By 2040 You Will Be Able To Upload Your Brain…

Mike Hodgkinson writes in the Independent:

…or at least that’s what Ray Kurzweil thinks. He has spent his life inventing machines that help people, from the blind to dyslexics. Now, he believes we’re on the brink of a new age — the ‘singularity’ — when mind-boggling technology will allow us to email each other toast, run as fast as Usain Bolt (for 15 minutes) — and even live forever. Is there sense to his science — or is the man who reasons that one day he’ll bring his dad back from the grave just a mad professor peddling a nightmare vision of the future?

Should, by some terrible misfortune, Ray Kurzweil shuffle off his mortal coil tomorrow, the obituaries would record an inventor of rare and visionary talent. In 1976, he created the first machine capable of reading books to the blind, and less than a decade later he built the K250: the first music synthesizer to nigh-on perfectly duplicate the sound of a grand piano. His Kurzweil 3000 educational software, which helps students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, is likewise typical of an innovator who has made his name by combining restless imagination with technological ingenuity and a commendable sense of social responsibility.

However, these past accomplishments, as impressive as they are, would tell only half the Kurzweil story. The rest of his biography — the essence of his very existence, he would contend — belongs to the future.

  • Tired of Nerds

    Can we ignore this man already? He's had as many boneheaded ideas as good ones. We can do without wealthy narcissists and their plans to live forever. If this guy is such a visionary he'd withdraw from his nascent pseudo-celebrity status and apply his intelligence elsewhere (research medicine, for example). These fawning and uncritical articles about him online and in print are PR fluff meant to promote whatever book or website he'll soon unveil. Don't believe the hype. Humanity will outlast his icky robot fantasies and in 200 years the name Kurzweil will be forgotten. Judging by the direction of our world the last decade, so will much of the throwaway technology we all make so much of. If this guy wants to resurrect his dad he can do it privately, in his little basement lab, and spare us the cheesy sci-fi details. Brains belong in skulls. See a therapist and learn to accept your mortality, Ray. We're not made to last forever.