Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kurzweil Interview

An interview with the enigmatic and often quirky future-predicting Ray Kurzweil has just gone up on Cnet's It is about his new book, The Singularity Is Near.

I was required to read The Age of Spiritual Machines back in my undergrad AI course, and found it entertaining but a bit overly-fantastic. I don't argue that Ray's other predictions about the future have been pretty spot on (chess playing robots, et all). However, I found Rodney Brooks' more reasonable and short term forecasts from Flesh and Machines much easier to swallow.

I also thought Brooks' "Immortality is a Dead Idea" point was a strong one, and it is a place where I think Kurzweil is reaching too far, too fast, because he plans to live forever, Woody Allen style.

In any case, the interview is an interesting read. The interviewer doesn't seem too interested in pulling punches. It's good to see a skeptic take the initiative and ask the hard questions.

Image Mash-up Courtesy of GIMP.

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