Artificial intelligence: our final invention?

December 18, 2013

This spring Hollywood will weigh in with Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp as an AI researcher targeted by violent extremists who think we’re crossing a Rubicon that will be a disaster for humanity.

A few years ago I read chunks of Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity Is Near. Kurzweil argued that what sets our age apart from all previous ones is the accelerating pace of technological advance.

This development will supercharge notions of “intelligence,” Kurzweil predicted, and even make it possible to upload digitized versions of our brains to the cloud so that some form of “us” lives forever. […]