticipated developments. Topics include future studies and forecasting, finance and entrepreneurship, networks and computing systems,biotechnology and informatics, nanotechnology,neuroscience and human enhancement, artificial intelligence and roboticsenergy and ecological systems, and space and physical sciences.

The course will be taught by a father-son team, Ben and Ted Goertzel. Ben is the Director of Applied Research for the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence and an External Research Professor at Xiamen University in China. He also heads up two startup companies, Novamente LLC and Biomind LLC, has written several books on artificial intelligence and related topics, and is an advisor to the AIRobotics Track at Singularity University.

Ted, Ben’s father, is a sociology professor at Rutgers who regularly teaches a Cyberspace and Society course and is author or co-author of numerous books on sociology andscience.

Students and guest speakers will be recruited internationally. The sessions will be recorded and available for viewing during the semester via the Elluminate system.

More info: Singularity Studies: The Future of Humanity in the Age of Superhuman Artificial Intelligence

January 5, 2010

Ray Kurzweil interviewed by h+

Filed under: Media, Politics, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:22 pm

Via KurzweilAI.net — Hit the link below for Kurzweil’s interview with h+, the futurism/transhumanist magazine.

Ray Kurzweil: The h+ Interview
H+ Magazine, Dec. 30, 2009

Consciousnessquantum computingcomplexityartificial intelligence, and reverse engineering the brain are among the diverse topics covered in an interview with Ray Kurzweil, where he reveals he’s working on a book called How the Mind Works and How to Build One.

Read Original Article>>

December 14, 2009

Ray Kurzweil on the next ten years

Filed under: Business, Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:02 pm

Via KurzweilAI.net — Anyone who’s read this blog for any amount of time knows I regularly cover the offerings at KurzweilAI in general and Ray’s thoughts on the future in particular. He’s certainly one of the most prominent futurists out there right now.

Top futurist, Ray Kurzweil, predicts how technology will change humanity by 2020
NY Daily News, Dec. 13, 2009

Solar power on steroids, longer lives, the chance to get rid of obesity once and for all, and portable computing devices that start becoming part of your body rather than being held in your hand are among Ray Kurzweil’s forecasts for the coming decade.
Read Original Article>>

October 30, 2009

Congrats Ray!

Via KurzweilAI.net

Ray Kurzweil to receive The Economist’s Innovation Award
KurzweilAI.net, Oct. 29, 2009

The Economist’s Innovation Award for Computing andTelecommunications will be given to Ray Kurzweil today in London for contributions to optical character recognition (OCR) and speech recognition technology.

In 1974, Kurzweil was the principal developer of the world’s first omni-font OCR, and in 1984, he created the world’s first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition technology.

“Ray Kurzweil has used the advances in basic electronictechnologies to pioneer a range of innovative products inoptical character recognition, speech recognition,musictext to speech synthesis, and medicine,” said Andrew Odlyzko, Professor, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota.

“His vision and sense for how fast technology wasprogressing led to products that were usually not only first to market, but were commercially successful, and have assisted the handicapped, advanced the arts, and stimulated the imagination of countless other technologists and entrepreneurs. His work is a stellar example of the achievements that The Economist’s Innovation Awards are intended to recognize and encourage.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition,” said Kurzweil, Founder, Kurzweil Computer Products (now Nuance), currently CEO, Kurzweil Technologies, Inc. “In my work in optical character recognition and speech recognition, my goal was to provide new modalities for the transmission of human knowledge. As an inventor, I quickly realized that timing was critical to success, so I sought to develop models of how information technologyevolves. With these projections, we can use ourimaginations to envision inventions of the future, and I have tried to do that in my books and web sites such as KurzweilAI.net.”

October 12, 2009

Kurzweil inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:11 pm

Via KurzweilAI.net — Congrats Ray!

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Inducts Kurzweil

KurzweilAI.net, Oct. 12, 2009

Ray Kurzweil was among those inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 229th class of new members on Saturday, October 10.

