Thursday, January 27, 2011

Transcendent Man: The Life and Ideas of Ray Kurzweil (Video) *Prepare to Evolve, the Universe is About to Wake Up*


Prepare to Evolve

Transcendent Man: The Life & Ideas of Ray Kurzweil

Time is short for humans, homo sapiens (modern), also known as homo sapiens sapiens, the most advanced of the family Hominidae (great apes). The journey of over 100,000 years by humans culminating in dominance of planet Earth is about to end. So says Ray Kurzweil in his vision of the future. Humans, of the genus Homo, the "wise man" or "thinking man", are about to be transcended. This is not going to happen in some distant, vague, future event - Ray Kurzweil believes this will happen within 30 years. People living today will experience the technological singularity. The very technology created by humans and which enabled humans to ascend - machines, computers, artificial intelligence - is about to transcend and supersede humanity itself.

The beliefs and ideas of Ray Kurzweil evoke strong responses, both positive and negative, from others. He is lauded as a genius, honored as an inventor, and applauded by MIT and The White House. He is accused of peddling pseudo-religion,  promoting rapture by technology, and even espousing blasphemy. Ray Kurzweil is persistent in his belief that the technological singularity is coming soon and he is trying to live long enough to not only witness this event, but participate in and potentially live forever. Kurzeil's quest is not only to reveal our destiny but he believes that as matter is converted more and more into intelligence, the Universe itself will be "waking up".

The exponential increase in technological advance is what Kurzweil is basing his projections on. The technological change, the advancements, are occurring faster and faster. Kurzweil says, "In about 40 years, it (technological advances) is going to be moving so fast, the pace of change is going to be so astonishingly quick, that you won't be able to follow it unless you enhance your own intelligence by merging with the intelligent technology we created." Kurzweil believes computers will have consciousness in 25 years. By the 2030s, "you're not going to be able to tell a clear difference between human and machine intelligence."

Transcendent Man Transcendent Man by director Barry Ptolemy introduces the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil, the renowned futurist who journeys the world offering his vision of a future in which we will merge with our machines, can live forever, and are billions of times more intelligent...all within the next thirty years.

Transcendent Man: The Life and Ideas of Ray Kurzweil

Will humans achieve physical immortality or merge and disappear into machines and a digital reality?

About Ray Kurzweil
A Brief Career Summary

Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.

As one of the leading inventors of our time, Ray was the principal developer of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s web site Kurzweil has over one million readers.

Among Ray’s many honors, he is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world's largest for innovation. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002, he was inducted into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame , established by the US Patent Office.

He has received nineteen honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.

Ray has written six books, four of which have been national best sellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.

Visit Osprey Port News Network!
Apple, Google, Baidu, China, technology, financial system, stocks, markets, economy, science, environment, future

Follow Mountain Vision (@MountainVision) on Twitter!
Observations & thoughts by a sojourner through space & time...
Technological singularity, transhumanism, reality (objective, virtual, programmed, augmented), Universe, future.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

We Are All Cyborgs Now (Video) *We are a new form of homo sapiens*


Humans already have symbiotic interactions with machines

We Are All Cyborgs Now: Technology Is Evolving Humans

What is a Cyborg? Amber Case, cyborg anthropologist, defines cyborg as "an organism to which exogenous components have been added for the purpose of adapting to new environments". This definition came from a 1960 paper on space travel and described astronauts.

New Form of Homo Sapiens Traditional anthropology would observe and report on countries - the people, tools, and culture. Amber Case says anthropologists have suddenly found a new species - a new form of homo sapiens with "fascinating cultures" and "curious rituals" around technology. "They're clicking on things and staring at screens".

Extension of the Mental Self Case notes that "Tool use in the beginning, for thousands and thousands of years, everything has been a physical modification of self. It has helped us to extend our physical selves, go faster, hit things harder, and there's been a limit on that. But now what we are looking at is not an extension of the physical self, but an extension of the mental self. And because of that we are able to travel faster, communicate differently." If you lose your information, from your technology (e.g. computer, cell phone) you "suddenly have this loss in your mind", "you feel like something is missing."

Second Self People now have an online life, a digital life, as well as a physical life, an analog life. People can interact with your second self when you are not there (online) on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Now people have to maintain their second self. Case says, "You have to present yourself in digital life in a similar way you would in your analog life." People now have a "digital self."

Time and Space Compression Technology has enabled people to compress time and space. Case says "everyone is carrying around wormholes in their pockets" - cell phones that instantly allow mental transportation to another part of the world. Physical transport is no longer necessary. "You can stand on one side of the world, whisper something, and be heard on the other."

Simultaneous Time & Ambient Intimacy Instantaneous and continuing information is flowing towards and into a person nowadays - simultaneous time. Everything - communication, news, events - is simultaneous and ongoing. Ambient intimacy - "At anytime, we can connect to anyone we want". There are psychological effects to this, both simultaneous time and ambient intimacy: "People aren't taking time for mental reflection anymore, and they aren't slowing down and stopping, being around all those people in the 'room' all the time". 'Room' meaning everyone a person can instantly contact via cell phone especially but also online. These people are "trying to compete for their attention on the simultaneous time interfaces."

Creation of Self Case is concerned, "When you have no external input, that is a time when there is a creation of self, when you can do long-term planning, when you can try and figure out who you really are. And when you do that you can figure out how to present your second self in a legitimate way, instead of just dealing with everything as it comes in. Kids today have an instantaneous button-clicking culture."

Humans and Technology Co-Creating Each Other When visualize all the connections, such as a map of the Internet (see image below video), Case notes, "It doesn't look technological, it actually looks very organic. This is the first time in the entire history of humanity that we've connected this way. And it's not that machines are taking over, it's that they are helping us to be more human, helping us to connect with each other. The most successful technology gets out of the way and helps us live our lives. And really, it ends up being more human than technology because we are co-creating each other all the time. We're just increasing our humanness and our ability to connect with each other, regardless of geography."

TED Talks "We Are All Cyborgs NowTechnology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on "external brains" (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Case offers surprising insight into our cyborg selves.

The Opte Project Map of the Internet

About Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist

(TED Talks) Amber Case studies the symbiotic interactions between humans and machines -- and considers how our values and culture are being shaped by living lives increasingly mediated by high technology. Amber Case is a cyborg anthropologist, examining the way humans and technology interact and evolve together. Like all anthropologists, Case watches people, but her fieldwork involves observing how they participate in digital networks, analyzing the various ways we project our personalities, communicate, work, play, share ideas and even form values. Case founded, a private location-sharing application, out of a frustration with existing social protocols around text messaging and wayfinding.

Case, who predicts that intensification of the human-technology interface will quickly reduce the distance between individual and community, believes that the convergence of technologies will bring about unprecedented rapid learning and communication. Dubbed a digital philosopher, Case applies her findings to such fields as information architecture, usability and online productivity. She’s currently working on a book about using anthropological techniques to understand industry ecosystems.

Visit Osprey Port News Network!
Apple, Google, Baidu, China, technology, financial system, stocks, markets, economy, science, environment, future

Follow Mountain Vision (@MountainVision) on Twitter!
Observations & thoughts by a sojourner through space & time...
Technological singularity, transhumanism, reality (objective, virtual, programmed, augmented), Universe, future.


Seeking Alpha