Ray Kurzweil brings the Singularity to SXSW

March 13, 2012

On Monday afternoon author and inventor Ray Kurzweil took the stage at SXSW for an interview session with frequent Time magazine contributor Lev Grossman.

Kurzweil, somewhat of a controversial figure in the tech community, was there to discuss his radically optimistic views on technology, human consciousness, and evolution.

The session began with Kurzweil delivering a short slide presentation about his predictions on how technology will impact culture in the coming decades. Kurzweil’s belief in this is based on an idea he calls, the Law of Accelerating Returns, a term he coined for his 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines. This law states that technological change is exponential rather than linear, meaning rapid advancement in technology begets more rapid advancements in technology.

Kurzweil believes that because improvements in technology are developing so rapidly, we are quickly approaching a time when human beings will merge with technology and evolve to a kind of post-human state. Kurzweil refers to this event as the Singularity. […]