An artificially intelligent future: Ray Kurzweil on engineering the brain

November 28, 2012

Ray Kurzweil foresees a disease-free world where no one ages and artificial brains make machines human-like — and he is not one to get things wrong. He is a pioneer, exploring a hinterland that lies just beyond the horizon of current possibilities; a twilight zone between science fact and fiction, between predictions rooted in existing technology and the wildest lunatic speculation.

Ray Kurzweil is an American technologist and futurist who is on a mission to make us all immortal, starting with himself, thanks to what he calls “the law of accelerating returns.” The rate of change is getting faster to the extent that “within 10 or 15 years we will be able to overcome cancer and heart disease, and stop and reverse aging.” Thanks to the “exponential progression” of technology, Kurzweil says, we are heading for “profound changes,” an event horizon where artificial intelligence spirals beyond our control, or even our understanding. […]