Ray Kurzweil: A university for the coming singularity

www.ted.com Ray Kurzweil’s latest graphs show that technology’s breakneck advances will only accelerate — recession or not. He unveils his new project, Singularity University, to study oncoming tech and guide it to benefit humanity.TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http Watch a highlight reel of the Top 10 TEDTalks at www.ted.com

25 thoughts on “Ray Kurzweil: A university for the coming singularity

  1. Nannirk

    @aahuggett The previous TED video with Kurzweil on this subject was recorded in 2002. This one was recorded in 2009. If you’ve seen this video: watch?v=6B26asyGKDo
    in which Noah Kalina takes a picture of himself every day for 6 years you might change your mind. He aged visibly. He’s actually still doing it, ten years after he started the project.

  2. cyborg2k9

    Big corporations will not allow for something like this to happen, or if it did happen they will be the ones ultimately producing and controlling those machines. So essentially you will be at their mercy to keep your worthless job and not be replaced by an AI machine.
    They prefer stupid/morons to reproduce through the means of welfare dysgenics so they are easily manipulated in buying the worthless crap that they produce. The movie Idiocracy portrays that very well.

  3. derman077

    Did he say,’entrepreneurship to bring these new technologies to the world’ ?
    I want to bring new technologies to the world as an entrepreneur. super awesome.

  4. JamesThomas


    Unfortunately, aging is also kind of exponential.
    Each year we age to a higher degree than the we did in the entire year before. In other words, generally we age more from our 39th to 40th birthdays, than we did from our 38th to 39th birthdays.
    Sorry to break the news.

  5. sagittariuslove5

    I JUST WANT HIM TO GET BACK TO DESIGNING SYNTHESIZERS! cause i will be dead by the time all that stuff comes to be!

  6. linuxguru1968

    Monopolies definately have that bad side effect. The good news is that a lot of the important reseach in brain/self-organization and life extension is in a more protected bio-tech/ healthcare niche. But, never forget, during the 1950s lobbyist for iron ling manufacturers tried to kill funding for polio vaccines. Greed and stupidity in DC can still be VERY dangerous.

  7. soapyshoe

    Excellent point. I also might add, it doesn’t fit the business model of major universities either. Nobody will study what you’re proposing due to the way profits are doled out.

    We will need an economic paradigm shift in order to allocate resources to the proper research projects. We will get there, just not at the speed Kurzweil envisions.

  8. SingularityArriving

    02:15 I love the way Kurzweil, because he is such as amazing polymath, matter-of-factly says that the 6th paradigm of exponential growth in computing will be “three dimensional, self-organizing molecular circuits.” Of course, what else?!

    One of the best videos on YouTube for providing decades of research in cogent minutes of learning for easy assimilation.

  9. linuxguru1968

    Most likely, like most things it will be a convergence of both and many other technologies. It would just be nice to make a good living off developing them! LOL

  10. linuxguru1968

    Google Doug Lenat and the Cyc project at Cyc Corp. Their research in trying to codify common sense is really intriguing. 🙂

  11. Shadowstar204

    Intriguing proposal about the need for a new paradigm and I agree with you. Computers now can perform genius calculations but cannot act with the intelligence of a child, business models may have overlooked or neglected certain key foundations on the low level as useless for their profits. Most people find it painstaking to teach children. Im reminded of Kurzweils chicken vs. egg question, will strong AI bring about full blown nano-tech or will full blown nano-tech bring about strong AI?

  12. Shadowstar204

    Ill look into the book it sounds informative, thank you. Information is good but it is only raw materials knowledge that we want -processed and refined information – and in this we are making progress, especially in the language department – think about simulated telephone operators who decipher words (despite dialects and accents) and respond to questions accordingly, give answers etc.. Humans just have a larger inventory of programmed responses to choose from.

  13. linuxguru1968

    If you read Minskys Society of Mind, intelligence is a collective effort at both the neurological and society level. The chess board is a simple world compared to the world of natural language and common sense – of consciousness. Lenats Cyc project failed to codify common sense in symbolic AI. My point is that we need a new paradigm that involves self-organization at the lowest level up. Problem: it just doesnt fit the businesses model of any of the tech monopolies.

  14. linuxguru1968

    Shannon defined “information” as “a message the resolves uncertainty” The point of the Turing Test was that if I could carry out a conversation with a computer program and was convinced that it understood what I was saying and could make logical inferences – had consciousness – then we have achieved true AI . Computers are still just communication channels performing as human surrogates without out any conscious awareness.

  15. Shadowstar204

    And when it exceeds one human intelligence it will steadily progress to match a room full of peoples intelligence, but a room full of random people is not the same a room full of physics professors. AI will sneak up on us just like Deep Blue crept up on Kasparov in chess in 1997

  16. Shadowstar204

    Turning was very imprecise in setting the rules for his test, while it is true that no computer has come close to passing it (yet) they have been continually improving, if you were to define mathematics as a language computers are already smarter than us. Kurzweil estimates the threshold to be crossed around 2029- but this doesnt mean computers will be let off that easy, even when they do match human intelligence just which humans will it match- a 9 year old child, average Joe, or Einstein?

  17. linuxguru1968

    You can say the same about any phenomenon – you cannot measure it directly merely see and measure its effects. You inter conscious awareness by communication with another entity. Despite all the glitzy technology, no computer has been able to demonstrate natural language processing to the point of fooling the Turing Tester.

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