The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence

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9780670882175: The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence

In his provocative new book The Age of Spiritual Machines, Ray Kurzweil, who Forbes Magazine calls "the ultimate thinking machine," takes readers on an breathtaking tour of the history of computation and artificial intelligence and makes startling predictions for the future of technology, such as: * 2010: A translating telephone will allow you to speak in any language and be heard in the listener's native tongue, in real time, in your own voice. * 2020: a $1000 computer will match the processing speed of the human brain -- about 20 billion calculations per second. * 2030: Most humans will have neural implants to improve their vision, hearing, memory, and thinking skills. It will become increasingly difficult for people without implants to function in human society.

The Age of Spiritual Machines is a prophetic blueprint for the future. Kurzweil begins by asking a critical question for understanding the twenty-first century: Can humans create another intelligence more intelligent than ourselves?

Kurzweil answers this question by probing into the intelligent process that created us: evolution. According to him "evolution's grandest creation -- human intelligence -- is providing the means for the next stage of evolution, which is technology." Because his Law of Accelerating Returns holds that technology is exponentially speeding up, Kurzweil predicts that early in this next century, machines will attain human level intelligence through reverse engineering of the brain. Once this critical threshold is achieved, computers will necessarily soar past human limitations.

By 2020, we will begin to have relationships with automated personalities and use them as teachers, companions, and lovers. By 2030, the distinction between us and computers will have been so sufficiently blurred that when machines claim to be conscious, we will have no choice but to believe them. Human identity will be called into question as never before, as a billion years of evolution are superseded in a mere hundred by machine technology that we have created. We will become cyborgs, but what will computers become?

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Review:

How much do we humans enjoy our current status as the most intelligent beings on earth? Enough to try to stop our own inventions from surpassing us in smarts? If so, we'd better pull the plug right now, because if Ray Kurzweil is right we've only got until about 2020 before computers outpace the human brain in computational power. Kurzweil, artificial intelligence expert and author of The Age of Intelligent Machines, shows that technological evolution moves at an exponential pace. Further, he asserts, in a sort of swirling postulate, time speeds up as order increases, and vice versa. He calls this the "Law of Time and Chaos," and it means that although entropy is slowing the stream of time down for the universe overall, and thus vastly increasing the amount of time between major events, in the eddy of technological evolution the exact opposite is happening, and events will soon be coming faster and more furiously. This means that we'd better figure out how to deal with conscious machines as soon as possible--they'll soon not only be able to beat us at chess, but also likely demand civil rights, and might at last realize the very human dream of immortality.

The Age of Spiritual Machines is compelling and accessible, and not necessarily best read from front to back--it's less heavily historical if you jump around (Kurzweil encourages this). Much of the content of the book lays the groundwork to justify Kurzweil's timeline, providing an engaging primer on the philosophical and technological ideas behind the study of consciousness. Instead of being a gee-whiz futurist manifesto, Spiritual Machines reads like a history of the future, without too much science fiction dystopianism. Instead, Kurzweil shows us the logical outgrowths of current trends, with all their attendant possibilities. This is the book we'll turn to when our computers first say "hello." --Therese Littleton

From the Back Cover:

Step into the world of Ray Kurzweil, the "restless genius" (Wall Street Journal) and "ultimate thinking machine" (Forbes), whose predictions for an age in which man and machine are interchangeable are startling, provocative -- and closer to realization than you think.

Imagine a world where the difference between man and machine blurs, where the line between humanity and technology fades, and where the soul and the silicon chip unite. This is not science fiction. This is the twenty-first century according to Ray Kurzweil, the inventor of the most innovative and compelling technology of our era. In his inspired hands, life in the new millennium no longer seems daunting. Instead, it promises to be an age in which the marriage of human sensitivity and artificial intelligence fundamentally alters and improves the way we live.

More than just a list of predictions, Kurzweil's prophetic blueprint for the future guides us through the inexorable advances that will result in: computers exceeding the memory capacity and computational ability of the human brain by the year 2020 (with human-level capabilities not far behind); relationships with automated personalities who will be our teachers, companions, and lovers; and information fed straight into our brains along direct neural pathways. Eventually, the distinction between humans and computers will have become sufficiently blurred that when the machines claim to be conscious, we will believe them.

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Kurzweil, Ray
Editore: U.S.A.: Viking Adult (1999)
ISBN 10: 0670882178 ISBN 13: 9780670882175
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Descrizione libro U.S.A.: Viking Adult, 1999. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. This brand new, pristine copy of Ray Kurzweil's important work is from the literary agency collection of Loretta Barrett, who was Ray Kurzweil's long time literary agency. This is an eye-opening forecast on the subject of computers and how they will exceed the memory capacity of the human brain by the year 2020. Ray Kurzweil, called a "restless genius" by The Wall Street Journal, is responsible for some of the most compelling technology of our era. The brains behind the Kurzweil Reading Machine (which helps Stevie Wonder read his mail), the Kurzweil synthesizer, and the voice-recognition program that appears on Windows 98, he is also a formidable thinker who a decade ago predicted the emergence of the World Wide Web and that a computer would beat the world chess champion. Finally, someone with the authority to speak about the future also has the courage and imagination to do so. The Age of Spiritual Machines is no list of predictions but a framework for envisioning the 21st century in which one advance or invention leads inexorably to another. After establishing that technology is growing exponentially, Kurzweil forecasts that computers will exceed the memory capacity and computing speed of the human brain by 2020, with the other attributes of human intelligence not far behind. By that time paraplegics will be able to walk by using a combination of nerve stimulation and robotic devices. You will be able to choose the personality of your automated computer assistant, who will conduct business on your behalf with other automated personalities. A mere nine years later, you will be able to enhance your intelligence with neural implants. The upshot is that human identity will be called into question as never before, as a billion years of evolution are superseded in a mere hundred by machine technology that we ourselves have created. We will become cyborgs, but what will computers become? Pristine and bright condition. Codice libro della libreria 10

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Descrizione libro Viking Adult, 1999. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Signed. autographed by author. Codice libro della libreria mon0000172056

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Descrizione libro Viking Adult, 1999. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0670882178

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Descrizione libro Hardcover. Condizione libro: BRAND NEW. NEW Book in Mint Condition -- Great DEAL !! Fast Shipping -- Friendly Customer Service -- Buy with Confidence!. Codice libro della libreria RP0670882178BN

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