Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Too Much, Too Fast: Our Fear of the Future

The long awaited film "Transcendent Man" (right) about Ray Kurzweil and the concepts outlined in his book "The Singularity is Near" (left) is finally available and touring the country. The Singularity to which Kurzweil refers is the point in history (he says 25 years from now) in which machines become as intelligent as humans.

Filmmakers Barry and Felicia Ptolemy documented Kurzweil’s life for two years following him to 25 cities in five countries. Kurzweil was exploring the social and philosophical implications of the coming profound changes he calls "The Singularity" and the potential threats they pose to human civilization. The film captures Kurzweil's presentations and dialogues with 22 noted luminaries such as Colin Powell, Peter Diamandis, Dean Kamen, William Shatner, Stevie Wonder, and Kevin Warwick.

The documentary takes great pains to highlight the number of people who think Kurzweil is a crackpot. The fun is that many of us will be around to find out if he is or not. We are in the amazing position of potentially being alive when one of the most important events in history is about to occur. We will also be able to see and document our own reactions to the event.

Right now, you are probably among the many who think Kurzweil is a crackpot. I hope you will go see the film to give yourself the chance to see if it changes your mind. Write down and keep your thoughts so that you can look back at them in 25 years to see how close you came to being right. Prepare to evolve.

Click on the heading above to hear and see Ray Kurzweil explain the concept of the Singularity and how he arrived at it.

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