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Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines

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Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines

Theme: Technology as evolution

Author’s Thesis: Accelerating pace of change is inevitable—machine intelligence will exceed human intelligence; however, we have the power to shape future technology and future lives

Main Points

- Before 21st Century is over, humans no longer the most intelligent or capable entity on planet

- Primary political/philosophical issue of next century—definition of who we are

- In an evolutionary process, order increases exponentially, time speeds up, returns accelerate [Law of Time & Chaos, Law of Increasing Chaos, Law of Accelerating Returns (LAR)]

- - Moore’s Law dead by 2020, but LAR continues

- Exponent of growth of technology is higher than species

Here’s a site on everything you never wanted to know about neural nets.

Notes from Gloves: Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines / man likes problems to solve 1-2 / the pace of change accelerates / “in the next decade [by 2009]” phones will translate in real time - but it didn’t happen –you must stone the prophet 4 / the rate of change impacts the perception of the passage of time 11 / tech is inevitable because it is useful 17 / Moore’s Law sez transistors double every two years, but it’s limited by physics – or is it? 21 / evolution balances entropy 31 / evolution is a programmer, using DNA as its abacus 40 / intelligence defined – the ability to use limited resources to achieve goals 73 / recursion analyzes problems of combination, neural nets aid pattern recognition, and algorithms help manage complexity 89 / information isn’t knowledge 91-3 / Penrose theory – minds think using quantum decoherence, which is the definition of consciousness 118 / mapping brains and transferring them to computers 122ff / nanotech can build or rebuild replacement bodies 137ff / if nanobots self-replicate, and they must, they could by mistake or by evil design destroy all live 141-2 / sexuality and spirituality transcend the physical (or do they?) 146ff / predictions are sometimes ridiculous in retrospect 169 / an entire chapter of 2009 predictions, 189-98 / an entire chapter of 2019 predictions 202-8 / an entire chapter of 2029 predictions (but no predictions about war, which is apparently inconceivable) 220-4 / then a chapter of predictions on 2099 – very brief on substance and long on the imaginary, rambling pseudo-conversation 234-5 / none of this wonderful stuff will happen if we kill ourselves with nukes or other pathogens 256 / computational density, like intellectual density, is currently very low 259 /

seminar notes / not transcending humanity, but achieveing nirvana – total consciousness / if the universe is absolutely “matter in motion,” the map it = control it = download brain to computer / what’s the role of government in this “live forever” thing? / Yiddish “prevailism” means that, during the cyber age, humans will “throw the curve a curve”

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