Ray Kurzweil, Kurzweil Technologies and author, The Singularity is Near When Humans Transcend Biology keynotes for third year in a row (if memory serves right).
Check out slides at: www.kurzweilAI.net/pps/ACC2005
Synopsis: We have programs in our body we haven't changed in 30,000 years. The main difference in perspective from people in this conference and much more common view is the historical exponential perspective and a linear perspective. Most people intuitively extrapolate today into the future linearly.
As Kurweil maintains, the maxim 'Know thyself' is really the goal of reverse-engineering of the brain. Kurzweil's latest book, makes case the reverse-engineering will happen by 2029. That's when computers pass the Turing test. And our fixed biological intelligence will merge with nonbiological intelligence.
People ask me all the time about existential risk. To biological warfare risks, to pathological nanotechnology, and to pathological AI. The answer: Strong AI. And when that becomes pathological - stronger AI. Sort of like it's turtles all the way down.
We plan for it...sort of like we planned for Katrina. [Audience laughs.]
We have programs in our body we haven't changed in 30,000 years. The main difference in perspective from people in this conference and much more common view is this difference in historical exponential versus a linear perspective. People intuitively extrapolate today into the future linearly.
What can we say about the future? People say it's unpredictable. Some things hards to predict. Will Google stock be higher in 3 years? The price of MEMS track to simulated models pretty well. A feature of any evolutionary process. Each stage in biological evolution used its creation to build upon. Latest generation of technology used to build next.
The paradigm shift rate itself is changing - doubly every decade. Telephones took decades to be adopted - and look at cell phone subscribers.
Shows a logarithmic plot of events from emergence of life, to human ancestors walk upright, spoken language, early cities, printing, industrial evolution, telephone, computer, personal computer...
We go through different epochs: (1) atomic structures, (2) biology (DNA), (3) brains, (4) technology - hardware and software, (5) merger of technology and human intelligence, (6) universe wakes up (patterns of matter and energy in the universe become saturated with intelligent processes and knowledge)
Brain uses a very slow chemical-switching process now. In Age of Spiritual Machines, I talked about 3D molecular computing would be the next thing (coming about in nanotubes).
Goes beyond Moore's Law - IT of all kinds double their power (price performance, capacity, bandwith) every year. Even his notebook laptop today is more powerful than a $11 million IBM mainframe he used at MIT in 1967. (24 doublings of price-performance in 36 years.)
More charts of Moore's Law itself (supercomputer power, power/cost, transistors, MIPS, dynamic RAM in bits/dollar, magnetic data storage, etc.). That's just hardware side of equation.
Similar rates for price/performance for AIDS drugs.
We are reverse engineering human biology. Costs of DNA sequencing is halving too (halving time is 1.9 years). RNA interference used to shut down a gene for genetic medicine. Every speaker at the Future of Life - except myself and Bill Joy - used a model of progress in the last 50 years for the next 50 years.
Every form of communications technology is doubling price-performance, bandwidth, capacity every 12 months. Another exponential trend is miniturization. We've been shrinking devices at exponential rate.
Animation of a respirocyte releasing oxygen in a capillary - we could run for X minutes without needing to take a breath.
Eventually, we can put the intelligence of a cellphone into a nanobot (assumption is nanobot could be within our body).
Reverse engineering the brain - the ultimate source of the templates of intelligence. Noninvasive brain scanning - ok, so we get this data but can we make sense of it? There was thought that nature of complexity that we couldn't understand - but that turns out not to be so. If you compress the data in the genome, it's smaller than Microsoft Word. You'll hear more about evolutionary programs later in conference. Where you can take something compact and expand it in self-organizing way (i.e. cellular automata) to create something more complex. Each repetition adds some randomness in interacting with the world (i.e. a child throwing the ball).
Slide showing IT's share of economy. It's still smooth regardless of the 'bust'. On overall trends, we can make predictions.
Computers will "disappear" - they will be so tiny that they'll be in our clothing, environment; images written directly to our retinas.
I make the case in book that we will have reverse-engineered the brain by 2029. And computers pass the Turing test. These devices get very small they can be introduced into our bloodstream. To expand our biological intelligence by this 'merger' of nonbiological and our biological intelligence. Effectively biological intelligence is fixed.
In answering a question, Kurzweil says: Software viruses are getting more sophiscated. But it hasn't taken down the Internet.
Audience member pipes up: You're talking about going from opposable thumb to opposable mind.
The maxim 'Know thyself' is really the goal of reverse-engineering of the brain.