Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ray Kurzweil

Two chumps tapping the back of one another: Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil and their Nanobots

I consider Ray Kurzweil a very close friend and a very smart person.

Ray is a brilliant technologist, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google focused on AI and language processing.

He has also made more correct (and documented) technology predictions about the future than anyone:

As reported, “of the 147 predictions that Kurzweil has made since the 1990s, fully 115 of them have turned out to be correct, and another 12 have turned out to be “essentially correct” (off by a year or two), giving his predictions a stunning 86% accuracy rate.”

Ray Kurzweil’s Wildest Prediction:

Nanobots Will Plug Our Brains Into the Web by the 2030s

Two weeks ago, Ray and I held an hour-long webinar with my Abundance 360 CEOs about predicting the future.

During our session, there was one of Ray’s specific predictions that really blew my mind.

“In the 2030s, we are going to send nano-robots into the brain (via capillaries) that will provide full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system and will connect our neocortex to the cloud. Just like how we can wirelessly expand the power of our smartphones 10,000-fold in the cloud today, we’ll be able to expand our neocortex in the cloud.”

Let’s digest that for a moment.

2030 is only 15 years away…

Directly plugging your brain into the internet? Upgrading your intelligence and memory capacity by orders of magnitude?

This is a post about the staggering (and fun) implications of that future.

The Basics

The implications of a connected neocortex are quite literally unfathomable. As such, any list I can come up with will pale in comparison to reality…but here are a few thoughts to get the ball rolling.

Brain-to-Brain Communication

This will deliver a new level of human intimacy, where you can truly know what your lover, friend or child is feeling.

Intimacy far beyond what we experience today by mere human conversation. Forget email, texting, phone calls, and so on — you’ll be able to send your thoughts to someone simply by thinking them. (A sure invention for hating any kinds of loving and intimacy)

Google on the Brain

You’ll have the ability to “know” anything you desire, at the moment you want to know it.

You’ll have access to the world’s information at the tip of your neurons.

You’ll be able to calculate complex math equations in seconds.

You’ll be able to navigate the streets of any cities, intuitively.

You’ll be able to hop into a fighter jet and fly it perfectly.

You’ll be able to speak and translate any language effortlessly.

(And where is the fun if life is so easy and effortless? where is personal value and character formation? How the kid’s brain will develop without focusing and training his brain?)

Scalable Intelligence

Just imagine that you’re in a bind and you need to solve a problem quickly.  (Nothing can wait for another hour of effort and patience)

In this future world, you’ll be able to scale up the computational power of your brain on demand, 10x or 1,000x…in much the same way that algorithms today can spool up 1,000 processor cores on Amazon Web Service servers.

Living in the Virtual World

If our brains can truly connect at high bandwidth, you will be able to bypass our current sensory organs (eyes, ears, touch) to the point where brain’s perception of reality can be driven completely by a gaming engine — a virtual world. (And our sensory organs will atrophy exponentially)

Likewise, the connections would exist in the motor cortex of your brain as well. When you move your limbs, imagine a corresponding set of virtual limbs (your avatar) moving perfectly in the virtual world.

This is about creation of The Matrix x 1,000.

Extended Immune System

In my webinar discussion with Ray, he outlined how we already have intelligent biological devices, the size of blood cells, that kill disease. They are called T-cells.

They can recognize an enemy and attack it, but they don’t work on cancer, retroviruses, et cetera.

In the future, nanorobots will be able to communicate wirelessly, download software when new pathogens arrives, and attack cancer, cancer stem cells, bacteria, viruses, and all the disease agents.

They can also work on metabolic diseases like diabetes.

They could also maintain healthy levels of everything you need in the blood, including nutrients, and basically repair and eventually replace damaged organs.

Downloadable Expertise

Remember the scene in The Matrix where Trinity needs to learn how to fly a helicopter, and Tank downloads a program teaching her how to do it? We’ll be able to do this.

Need to perform emergency surgery? Just download the ER doctor program. (If trained Not to faint when seeing blood. Anyway, surgery will be performed bloodlessly)

Need to learn a new language? Download it. (Even Chinese? And all these verbal languages that have no alphabet?)

