Lesser known famous people who are rather interesting – Ray Kurzweil

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I thought I would start this as a little segment and profile different people from time to time. Today’s person is Ray Kurzweil. This is came about after researching yesterday (for the blog) around the future of technology.

So I thought I’d bring to people’s attention a chap called Ray Kurzweil. If you’ve heard of him already, good for you. If you haven’t, then I think it’s worth knowing who he is and what has done.

Ray has done a lot with his time, apart from being the Director of engineering at ‘Google’, he is and Author, Inventor and a Futurist amongst many other things too.

It’s his area of Futurism that fascinates me the most, so that’s what I will focus on in this blog.

Now, I’d normally take somebody’s view of what they thought was going to happen in the future with a pinch of salt. But the man that Forbes magazine called ‘The Ultimate Thinking Machine’ appears to have a good track record already. That, and he’s using market research and econmics for his predictions and not a crystal ball.

Here are some predictions that have already come to pass in his book The Age of Intelligent Machines, written in the 1980s:

These are extracts from Wikipedia, to read more click here.

  • The demise of the Soviet Union due to new technologies such as cellular phones and fax machines disempowering authoritarian governments by removing state control over the flow of information. – In 2005, Mikhail Gorbachev told Kurzweil that emerging decentralized electronic communication “was a big factor” for fostering democracy in the Soviet Union.
  • That computers would beat the best human players by 1998. – The event occurred in May 1997 when chess World Champion Garry Kasparov was defeated by IBM’s Deep Blue computer in a well-publicized chess tournament.
  • The explosive growth in worldwide Internet use that began in the 1990s. At the time of the publication of The Age of Intelligent Machines, there were only 2.6 million Internet users in the world

According to Ray Kurzweil, 89 out of 108 predictions he made were entirely correct by the end of 2009. An additional 13 were what he calls “essentially correct” (meaning that they were likely to be released within a few years of 2009), for a total of 102 out of 108. Another 3 are partially correct, 2 look like they are about 10 years off, and 1, which was tongue in cheek anyway, was just wrong.

And here’s some from that book and more he wrote in the 90’s, that he’s predicted for the years to come some of which are coming true already:

  • Most books will be read on screens rather than paper.
  • Most text will be created using speech recognition technology.
  • Access to the Internet is completely wireless and provided by wearable or implanted computers.
  • People use personal computers the size of rings, pins, credit cards and books.
  • Personal worn computers provide monitoring of body functions, automated identity and directions for navigation.
  • Computer displays built into eyeglasses for augmented reality are used.
  • Computers are embedded everywhere in the environment (inside of furniture, jewelry, walls, clothing, etc.).
  • People communicate with their computers via two-way speech and gestures instead of with keyboards.
  • Most business transactions or information inquiries involve dealing with a simulated person.
  • Pinhead-sized cameras are everywhere.
  • Computers have made paper books and documents almost completely obsolete.
  • Blind people wear special glasses that interpret the real world for them through speech.
  • People with spinal cord injuries can walk and climb steps using computer-controlled nerve stimulation and exoskeletal robotic walkers.
  • Phone calls entail three-dimensional holographic images of both people.
  • By 2020, there will be a new World government.
  • A computer passes the Turing Test, becoming the first true Artificial Intelligence.
  • Computer intelligence becomes superior to human intelligence in all areas.

There are many more, take a look. Some would be amazing, others are rather Orwellian. Still, should be interesting.

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Remember to enjoy my fellow ’28 Day Writers’ blogs today at Sudo One & A Piece of Pandemonium

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About residentweebler
Short Story Writer and Opinionated observer. Visit my blog for all this and more. https://theresidentweeble.wordpress.com/

One Response to Lesser known famous people who are rather interesting – Ray Kurzweil

  1. SudoOne says:

    I hope we don’t end up with a world government. Good idea for a feature my friend

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