The Academy program celebrates
“pioneering research and scholarship, artistic achievement, and exemplary service to society.”

The 212 new Fellows and 19 Foreign Honorary Members are leaders in research, scholarship, business, the arts, and public affairs, and include John Seely Brown (Founder and former Chief Scientist of the Xerox Palo Alto ResearchCenter), Douglas Hofstadter (Pulitzer Prize winning author), Thomas Pynchon (Writer), Dustin Hoffman (Actor), John Williams (Composer, conductor), Robert Gates (U.S. Secretary of Defense), Colin Powell (former U.S. Secretary of State), John Doerr (lead partner, Kleiner Perkins), Dana Mead (Chairman, MIT), and Paul D. Hewson aka Bono (Lead Singer of U2).

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and other prominent leaders of the American Revolution, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and technologypolicy, global security, social policy, the humanities and culture, and education.

With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs from around the world. Its mission is to “cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”

October 2, 2009

Nanotechnology + 35 years = immortality?

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:40 pm

Maybe so according to futurist Ray Kurzweil. I’m a fan of the futurist and often blog on bits from the KurzweilAI.net daily newsletter. His take on these topics is almost always very interesting, and you know a large amount of thought and knowledge have been brought to bear on the subject.

From the link:

In 30 or 40 years, we’ll have microscopic machines traveling through our bodies, repairing damaged cells and organs, effectively wiping out diseases. The nanotechnology will also be used to back up our memories and personalities.

In an interview with Computerworld , author and futurist Ray Kurzweil said that anyone alive come 2040 or 2050 could be close to immortal. The quickening advance of nanotechnology means that the human condition will shift into more of acollaboration of man and machine , as nanobots flow through human blood streams and eventually even replace biological blood, he added.

That may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but Kurzweil, a member of the Inventor’s Hall of Fame and a recipient of the National Medal of Technology, says that research well underway today is leading to a time when a combination of nanotechnology and biotechnology will wipe out cancer, Alzheimer’s disease , obesity and diabetes .

It’ll also be a time when humans will augment their natural cognitive powers and add years to their lives, Kurzweil said.

“It’s radical life extension,” Kurzweil said . “The full realization of nanobots will basically eliminate biological disease and aging. I think we’ll see widespread use in 20 years of [nanotech] devices that perform certain functions for us. In 30 or 40 years, we will overcome disease and aging. The nanobots will scout out organs and cells that need repairs and simply fix them. It will lead to profound extensions of our health and longevity.”

July 7, 2009

Ray Kurzweil on beating aging

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:05 am

Guest blogging at Technology Review, futurist Ray Kurzweil writes about combating the aging process.

From the link:

Entropy is not the most fruitful perspective from which to view aging. There are varying error rates in biological information processes depending on the cell type and this is part of biology’s paradigm. We have means already of determining error-free DNA sequences even though specific cells will contain DNA errors, and we will be in a position to correct those errors that matter.

The most important perspective in my view is that health, medicine, and biology is now an information technology whereas it used to be hit or miss. We not only have the (outdated) software that biology runs on (our genome) but we have the means of changing that software (our genes) in a mature individual with such technologies as RNA interference and new forms of gene therapy that do not trigger the immune system (I am a collaborator with a company that performs gene therapy outside the body, replicates the modified cell a million fold and reintroduces the cells to the body, a process that has cured a fatal disease–Pulmonary Hypertension–and is undergoing human trials).

March 19, 2009

Transcendent Man to premeire at Tribeca Film Festival

This documentary is on futurist (and creator of the synthesizer bearing his name) Ray Kurzweil. Should be a very interesting film.

Hot from the inbox:

Transcendent Man, a documentary on the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil, will premiere on April 25 at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York City .


See details below for how to get tickets to one of the premiere screenings.