Want to cook the perfect meal? Download the chef module. In fact, you probably won’t even need to download it — which takes up memory — you’ll probably just “stream” expertise from the cloud.

Expanded and Searchable Memories

We’ll be able to remember everything that ever happened to us (because we’ll store our memories in the cloud), and we’ll be able to search that memory database for useful information. (What a nightmare. We forget in order to survive and go on dude)

When our memories will become searchable, we’ll also be able to make them contextual by cross-referencing our calendars, GPS coordinates, health data, stock market, current news, weather conditions, and anything else that might be relevant to that particular moment in time.

A Higher-Order Existence

Ray talks about how a connected neocortex will bring humanity to a higher order of existence and complexity — expanding our palate for emotion, art, humor, creativity, expression, and uniqueness.

He says, “We’re going to be funnier. We’re going to be sexier. We’re going to be better at expressing loving sentiment. We’re going to add more levels to the hierarchy of brain modules and create deeper levels of expression. People will be able to very deeply explore some particular type of music in far greater degree than we can today. It’ll lead to far greater individuality, not less.”

While this future may sound fanciful to many, let’s remember that exponential technologies are initially deceptive, before they become disruptive.

And today, there are many labs around the world working on molecular machinery, CRISPR/Cas9 systems that allow us to edit our own genome, and brain-computer interfaces (through cortical implants and the field of opto-genetics).

So what if these fields of technological progress double every 18 months? In 15 years (2015 – 2030), we will have a 1,000-fold improvement over today. What does a future one thousand times better look like? Perhaps it’s what Ray describes…

If this future becomes reality, connected humans are going to change everything.

We need to discuss the implications in order to make the right decisions now so that we are prepared for the future.

Note: All that mankind really need is a software that prompt us how to deal with problems according to an experimental mind.

Otherwise, we will continue to be subjected to religious and abstract notions and myths that capture our emotions and world view.


One Week at Singularity University

Sitting at the lounge in San Francisco airport, alone, after one week at Singularity University, feels weird.

It went so fast, was so dense that if feels like it’s been 1 month. I still need to digest this experience but here are my feelings, raw, no filter.

Written  by Jeremie Moritz

For those of you who haven’t heard about SU, their purpose is quite clear:

“Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.”

Sound simple, doesnt it?

Exponential is one the the two important words here. (And the least feasible in real life)

It all started with the meeting of Ray Kurzweil Singularity concept and Peter Diamandis optimistic take on our world, abundance.

The other important word here is Humanity.

Even if Singularity University is all about the impact of exponential technologies in all its form (biotech, nanotech, artificial intelligence…), it is not for the sake of science but with a clear intention to enhance humanity.

People call that transhumanism or life extension but I see this as an acceptation that our future will be transcending borders, nationalities, races and that solutions (and problems) are global.

What makes it interesting is that people can really change the world at a global scale and pretty fast. (Start fast on the local level)

And this is where I really felt this week of Executive Program at SU is a unique and transformative experience I will never forget. Why?

Some of my friends got jealous when they saw some photos of the SU lab with Oculus Rift Goggle or some (already old) robots. But it’s clearly not the gadgets and machines I will remember.

Actually it’s cheaper and easier to buy them yourself or go to a Google event near you than flying all the way to San Francisco for this.

If I had to pitch SU in 1 minute it would go like this: Imagine you spend 1 week on a NASA facility with 70 people from 30 countries, 30 industries. Then add 15 of the world’s best experts AND speakers on topics from Artificial Intelligence to Ethics and Environment. Mix everything, add some wine (Irish Whiskey in my case 🙂 ) and you get Singularity University Executive Program Experience.

It is fascinating to be able to spend that much time with people who took the decision the leave their family, job, friends for 1 week to dive into the impact of technology on our future and what it means for everyone one of us.

Discussions are exploding from 8 AM to 3AM and believe me, it’s far from being nerds talking about their computer CPU Speed! ethics, human condition, project ideas, life events…

You definitely find here the opportunity to discuss topics rarely touched in your business, family or friends circles. Not saying it does not happen but the environment at SU definitely helps.

People spend 1 week in the NASA Campus basic rooms. This is part of the experience. Having the same time in a 4 seasons would definitely be too comfortable.

