Saturday, March 17, 2007


In his book The Age Of Spiritual Machines, author Ray Kurzweil predicts that within a dozen years from now, computers will have the memory capacity and processing speed of the human mind. This will, among other things, allow machines to be able to read, understand, and interpret written and printed words in every possible language.

Simultaneously, we will see a gradual and steady trend away from the use and manufacture of paper books and written documents. By this time, it will be common for many people to never need to use handwriting at all-- most information will be expressed and conveyed through hands-free devices. Teaching, learning, and communication by this point will largely be done through intelligent voice/gesture activated software-based systems.

By 2029, a $1,000.00 unit of computation will have the computing capacity of 1,000 human minds. Within a decade of this, intelligent machines will have read and understood every word ever written in every human language and every code ever generated by other machines. And they will remember all of what they read.

Before the end of the 21st century, most conscious entities will not have permanent physical identities. "Life expectancy" as a concept will no longer be a viable term in relation to intelligent beings.