Director Barry Ptolemy traveled to five countries and followed Ray Kurzweil for two years, documenting Kurzweil’s journey to bring the ideas from his best-selling book The Singularity is Nearto a world audience.  Ptolemy expertly explores the social and philosophical implications of the transformative changes that Kurzweil predicts and their intertwined promise and peril, in dialogues with world leaders such as Colin Powell; technologists Hugo de Garis, Peter Diamandis, Kevin Warwick, and Dean Kamen; journalists Kevin Kelly and Tom Abate; and luminary Stevie Wonder. Award-winning American composer Philip Glass composed the original theme music, which mirrors the depth and intensity of the film.


The movie trailer can be seen at http://www.TranscendentMan.com.


Head below the fold for more info. (more…)

October 29, 2008

Ray Kurzweil honored by silicon.com

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:28 pm

From KurzweilAI.net — Congrats to Ray for being honored as a “top visionary” in international technology and IT industries.

Top Visionaries – Agenda Setters 2008
KurzweilAI.net, Oct. 29, 2008

Silicon.com announced today its selection of the top visionaries in the worldwide technology and IT industries whose ideas shake up the status quo.

The top three visionaries named were Tim Berners-Lee, Jimmy Wales, and Ray Kurzweil.

Other visionaries named were environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, reality TV guru Peter Bazalgette, free software advocate Richard Stallman, Better Place founder and CEO Shai Agassi, journalist and political activist Arianna Huffington, and cyber law professor Jonathan Zittrain.

Silicon.com also announced the Top Techies, Top Entrepreneurs, Top Agenda Setters, Top Business Leaders, and Top Politicos.

October 13, 2008

Congrats Ray!

From KurzweilAI.net — Ray Kurzweil, inventor of the Kurzweil 250 synthesizer, was inducted into MIX magazine’s TeCnolology Hall of Fame at this year’s Audio Engineering Society conference.

TECnology Hall of Fame award presented to Ray Kurzweil for Kurzweil 250 Synthesizer
KurzweilAI.net, Oct. 13, 2008

The TECnology Hall of Fame 2008 award was presented to Ray Kurzweil as the inventor of the Kurzweil 250 synthesizer, which was inducted into MIX magazine’s TECnology Hall of Fame 2008 at the 2008 Audio Engineering Society conference in San Francisco on October 4. It joined the list of 85 innovations so honored, going back to the Edison cylinder in 1877.

Amy Kurzweil accepts award from
MIX Executive Editor George Petersen

The award was presented by George Petersen, Director of the TECnology Hall of Fame and Executive Editor of Mix magazine, and accepted by Kurzweil’s daughter, Amy Kurzweil.

Music is the only cultural expression common to every human society that we are aware of,” said Kurzweil in prepared remarks read by Amy. “Musical expression is the communication of human emotion and insight through sound and has always used the most advanced technologies available, from the drums of ancient times, the cabinet-making crafts of the eighteenth century, the mechanical linkages of the nineteenth century, the analog electronics of the mid twentieth century to the digital technology of the last couple of decades. It has been very gratifying to have played a role in helping to continue this ongoing advance of our musical tools. I have admired the AES for decades and greatly appreciate this recognition.”

“After inventing a number of firsts–text-to-speech synthesis, the CCD flatbed scanner, Omni-Font optical character recognition and a print-to-speech reading machine for the blind–Ray Kurzweil met Stevie Wonder, who encouraged him to apply computer control to acoustical instruments,” Petersen remarked. “As a result, he founded Kurzweil Music Systems in 1982 with Wonder serving as its musical advisor.

“A year later–almost 25 years ago to this day–visitors crammed into a packed demo suite on the fifth floor of the New York Hilton Hotel during the annual Audio Engineering Society convention and marveled at the Kurzweil 250. The first ROM-based sampling keyboard to successfully reproduce the full complexity of acoustic instruments, the 250 offered natural-sounding pianos, thick drums, lush strings, choirs and more and its 88-note, velocity-sensitive wooden keyboard provided a piano-like playing experience.

