The singularity is near : when humans transcend biology

by Kurzweil, Ray,

Format: Print Book 2006
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
Braddock Carnegie Library Non Fiction 303.4 KUR
Location  Braddock Carnegie Library
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  303.4 KUR
Brentwood Library Nonfiction 612.82 Kurzweil
Location  Brentwood Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  612.82 Kurzweil
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction QP376.K85 2006x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  QP376.K85 2006x
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 303.48 KUR
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  303.48 KUR
"Startling in scope and bravado." --Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Artfully envisions a breathtakingly better world." -- Los Angeles Times

"Elaborate, smart and persuasive." -- The Boston Globe

"A pleasure to read." -- The Wall Street Journal

One of CBS News 's Best Fall Books of 2005 * Among St Louis Post-Dispatch 's Best Nonfiction Books of 2005 * One of's Best Science Books of 2005

A radical and optimistic view of the future course of human development from the bestselling author of How to Create a Mind and The Singularity is Nearer who Bill Gates calls "the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence"

For over three decades, Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines , he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Continuing the themes of The Age of Spiritual Machines 0 (1999), Kurzweil further expounds his conviction that the human being will be succeeded by a superintelligent entity that is partly biological, partly computerized. Welcoming this prospect, and regarding it as inevitable, Kurzweil plunges into contemporary technological arenas, particularly genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics. Citing examples from medical devices to military weapons in which human control is increasingly detached from the autonomy of machines, Kurzweil stresses that trends are accelerating in terms of miniaturization and computational power. Eventually, smallness and speed reach a point of development, a "singularity," with implications Kurzweil says even he cannot imagine. Disinclined to categorize his views as dystopian or utopian, the author recognizes that his vision is profoundly threatening to concepts of human nature and individuality. A closing section on philosophy and ethics accordingly addresses objections to his optimistic predictions. An involved presentation, this is best for readers of the wide-angle, journalistic treatment Radical Evolution0 (2005), by Joel Garreau. --Gilbert Taylor Copyright 2005 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Renowned inventor Kurzweil (The Age of Spiritual Machines) may be technology's most credibly hyperbolic optimist. Elsewhere he has argued that eliminating fat intake can prevent cancer; here, his quarry is the future of consciousness and intelligence. Humankind, it runs, is at the threshold of an epoch ("the singularity," a reference to the theoretical limitlessness of exponential expansion) that will see the merging of our biology with the staggering achievements of "GNR" (genetics, nanotechnology and robotics) to create a species of unrecognizably high intelligence, durability, comprehension, memory and so on. The word "unrecognizable" is not chosen lightly: wherever this is heading, it won't look like us. Kurzweil's argument is necessarily twofold: it's not enough to argue that there are virtually no constraints on our capacity; he must also convince readers that such developments are desirable. In essence, he conflates the wholesale transformation of the species with "immortality," for which read a repeal of human limit. In less capable hands, this phantasmagoria of speculative extrapolation, which incorporates a bewildering variety of charts, quotations, playful Socratic dialogues and sidebars, would be easier to dismiss. But Kurzweil is a true scientistAa large-minded one at thatAand gives due space both to "the panoply of existential risks" as he sees them and the many presumed lines of attack others might bring to bear. What's arresting isn't the degree to which Kurzweil's heady and bracing vision fails to convinceAgiven the scope of his projections, that's inevitableAbut the degree to which it seems downright plausible. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Brain -- Evolution.
Human evolution.
Publisher New York :Penguin Books,2006
Language English
Notes Reprint. Originally published: New York : Viking, 2005.
Description xvii, 652 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780143037880
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