The singularity is nearer When we merge with Al

Ray Kurzweil

Book - 2024

"This successor volume to The Singularity Is Near explores how technology will refashion the human race in the decades to come. In this entirely new book, Ray Kurzweil brings a fresh perspective to advances in the singularity-assessing the progress of many of his predictions and examining the novel advancements that, in the near future, will bring a revolution in knowledge and an expansion of human potential. Among the topics he discusses are rebuilding the world atom by atom with devices like nanobots; radical life extension beyond the current age limit of 120; reinventing intelligence by expanding biological capacity with nonbiological intelligence in the cloud; how life is improving with declines in poverty and violence; and the gro...wth of technologies that can be applied to everything from clothes to building materials to growing human organs. He also considers the potential perils of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence, including such topics as how AI will impact unemployment and the safety of autonomous cars, and "After Life" technology, which will reanimate people who have passed away through a combination of data and DNA"--

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2nd Floor New Shelf 660.6/Kurzweil (NEW SHELF) Due Aug 1, 2024
2nd Floor New Shelf 660.6/Kurzweil (NEW SHELF) Due Aug 4, 2024
[New York] : Viking [2024]
Main Author
Ray Kurzweil (author)
Physical Description
xii, 419 pages : charts ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 313-400) and index.
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Where Are We in the Six Stages?
  • Chapter 2. Reinventing Intelligence
  • Chapter 3. Who Am I?
  • Chapter 4. Life is Getting Exponentially Better
  • Chapter 5. The Future Of Jobs: Good Or Bad?
  • Chapter 6. The Next Thirty Years In Health and Well-Being
  • Chapter 7. Peril
  • Chapter 8. Dialogue With Cassandra
  • Appendix
  • Notes
  • Index
Review by Booklist Review

Futurist thought leader Kurzweil, whose The Singularity Is Near was published nearly 20 years ago, explores the complexity of artificial intelligence through neural sciences. AI can reach human intelligence, he asserts, as he delves into the implications and consequences of AI in the workforce, in medicine, and in society overall. According to Kurzweil, human intelligence is defined as a bundle of cognitive abilities, and AI as the simulation of human brains by computers. Building upon his previous work, the author defines singularity as a metaphor for when we are unable to comprehend the "radical shift" to our current level of intelligence that AI poses. Drawing on scientific reports, research studies, and interviews with experts, Kurzweil observes the long-term trends in order to ponder the promises and perils of AI when it comes to nuclear weapons and genetic engineering. To readers interested in AI and biotechnology, Kurzweil offers insight as he breaks down the complex topic and addresses the ethical issues surrounding its use and place in society.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this fanciful prognosis, Kurzweil explores how technological advances made since the publication of his 2005 book, The Singularity Is Near, will affect humanity's future. His predictions are based on his belief that around 2045 and "aided by superhuman AI, we will engineer brain--computer interfaces that vastly expand our neocortices with layers of virtual neurons" in the cloud, achieving the "singularity" point at which humanity and technology will merge. Discussing some of the mind-bending possibilities such an event would engender, Kurzweil suggests it may one day be possible to transfer one's memories and personality to a digital medium, raising questions over whether the digital version should be considered the same person as the biological original and whether "our subjective consciousness may somehow encompass all copies of this defining information." Unfortunately, most of Kurzweil's arguments cite as evidence only his unwavering confidence in the inevitable march of scientific progress. For example, he posits that "medical nanorobots" will forestall aging by repairing organs and adjusting blood levels without providing much detail on the science needed to realize such an innovation. The bounty of graphs suggesting that technological advances lie behind long-term declines in annual hours worked, violent crime, and authoritarianism paper over the potential negative consequences of advanced technology, which are treated largely in passing. This has more speculation than science. Agent: Nick Mullendore, Vertical Ink Agency. (June)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

The acclaimed futurist demonstrates how a revolutionary future is closer than you might think. Kurzweil, principal researcher and AI visionary at Google, is very good at thinking ahead, especially in linking technological innovation with social impacts. He has written a string of thought-provoking books, most notably the 2005 work The Singularity Is Near, in which he predicted that by 2029, computers would reach and perhaps exceed human-level intelligence, as well as pass the critical Turing test. It certainly was a bold forecast, but now it seems plausible, if not inevitable. In his latest book, the author tracks the breakthroughs of the past decade that will contribute to reaching the goal, tying together artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum processing. He looks closely at how the latest computers can display sentient thinking and communicate through plain speech, an area he studies at Google. Along the way, Kurzweil examines advances and makes predictions in the areas of renewable energy, food production, 3-D printing, and health and medicine. In his 2005 book, the author also made the claim that by 2040, humans would be able to directly interface with computers through brain connectivity. "A key capability in the 2030s," he writes, "will be to connect the upper ranges of our neocortex to the cloud." Nearly 20 years ago, this concept felt like it was ripped from a sci-fi movie, but his latest book capably explains the recent developments in biotechnology and nanotechnology that could enable it. Of course, if these developments were to occur, they would constitute a major shift in consciousness. It still sounds somewhat fanciful, but Kurzweil's capacity for predictive thinking should not be underestimated--and 2040 is only a generation away. As the author might say, stay tuned. This book brims with ideas about what lies ahead, and Kurzweil presents his vision with clarity and passion. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.