My last “hot” feedback is on the format of the sessions we have. The 2 reasons why it’s unique: speakers and data.

Not only you get world experts in more than 15 different topics but all their sessions are backed with an enormous amount of data.

It is a key point and prevent people from focusing on the form only to convince you. Data is objective, without any feeling and globally relevant.

That’s it for now.

I need to digest this incredible week with incredible people. And rest too, SU can also mean Sleepless University 🙂

My thoughts are especially going to one of our fellow attendee who sold his house a few months ago and decided to stay a few more weeks on the campus to pursue an idea. And possibly decide where his life will go next. Talking about being bold…

Read more about these Immortal mortals

Immortal mortals in 2100: What is “Singularity University”? (Dec. 17, 2009)

Do you know there is a “Singularity University” that was instituted in NASA compound ground this summer of 2009?  Forty students out of 1,200 candidates were selected to attend 9 weeks of focused conferences and workshops, directed by prominent and top researchers and multinational entrepreneurs such as Vinton Cerf (father of Internet), Robert Metcalf (inventor of Ethernet protocol), George Smoot (Nobel Prize of physics in 2006), the astronaut Daniel Barry, and Larry Page (founder of Google), in additional to a wide range of specialists in mathematics, medicines, and space researchers.

What are the purposes of this special summer mental retreat or summer camp? 

A British engineer, Simon Daniel, who attended the sessions wrote a series of articles in the “Financial Times” and said: “An underlying common and recurring theme is that everything is possible. If you can conceive an idea then a capital risk investor will finance it, and technology will produce your concept before you though it was plausible”.

For example, students have to reflect on this question “How would you feed one billion individual on earth?”  Since what we eat is organic matter,  we should be able to manufacture a machine equipped with nanorobots that will produce edible food from mud and algae.

Thus, the Law of Moore (founder of Intel) has been proven countless times in the last 4 decades, and which states:  “The number of transistors on an electronic chip doubles every two years at constant cost”.

All scientific fields are witnessing the application of Moore’s law at the same rate of acceleration and are interacting with one another.  It appears that technological progress is experiencing an exponential explosion.  “The next century will account for 20,000 years in technological progress computed at today’s rate” said engineer Ray Kurzweil who published “Humanity 2.0. The Bible of change” and who is the driving force behind this movement of thinking.

Kurzweil is adamant that new computer generations will have cognitive performances and will pass Turing test so that people interacting with the computer will believe that they are communicating with an intelligent human instead of a machine by 2020. Thus, this trend in technology will attain the “Singularity” goal, which is “a universe of matters and energies enveloped in a mist of “intelligence” totally detached of biological origins and human brain”.

Kurzweil admits taking 250 different pills per day and half a dozen intravenous injections per week in order to staying young and vigorous.

Who is the spiritual mentor? 

He is the mathematician Vernor Vinge who wrote science fictions and predicted this phase in knowledge development as if “we are entering a regime as different from our past as human fared with animals”

The “singularity” movement has been active for over 20 years and been disseminating its ideology via Internet sites. The idea is that the “transhumanists” or “extropians” will counter the inevitable organic degradation with a permanent increase of information. The movement has its own lobby.

The sociologist James Hughes directs the Institution for Ethics and Emerging technologies associated with the movement.

The founder of this university, Peter Diamandis, claims that technology will feed man and abolish all his physical pains; thus, the older members want this immortality technology to be applied now so that they could live one thousand years.

Students visit factories where algae and bacteria are produced for bio-kerosene; they lunch with capital risk investors; they play with the latest generations of Lego that are programmed for computers; they reflect on worst case scenarios, for example, “Intelligent robots decide to annihilate biological man and an experiment contaminated Earth”

Immortality is the critical theme: religions were instituted to cow the human specie into accepting God’s pre-ordained schemes; thus, man reacted to defy God’s plans. Maybe we might live longer and technology might aid us survive a while longer, but how can we do that after earth demise?

Copenhagen conference for climatic change was not a success.  Are investment allocated to spaceships that will save a few elite human species and transfer them to another habitable planet of any benefit?

So far, technology is out of control and unregulated on the ground of “How can we regulate human imagination and human drive for immortality?




March 2023

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