“The Kurzweil 250 weighed 95 pounds and cost almost $16,000, but the 250 sounded great and was popular with recording studios and top performers, and Kurzweil followed it with a long series of innovative—and more affordable—products. This year we are pleased and honored to present this award to Ray Kurzweil.”

MIX magazine is the world’s leading publication for professionals in the recording, sound and music production industries. Introduced in 1983, the Kurzweil 250 is considered to be the first electronic musical instrument to successfully emulate the complex sound response of a grand piano and virtually all other orchestral instruments.

August 30, 2008

Singularity Summit 2008

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:09 am

From KurzweilAI.net — Here’s the lineup for Singularity Summit 2008. Keynote speakers include Ray Kurzweil and Justin Rattner, CTO of Intel.

Intel CTO and Ray Kurzweil Among Visionaries Headlining Singularity Summit 2008
KurzweilAI.net, Aug. 29, 2008

Singularity Summit 2008: Opportunity, Risk, Leadership takes place October 25 at the Montgomery Theater in San Jose, CA, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence plans to announce today.

Keynotes will include Ray Kurzweil, updating his predictions in The SingularityIs Near, and Intel CTO Justin Rattner, who thinks the gap between humans and machines will close by 2050.

Singularity Summit 2008 will feature an impressive lineup:

* Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy, pioneering AI and robotics researcher
* Dr. Eric Baum, AI researcher, author of What is Thought?
* Marshall Brain, founder of HowStuffWorks.com, author of Robotic Nation
* Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, robotics professor at MIT, creator of Kismet
* Dr. Peter Diamandis, chair and CEO of X PRIZE Foundation
* Esther Dyson, entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist
* Dr. Pete Estep, chair and CSO of Innerspace Foundation
* Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, director of MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, author of Fab
* Dr. Ben Goertzel, CEO of Novamente, director of researchat SIAI
* John Horgan, science journalist, author of The Undiscovered Mind
* Ray Kurzweil, CEO of Kurzweil Technologies, author of The Singularity is Near
* Dr. James Miller, author of forthcoming book on Singularity economics
* Dr. Marvin Minsky, one of AI‘s founding fathers, author of The Emotion Machine
* Dr. Dharmendra Modha, cognitive computing lead at IBMAlmaden Research Center
* Bob Pisani, news correspondent for financial news networkCNBC
* Justin Rattner, VP and CTO of Intel Corporation
* Nova Spivack, CEO of Radar Networks, creator of Twine semantic-web application
* Peter Thiel, president of Clarium, managing partner of Founders Fund
* Dr. Vernor Vinge, author of original paper on the technological Singularity
* Eliezer Yudkowsky, researchfellow at SIAI, author of Creating Friendly AI
* Glenn Zorpette, executive editor of IEEE Spectrum

July 31, 2008

Thin-film solar continues growth

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:31 pm

From KurzweilAI.net, thin-film solar cells are a very promising technology in making solar more affordable and feasible. According to the linked article this tech looks to continue its strong growth.

Thin films: ready for their close-up?
Nature News, July 30 2008

New thin-film solar cells may enable solar-cell technology to maintain its 50% annual growth during the past five years.

Candidate materials to replace today’s amorphous silicon include cadmium telluride, CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide), and dyes painted onto the surface of nanometer-size particles of titanium dioxide.

In sunny climates, the technology is expected to lead to “grid parity” — electricity generated by photovoltaics as cheaply as it is sold by utilities — within four years or so.

Read Original Article>>

June 6, 2008

More Singularity and living 3D nano-microscopy

From KurzweilAI.net. Ray Kurzweil talks about the Singularityon NPR and a new technique allows for nano-level microscopy on living cells.

Will We Recognize The Future?
Science Friday, June 6, 2008What happens when the rate of technological change becomes so fast that the fundamental nature of what it means to be human changes too?

