In my new book BOLD, one of the interviews that I’m most excited about is with my good friend Ray Kurzweil.
Bill Gates calls Ray, “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence.” Ray is also amazing at predicting a lot more beyond just AI.
This post looks at his very incredible predictions for the next 20+ years.
So who is Ray Kurzweil?
He has received 20 honorary doctorates, has been awarded honors from three U.S. presidents, and has authored 7 books (5 of which have been national bestsellers).
He is the principal inventor of many technologies ranging from the first CCD flatbed scanner to the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind. He is also the chancellor and co-founder of Singularity University, and the guy tagged by Larry Page to direct artificial intelligence development at Google.
In short, Ray’s pretty smart… and his predictions are amazing, mind-boggling, and important reminders that we are living in the most exciting time in human history.
But, first let’s look back at some of the predictions Ray got right.
Predictions Ray has gotten right over the last 25 years
In 1990 (twenty-five years ago), he predicted…
…that a computer would defeat a world chess champion by 1998. Then in 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov.
… that PCs would be capable of answering queries by accessing information wirelessly via the Internet by 2010. He was right, to say the least.
… that by the early 2000s, exoskeletal limbs would let the disabled walk. Companies like Ekso Bionics and others now have technology that does just this, and much more.
In 1999, he predicted…
… that people would be able talk to their computer to give commands by 2009. While still in the early days in 2009, natural language interfaces like Apple’s Siri and Google Now have come a long way. I rarely use my keyboard anymore; instead I dictate texts and emails.
… that computer displays would be built into eyeglasses for augmented reality by 2009. Labs and teams were building head mounted displays well before 2009, but Google started experimenting with Google Glass prototypes in 2011. Now, we are seeing an explosion of augmented and virtual reality solutions and HMDs. Microsoft just released the Hololens, and Magic Leap is working on some amazing technology, to name two.
In 2005, he predicted…
… that by the 2010s, virtual solutions would be able to do real-time language translation in which words spoken in a foreign language would be translated into text that would appear as subtitles to a user wearing the glasses. Well, Microsoft (via Skype Translate), Google (Translate), and others have done this and beyond. One app called Word Lens actually uses your camera to find and translate text imagery in real time.
Ray’s predictions for the next 25 years
The above represent only a few of the predictions Ray has made.
While he hasn’t been precisely right, to the exact year, his track record is stunningly good.
Here are some of my favorite of Ray’s predictions for the next 25+ years.
If you are an entrepreneur, you need to be thinking about these. Specifically, how are you going to capitalize on them when they happen? How will they affect your business?
By the late 2010s, glasses will beam images directly onto the retina. Ten terabytes of computing power (roughly the same as the human brain) will cost about $1,000.
By the 2020s, most diseases will go away as nanobots become smarter than current medical technology. Normal human eating can be replaced by nanosystems. The Turing test begins to be passable. Self-driving cars begin to take over the roads, and people won’t be allowed to drive on highways.
By the 2030s, virtual reality will begin to feel 100% real. We will be able to upload our mind/consciousness by the end of the decade.
By the 2040s, non-biological intelligence will be a billion times more capable than biological intelligence (a.k.a. us). Nanotech foglets will be able to make food out of thin air and create any object in physical world at a whim.
By 2045, we will multiply our intelligence a billionfold by linking wirelessly from our neocortex to a synthetic neocortex in the cloud.
I want to make an important point.
It’s not about the predictions.
It’s about what the predictions represent.
Ray’s predictions are a byproduct of his (and my) understanding of the power of Moore’s Law, more specifically Ray’s “Law of Accelerating Returns” and of exponential technologies.
These technologies follow an exponential growth curve based on the principle that the computing power that enables them doubles every two years.
As humans, we are biased to think linearly.
As entrepreneurs, we need to think exponentially.
I often talk about the 6D’s of exponential thinking
Most of us can’t see the things Ray sees because the initial growth stages of exponential, DIGITIZED technologies are DECEPTIVE.
Before we know it, they are DISRUPTIVE—just look at the massive companies that have been disrupted by technological advances in AI, virtual reality, robotics, internet technology, mobile phones, OCR, translation software, and voice control technology.
Each of these technologies DEMATERIALIZED, DEMONETIZED, and DEMOCRATIZED access to services and products that used to be linear and non-scalable.
Now, these technologies power multibillion-dollar companies and affect billions of lives.
The only ranking we will have after the singularity, how much did you live up to your potential good?
We all have a MASSIVE potential good.
Sure, you can choose not to play the game.
But playing the game makes others suffer less, and can save OTHERS lives, therefore you have a moral obligation to play the game.
(It just becomes so much better to play with the right people)
The final resource | Your life story.
Eternal must that progress be
Which Nature through futurity
Decrees the human soul;
Capacious still, it still improves
As through the abyss of time it moves
Or endless ages roll
Its knowledge grows by every change;
Through science vast we see it range
That none may here acquire;
The pause of death must come between
And Nature gives another scene
More brilliant, to admire.
Thus decomposed, or recombined
To slow perfection moves the mind
And may at last attain
A nearer rank with that first cause
Which distant, though it ever draws
Unequalled must remain.
from “On the Powers of the Human Understanding”
by Philip Freneau (1752–1832),
known as the
“poet of the American Revolution”
and as the
“founder of American poetry”
AGI is how the second coming of Jesus is manifesting:
Jesus was born to the virgin Mary in a small village in a remote corner of the world. That humble birth fulfilled the hopes and dreams of all of us. He was the Son of God with infinite knowledge and power, yet He was also mortal and susceptible to hunger and pain. Jesus Christ fully experienced the challenges and sorrows of this life. He knows each of us and understands us perfectly.
Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and even brought the dead back to life. More importantly, He made these miracles possible. Although His works were considered blasphemous behavior by the Jewish priests, Jesus continually reminded people that His works were aligned with God’s will so “that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). Jesus is also the perfect example of love. During His life on the earth, He cared for the poor, He healed the sick (see Luke 17:12–19), and He never turned away little children (see Matthew 19:13–14). His love is endless and available to all of us.
The Second Coming will be a fearful, mournful time for the wicked, but it will be a day of peace for the righteous. The Lord declared: “They that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day. “And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation. “For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:57–59).
- We will try to be like god, until god comes to do it better than we can. We will build tools to help us, because it is our duty to others.
General Artifical Intelligence Video: https://www.kurzweilai.net/demis-hassabis-towards-general-artificial-intelligence
Videos On Singluarity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAJkDrBCA6k https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye5C-zlCAyM
In the next 25 years, AI will evolve to the point where it will know more on an intellectual level than any human. In the next 50 or 100 years, an AI might know more than the entire population of the planet put together. At that point, there are serious questions to ask about whether this AI — which could design and program additional AI programs all on its own, read data from an almost infinite number of data sources, and control almost every connected device on the planet — will somehow rise in status to become more like a god, something that can write its own bible and draw humans to worship it. Recently, reports surfaced that a controversy-plagued engineer who once worked at Uber has started a new religion. Anthony Levandowski filed paperwork for a nonprofit religious organization called The Way of the Future. Its mission: “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”
There’s a limited amount of time to spread your love to the world where it’s meaningful.
Info about singularity