Friday, November 12, 2004

What I'm Reading Now (Nov. 12)

I just got home from the Library with my daughter and while I was there I picked up a few books including Ray Kurzweil's "Age of Spiritual Machines."

This looks to be quite the challenging and potentially frightening read. Here is the summary:

In (Kurzweil's) utopian vision of the 21st century, our lives will change not merely incrementally but fundamentally....Along the way, he makes some bizarre predictions. If Kurzweil has it right, in the next few decades humans will download books directly into their brains, run off with virtual secretaries and exist "as software," as we become more like computers and computers become more like us. Other projections--e.g., that most diseases will be reversible or preventable--are less strange but seem similarly Panglossian. Still others are more realizable: human-embedded computers will track the location of practically anyone, at any time. More problematic is Kurzweil's self-congratulatory tone. Still, by addressing (if not quite satisfactorily) the overpowering distinction between intelligence and consciousness, and by addressing the difference between a giant database and an intuitive machine, this book serves as a very provocative, if not very persuasive, view of the future from a man who has studied and shaped it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

jay was talking to aaron and i about this book, and i think it sounds absolutely fascinating. have fun! :)