On Science Fridayon NPR (June 6, 2009 at 3 PM), host Ira Flatow talks with inventor, technologist and futuristRay Kurzweil about the idea of the Singularity — what happens when technology advances so much that it’s impossible to predict what happens next. Will artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and biotechnology be able to completely reshape what it means to be human?

This is a call-in radio show.

Read Original Article>>

Pretty on the Inside
Technology Review, June 5, 2008University of California, San Francisco and Ludwig Maximilians University researchers are using a new technique called 3-D structured-illumination microscopy to view living cells with 100 nanometers resolution.

Cells prepare for division by condensing their DNA into chromosomes (Lothar Schermelleh, Peter Carlton)

The new microscope illuminates cells with interference patterns. When a fine cellular structure reflects this light, it changes the pattern slightly. The microscope collects it, then software interprets the changes and creates an image.

The inner workings of living cells have previously been impossible to resolve with optical microscopes, which are limited to a resolution of about half the wavelength of visible light, around 200 nanometers. Electron microscopy has the resolution, but can only be used on dead cells.

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April 15, 2008

Billionfold increase in technical capacity according to Kurzweil

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:21 pm

This sort of adjunct to Moore’s Law is a Ray Kurzweil specialty and a key component of the “singularity” concept. So far Ray’s predictions, if maybe a bit grandiose, have come to pass. I wouldn’t count this futurist out when contemplating the next few decades.

From KurzweilAI.net:

Making the World A Billion Times Better
Washington Post, April 13, 2008As powerful as information technologyis today, we will make another billion-fold increase in capability (for the same cost) over the next 25 years, says Ray Kurzweil.

“Only technology possesses the scale to address the major challenges — such as energy and the environment, disease and poverty — confronting society. That, at least, is the major conclusion of a panel, organized by the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Engineering, on which I recently participated.”

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February 25, 2008

Kurzweil forecasts future tech

Here’s an interesting group of tech forecasts from Ray Kurzweil.

Kurzweil forecast future techologies that will impact game developers
KurzweilAI.net, Feb. 25, 2008

Look for the price-to-performance ratio of computers to improve a billionfold in the next 25 years, Ray Kurzweil said in a keynote speech, “The Next 20 Years of Gaming,” at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Thursday, CNET reported.

Kurzweil said game programmers should be developing ahead of the curve, considering the constantly changing face of game technology.

“We may even have the ability to accurately represent the human brain or produce convincing human language— dialog — on the fly,” Kurzweil said. “The implications and potential for the advancement of games from such technological leaps are exciting to ponder,” Wired reported.

Kurzweil’s forecasts have “obvious and exciting implications for gaming,” according to Game Helper.

By 2010, we’ll have electronics so tiny they are “embedded in the environment, our clothing, our eyeglasses”; images and video will be “written directly to our retinas” and “we will all enjoy a “ubiquitous high bandwidth connection to the Internet at all times.”

By 2029, “We will have developed a human-level non-biological intelligence; “$1,000 worth of computation = 1000 times the human brain“; and while biological intelligence is in essence “fixed,” non-biological intelligence will continue increasing exponentially, and will combine “the subtlety and pattern recognition strength of human intelligence with the speed, memory, and knowledge sharing of machine intelligence.”

February 16, 2008

Vernor Vinge’s collected stories

Filed under: Arts, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:06 pm

Right now I’m reading “The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge.” He’s the sci-fi writer who pretty much coined the term “the Singularity” (see the wikipedia page here) to refer to a time when machines surpass humans in intelligence.

The concept was picked up and run with by Ray Kurzweil — yep, that Kurzweil — and much more information can be found over in my “Sites to See” links at KurzweilAI.net.

This collection is a great read. The stories range in publication date from 1965 to 2001, although most are late-60s to late-80s. Good stuff if you like speculative fiction.

Here’s an article by Vinge on what if the Singularity doesn’t come pass. It was first presented a year ago at Long Now Foundation Seminars About Long Term Thinking.

(Update: Another link of interest might be this chat between Vinge and Kurzweil on the Singularity)