Ray Kurzweil is a famous figure in the circles of futurists. According to some estimates, 86% of its forecasts in the past came true with high accuracy. The future, according to Kurzweil, will become for us the decentralization of everything: both physical and mental. Motherboard called Ray Kurzweil “a prophet of the techno-ending and technospasiveness.” Trying to limit his predictions to the chronological limits as much as possible, the writer, inventor, computer scientist, futurist and engineering director at Google still gave 86% accurate forecasts – among them the collapse of the Soviet Union, the development of the Internet and the victory of the computer over a man in chess Party.
Kurzweil continues to share his predictions of the future. His last forecast was made at the recently held SXSW conference. There he stated that the singularity – the moment when technologies will become smarter than humans – will be in 2045. Sixteen years before, they will be as smart as we are. In 2029, according to Kurzweil, artificial intelligence will pass the recognized Turing test and reach the human level of intelligence.
Kurzweil’s vision of the future is not limited to singularity. He also discusses how technologies like nanorobots and neurocomputer interfaces like Neuralink Ilona Mask will affect our bodies and lead to a future in which our brains and ourselves will be fully mechanized.
This process can begin with jumps of virtual reality of a sci-fi level. Kurzweil believes that virtual reality will be so advanced that physical jobs will go to the past. In a few decades, our commutations will simply become decorations.
But such a paradigm shift will entail interesting consequences. People will not have to live near work, so we will see unprecedented deurbanization. People will no longer have to flock to big cities to work or become attached to a certain place. Such decentralization can reduce the likelihood of terrorist attacks. The technology of blockade will also contribute to decentralization.
According to Kurzweil, the technologies will not only allow us to rethink the modern workplace, but will also enable us to replace our biology with more advanced equipment. He predicts that by the beginning of the 2030s we will be able to copy the human consciousness onto an electronic medium.
This means that there will be no flesh, blood or bones – just a scan of the brain by car – and the person will be able to take any form, from the box to the bird. Also people do not have to die. Since our brains will no longer rely on fragile biology, we can theoretically live forever.
Not all of Kurzweil’s forecasts are so radical, and some of them seem even more likely. For example, his prediction of the emergence of the ubiquitous Wi-Fi is gradually becoming a reality. Ilon Mask expressed his intention to connect the Internet from the whole globe from space. Also, the futurist believes that most of the diseases that plague people will disappear by the 2020s. Such a medical breakthrough is quite possible to assume on the wave of recent achievements.
Kurzweil foresees a future that will be exciting and frightening at the same time. Time will tell.