Escape velocity?

I’ve read Ray Kurweil’s jaw-dropping book, The Singularity is Nearer: When We Merge With AI, so you don’t have to. He does literally believe we will be injected with nanobots to create an AI super-cortex above our own neo-cortex, plugged into the cloud and therefore all of humanity’s accumulated intelligence, and thus become super-intelligent with capabilities we can hardly imagine. Among the other possibilities he forsees AI ‘replicants’ (yes, he calls them that) created from the images and texts of deceased loved ones, to restore them to artificial life. The main challenge he forsees will be their exact legal status. The book has a lot of capsule summaries about consciousness, intelligence, how AI works – and also the general ways in which life is getting better, there will be more jobs, and our health and lifespans will improve by leaps and bounds.

Might he be wrong about reaching ‘longevity escape velocity’ and the AI singularity by 2030? A hint of this when he says that book production is so slow that what he has written in 2023 will already be overtaken by events by mid-2024 when we are reading: “AI will likely be much more woven tightly into your daily life.” Hmm. Not sure about that prognostication. Although one of the scariest things about the book is the advance praise from Bill Gates, who writes that the author is: “The best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence.” Do all the Tech Types believe this?

One suspects they believe they’re already more super-intelligent than the rest of us, so what could possibly go wrong?

Screenshot 2024-06-07 at 07.06.50



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