August 30, 2005

Tomorrow is Arriving Quickly

Susan Crawford already has a copy of Ray Kurzweil's new book The Singularity is Near. I'm a bit jealous.

Readers of science fiction and tech geeks are already familiar with the concept of the singularity. The rest of you may want to catch up a bit by taking a quick read of this Wikipedia article.

Luckily, it looks like Crawford will be posting a bit as she reads and it looks like there will be plenty to contemplate and discuss:

Kurzweil focuses on complexity, noting that evolution produces increasing order, and that technology can extend evolution by building ever-more-efficiently on this order. Very quick feedback loops are all around us, pushing the rate of technological change along and producing faster and smaller devices. Meanwhile, biological evolution continues, but at such a slow rate that it hardly matters.

He boldly predicts that computers as we know them will disappear by the end of this decade, to be replaced by virtual reality environments. No more offices by 2020. He suggests it's time to invest in tiny sensors and natural language search engines that can topple Google.

As with all such futuristic discussions things are never quite as predicted however as Crawford notes:
Even if he's only half right (or even less than half right), Kurzweil's work suggests that it's a good time to be alive and interested in the effect of technology on human beings.
Which is one good reason I'd like to see this program be dramatically successful. It really is fun to be alive!

Sadly, those of us not getting review copies will not get to see this book until after it's September 22 release date.

Posted by Steve on August 30, 2005
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