The Singularity is Near: When Humans Trascend Biology

This is a review of a book by Ray Kurzweil.

The singularity reffered to in the title of this book is a time of exponential technological growth, particularly in the fields of artificical intelligence, genetics and nanotechnology, which will completely transform society and even the human body.

Kurzweil is predicting realy astonishingly dramatic changes over the next few decades and beyond, but he is not just some random bloke with an overblown imagination, he is a respected academic and high-tech business entrepreneur who Bill gates has described as "the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence".

According to Kurzweil we are just a couple of decades away from 'strong AI' - artificial intelligence able to rival human capabilities. He is convinced that the combination of this and rapid advances in genetics and nanotechnology will enable humanity to 'transcend biology' with extended life spans and enhanced abilities.

Although the conclusions of this book appear to be so radically optomistic that they are hard to accept, there is evidence provided which goes some way to convince the reader. It is a really exciting and fascinating read, but my main problem with this book is that Kurzweil is constantly repeating himself and has managed to turn what would have been an excellent 300 page book into a waffling and at times quite boring 650 pages.

by Dean Walsh


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