Raymond Kurzweil is 75 years old and throughout his life he was an inventor, a writer, a computer scientist and a futurist. He has dealt with artificial intelligence, transhumanism and technological singularity. He today believes that in just 7 years we will be able to reach the key to immortality. His claims have often been ahead of their time, sometimes sounded like crazy, but Kurzweil has often got the point, like when he said in 1990 that within a decade a computer would beat the best chess player in the world. At the time it was something unthinkable.
Eternal life and artificial intelligence
His thesis on eternal life coincides with the exponential improvement of artificial intelligence. “When they reach our levels it will be time for us to defeat the biological limits imposed by nature”. Interviewed in the podcast of the computer scientist Lex Fridman, he explained that according to him we will be kept healthy by the nanobots in our blood and that eventually we could start uploading our thoughts and memories to the cloud. Still on this transformation he said that: “We will be more fun. We will be sexier. We will be better at expressing feelings of love”.
Furthermore, the theme of technological singularity remains topical for him, i.e. a fusion between biological intelligence and artificial intelligence. “I set the date 2045 for the ‘Singularity’, which is when we will multiply our effective intelligence a billion times by merging with the intelligence we have created.” Kurzwell says such advances are not to be feared and will make human beings “divine”.
Even beyond the philosophical discussions about whether a machine can “think” (see Philosophy of artificial intelligence), Kurzweil’s ideas have attracted much criticism from the scientific community and the media. Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, defined the notion of a technological singularity as “Intelligent Design for people with 140 IQs… this idea that we would be getting to a point where everything will be just unimaginably different — is basically driven, in my opinion, by a religious impulse. And all this frantic agitation cannot hide it”.