Time magazine’s article about the 2045 technologcial singularity popularized by Ray Kurzweil mostly was commentary about Kurzweil’s study and extrapolations. In the article only a single graph was shown. A more detailed presentation of the study that Kurzweil conducted, all of the statistical data, and principles of extrapolation can be found in his book “The Singularity is Near” or on KurzweilAi.net.
1. Futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil conducted the study. He has in the past predicted many things such as the rise of the internet, the year a computer would beat a chess champion, the fall of the soviet union, and much more. Bill Gates has called him the best in the world at predicting the future of AI. He also started his first company when he was in MIT, and has been an inventor since he was 5 years old.
2. The research was done by Ray Kurzweil himself and he founded The Singularity Institute to continue the research and discussion about this issue.
3. Wired Magazine’s creator Kevin Kelly said that there was a lot in this vision of the future that’s hardwired into peoples’ own withes and desires to see this before they die. However, Ray Kurzweil shows that his projections are completely based on empirical evidence and objective reality. Being an inventor Kurzweil accidentally stumbled upon this exponential trend when he was studying technology trends. He expected the trend to be erratic and all over the place, but he saw that the amount of computing you could get per dollar was growing at a constant rate even during the Great Depression and WWII on a logarithmic scale (a constant rate on a logarithmic scale is exponential). Moore’s Law (the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every year) is one such example of this exponential progression. The reason the rate of technological innovation is exponential is because we use our newest technologies to build the next, so it’s basically like compound interest for IRAs. Also the price of these technologies has been decreasing at an exponential rate. Ray Kurzweil called this exponential progression The Law of Accelerating Returns. At the current pace the following things will happen in the near future:
A. Computers will think like humans do by the end of the 2020s. Computers are already there in terms of logical mathematical thinking but soon they will match us in our moral and emotional intelligence as well.
B. The Singularity will occur in 2045. The Singularity refers to a future period which technological change will be so rapid and it’s impact so profound that every aspect of human life will be irreversibly transformed. The pace of technological change will be so fast that you won’t be able to follow it unless you enhance your own intelligence by merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.
C. After the Singularity, humans will become "functionally immortal"... When the singularity arrives we will be able to reprogram biology in a mature human being away from aging and disease. We will transcend biology by merging with our technology and the portion of ourselves that’s still “human” will get smaller and smaller. Virtual reality will be full immersion, all senses, and more realistic that real reality. All kinds of learning will be as easy as downloading. Ultimately we will transcend humanity and the whole way of thinking, feeling, relating with the world that constitutes humanity. By merging with this technology human will enter a new era of superhuman existence.
D. ... And we will be able to bring the dead back to life
E. Oh, and human intelligence will conquer the universe
4. Kurzweil says his information is based on a rich model of diverse technological processes and his predictions are completely based on data driven systematic extrapolations.
5. The information is communicated in a very clear and concise way.
6. Many graphs are also presented in a very informative manner especially the article online from kurzweilai.net and in his book.
Kurzweil, Ray. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. New York: Viking, 2005. Print.
"Singularity: Kurzweil on 2045, When Humans, Machines Merge - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. Web. 08 Jan. 2012.
A.d., 1000. "The Law of Accelerating Returns | KurzweilAI." Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence. Web. 08 Jan. 2012.