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He wants to copy your brain:
Ray Kurzweil track record is long as an arm . He is the inventor , author and visionary future . He has been a pioneer with his inventions in optical reading, speech recognition, electronic musical instruments, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
"We can combine the current advantages of human intelligence , especially pattern recognition, with the things that machines are obviously better at ," says Ray Kurzweil .
His name is on the synths and the Swedish Academy used his technique for optical reading when its dictionary were scanned and made available online.
Ray Kurzweil has started nine companies , and he has received many awards, including the U.S. National Medal of Technology .
The 57 -year-old Kurzweil does not mind being controversial.
In his latest book, "The singularity is near : When humans transcend biology" , writes Kurzweil to human intelligence and computer intelligence will eventually merge . We will not be able to see the difference.
In an interview with Computer Sweden's U.S. sister magazine , he explains how he thinks.
Your idea of copying the human brain's structure seems pretty wild .
- It was not until recently that we could image the brain with sufficient resolution . But now there are five or six new brain scanning techniques. For the first time we can see what happens in the brain when we think .
- The amount of data we collect about the brain is doubling every year. The fact that we get data from specific areas, we can quite quickly put together detailed mathematical models of them.
- A conservative estimate is that we have access to a very thorough and detailed simulation of all brain regions in the late 2020s.
- Ten quadrillion [ 10 raised to 16] calculations per second is enough to make the same calculations as the brain all share. Japan has just announced that two supercomputers going to make it in 2010.
- Question to ask is whether we are intelligent enough to understand our own intelligence. Maybe it is a property of complex systems - that they can not be so complex that they understand themselves. But it turns out that this is not the case.
But why should we recreate the brain that software when we already have it in biological terms ?
- It becomes very powerful . We can then combine the existing advantages of human intelligence , especially pattern recognition, with the things that machines are obviously better at .
What will happen to the computers in the future?
- When Moore's Law is obsolete , we will have three-dimensional molecular computers . In the late 2040s , a cubic inch with nanotubkretsar to be a hundred million times more powerful than a human brain . On the software side , the machines in the 2030s to access their source code and improve it in a faster, iterative [ with many retakes ] design cycle . So in the end , these systems much more intelligent than humans. They will combine the advantages of biological and nonbiological intelligence. I do not see this as a non-human invasion of intelligent machines . It is something that grows within our society.
- Long before computers will become a worldwide web of computing capacity . When you want to come to , for example , to gain access to a million computers in 400 milliseconds.
- At the beginning of the next decade, slides to be projected directly onto the retina. How do we get monitors that are very small , while they are big ? You put them in glasses and displays the image directly in the eye.
What do you mean by that computers will disappear?
- They disappear in our clothes and in our environment , and they become very small. We will also drop the notion that computers are connected to a network , but not part of the network. Instead, each computer node in the network. You will not only send and receive your own messages , you will pass on other people's messages. It will be constantly self-organizing , all communication links are constantly looking for the most efficient route.
And what do you mean we humans merging with technology?
- We will be able to have intelligent machines , nanobots [ nanotech robots ] in the bloodstream. In the late 2020s , such appliances considerable capacity for calculations , communications and robotics. Nano Technology of white blood cells would be able to download software for a particular pathogen and destroy it in seconds. It takes hours for biological white blood cells. And you can let billions of nanobots enter the brain through the capillaries . They can improve our ability to think and really broaden human intelligence .
- We will go outside the limits of biology . Your current " human body version 1.0 " is replaced with a dramatically improved version 2.0 with a dramatic extension of life.
What can the version 2.0 do that we can not already do?
- A scenario is virtual reality directly from the nervous system. Nanobots can turn off the signals coming from your sensory organs and replace them with the same kind of signals you would get in a virtual environment. One can then move their body in the virtual environment . This can work for all five senses and for the neurological counterparts of the senses. One can visit the virtual environment along with anyone else that a meeting. And you can archive experiences.
Will our innate biological intelligence less important ?
- The non- biological portion will increase by a factor of a thousand every decade , so the biological part will eventually insignificant. People are considering this and are horrified . They think that now we become machines. But when they think of the machines we have today , and it is very simple machines .
What are they working on it for the future?
- The good news is that it becomes more and more important. Finally consists increasingly important in IT . The trend is towards specialization , so what IT people can do is try to get people in highly specialized areas of communication, and get their computer systems to communicate.
Are there any downsides to this ?
- I am very worried about the wrong sides . There is already an existential risk - that we can wipe out all of humanity with nuclear weapons. But now there are other existential risks. We can construct biological viruses . The tools and knowledge needed to do it is much more dispersed than the tools and knowledge on how to build an atomic bomb , and the adverse effects can be much worse.
- In my book , I wrote that the last thing we want to do is lay out the genome of dangerous viruses on the web, but that is exactly what the U.S. Department of Health has done with the 1918 influenza virus.
What really far in the future?
- In the 2100 's, we have filled up all the matter and energy in, on and around the globe with technology to support computer processes. Therefore, intelligent calculations to be spread to the rest of the universe. If this transfer to the rest of the universe goes fast - in a hundred years or so - or slowly - billions of years - because if we can manage to circumvent the speed of light as an upper limit to how fast information can spread . I think it's possible.
and Anders Lotsson
anders.lotsson @ idg.se