The Singularity is Near

by Ray Kurzweil

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In each chapter Kurzweil will speak in detail about a particular research group or theme - these sections could have been tabulated, showing probabilities of success, impacts on the singularity timing or aspect, etc - this would have made the overall view far easier to grasp, and the act of speculation much more scientific

It doesn't however address the dark side of technology too much: the potential of mass produced robots to temporarily cause mass unemployment for a decade or two until personnel skills are updated; self-replicating nanobots that reproduce until they consume all the matter and energy in the universe, and large scale terrorist attack using bio/nano-technology, etc

The author hopes to be around then and consequently to live for ever

No downsides:Kurzweil is so optimistic he ignores completely the negative, but very human aspects of our intelligence - aggression, xenophobia, greed, hierarchy - and talks of post-humans as being saintly, benign gods working to the benefit of all pre- and post-humankind

The logical chains here struggle to make that all important second link

The three salient ones are: genetics or biotechnology which exponentially increases the capacity and performance in the field of biology, nanotechnology which brings about mastery to materials and mechanical systems, and finally robotics or `strong AI' which reverse engineers the human brain and combines the resulting insights in increasingly powerful computational platforms

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