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The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
Synopses & Reviews
For over three decades, the great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.
That merging is the essence of the Singularity, an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today—the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity. In this new world, there will be no clear distinction between human and machine, real reality and virtual reality.
While the social and philosophical ramifications of these changes will be profound, and the threats they pose considerable, The Singularity Is Near maintains a radically optimistic view of the future course of human development. As such, it offers a view of the coming age that is both a dramatic culmination of centuries of technological ingenuity and a genuinely inspiring vision of our ultimate destiny.
A radical and optimistic view of the future course of human development from Ray Kurzweil, whom Bill Gates calls "the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence."
About the Author
Ray Kurzweil is one of the world's leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, with a twenty-year track record of accurate predictions. The recipient of awards including the 1999 National Medal of Technology and the MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world's largest award for innovation, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has received nineteen honorary doctorates and honors from three United States presidents. Ray's previous books include The Age of Spiritual Machines, The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, and The Age of Intelligent Machines. George K. Wilson has narrated over one hundred fiction and nonfiction audiobook titles, from Thomas L. Friedman to Thomas Pynchon, and has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards. He spent ten years in broadcast news, including for the American Forces Radio and Television Service and for rock radio in San Diego and Los Angeles. An American Academy of Dramatic Arts, West, graduate, his acting career includes stage, film, television, commercials, improvisational comedy, and stand-up. George has written and performed in over five hundred nationally syndicated short news satire features for public radio and NPR and has received a national Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award for Best Public Service Program. He has also scripted and hosted corporate videos for Sony, Merck, IBM, and Price Waterhouse. He is currently working on a suspense short story collection and a thriller novel.
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