Inside the Kurzweil SXSW keynote on infinite mind power, robotic overlords and immortality

March 14, 2012

He is one of the world’s most renowned futurists, and onstage at South By Southwest, Ray Kurzweil stirred debate with a speech that outlined the incredible role artificial intelligence will play in the future, as it reshapes humanity.

South By Southwest Interactive is a bubble of optimism; a haven of ingenuity that seems liberated from all the constraints, or cynicism, of daily life. There are conceptual talks here that forgo all notions of funding or commerce, to instead bask in the glory of the Next Big Idea.

There are demonstrations where you can sense that you’re peering around the corner, at how people will be interacting differently with their computers — and their worlds — two or three years from now. […]