Friday, October 21, 2011

Kurzweil Responds--Singularity

Kurzwel Responds: Don't Underestimate The Singularity

Last week, Paul Allen and a colleague challenged the prediction that computers will soon exceed human intelligence. Now Ray Kurzweil, the leading proponent of the “Singularity,” offers a rebuttal. — Technology Review, Oct. 10, 2011.

Although Paul Allen paraphrases my 2005 book, The Singularity Is Near, in the title of his essay (cowritten with his colleague Mark Greaves), it appears that he has not actually read the book. His only citation is to an essay I wrote in 2001 (“The Law of Accelerating Returns“) and his article does not acknowledge or respond to arguments I actually make in the book.

When my 1999 book, The Age of Spiritual Machines, was published, and augmented a couple of years later by the 2001 essay, it generated several lines of criticism, such as Moore’s law will come to an end, hardware capability may be expanding exponentially but software is stuck in the mud, the brain is too complicated, there are capabilities in the brain that inherently cannot be replicated in software, and several others. I specifically wrote The Singularity Is Near to respond to those critiques.

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