Smart Machines on the Horizon

by Malc on February 13, 2009

Google and Nasa are backing Ray Kurzweil in a new school for ‘futurists’. The school will be located around the corner from Google in Silicon Valley.

The school will pull together people and ideas from rapidly growing and advancing disciplines which are going to affect our future – including health and longevity – tremendously. These include technology, medicine, artificial intelligence (AI), genetics and  nanotechnology.

The students will get together each year for nine weeks to soak up cutting edge ideas across discipline The idea of the University is not to set exams and issue degrees, but to share ideas in these rapidly developing fields. 

Ray Kurzweil put forward his view that the day when the intelligence of machines equal the intelligence human is coming nearer at a faster pace. This is because of the accelerating progress in biology, technology and AI. This time has been called the ‘Singularity’.

Kurzweil predicts this time will be before the middle of this century. More intelligent machines will, he says, be able to solve problems of poverty, starvation, pollution and global warming.

Kurzweil has a strong back-catalogue of successful and ground-breaking inventions including the electric piano, the document scanner and dictation software. He is the visionary who has been appointed as Chancellor.

The new school will be called the ‘Singularity University’.

Guardian article

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