The future according to Ray Kurzweil

June 29, 2000

The visionary and author tells PC Expo-goers to expect mind-shattering, exponential development in computing and other tech fields and includes advice for Alan Greenspan. Ray Kurzweil’s recent book The Age of Spiritual Machines looked far into the future, when electronic devices may think, act, and even feel emotions the way humans do. And true to form, the technologist and renowned visionary cut a wide swath across history in a Thursday morning keynote speech at PC Expo.

Kurzweil’s talk ranged from human evolution and the Cambrian Explosion, when the number of life forms on earth exploded, to not-yet-invented one-inch computer cubes far more powerful than the human brain. The underlying theme: It’s all exponential, from the development of new technologies to the growth of economies to the life spans of humans. “Well see 1,000 times more technological progress in the 21st century than we saw in the 20th,” said Kurzweil. “It’s remarkable how people fail to internalize the implications of this.” […]