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November 2000

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Subject:
From:
Bob Broedel <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 3 Nov 2000 17:41:04 -0500
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Date   : Fri, 03 Nov 2000 17:01:21 -0500
To     : [log in to unmask]
>From  : Declan McCullagh <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: How humans will merge with machines --
       : report on Ray Kurzweil talk

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,39967,00.html

    Kurzweil: Rooting for the Machine
    by Declan McCullagh ([log in to unmask])
    1:35 p.m. Nov. 3, 2000 PST

    BETHESDA, Maryland -- Raymond Kurzweil doesn't merely predict that
    machine intelligence will surpass human brains by the end of the
    century. He's eagerly anticipating it.

    In a Kurzweillian future, the world would become a very strange place,
    where converging advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology and
    computer science combine to propel humanity to its next stage of
    evolution.

    "By the end of this century, I don't think there will be a clear
    distinction between human and machine," Kurzweil told the Foresight
    Institute's Eighth Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology on Friday.

    "We can expand the capacity of our brains by a factor of thousands or
    millions, and, by the end of the century, by trillions," predicts the
    inventor-turned-author of the Age of Intelligent Machines and the Age
    of Spiritual Machines.

    Technology, of course, has been part of human existence since our
    Cro-Magnon ancestors picked up a stone and realized it could be more
    than part of the landscape.

    But Kurzweil is talking about something a bit more ambitious. If he's
    right, exponential progress in science and engineering will allow us
    to merge with machines. We will become resistant to diseases, think
    faster, live better, and become transhuman in ways that would make
    even Superman green with envy.

    If he's wrong, well, then we'll continue to have buggy software,
    faulty memories, and lifespans that fall far short of the lowly
    leopard tortoise.

    [...]

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