I've mentioned it before - Dr Kurzweil is a very interesting man. Wikipedia describes him as:
Raymond Kurzweil (pronounced /kɚzwaɪl/) (born February 12, 1948) is an inventor and futurist. He has been a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, technological singularity, and futurism.
The BBC has picked up on an interesting article about the future and the challenges facing humanity for which Ray contributed.
Machines 'to match man by 2029'
By Helen Briggs
Science reporter, BBC News, Boston
Tiny machines could roam the body curing diseases
Machines will achieve human-level artificial intelligence by 2029, a leading US inventor has predicted.
Humanity is on the brink of advances that will see tiny robots implanted in people's brains to make them more intelligent, said Ray Kurzweil.
The engineer believes machines and humans will eventually merge through devices implanted in the body to boost intelligence and health.
"It's really part of our civilisation," Mr Kurzweil explained.
"But that's not going to be an alien invasion of intelligent machines to displace us."
Machines were already doing hundreds of things humans used to do, at human levels of intelligence or better, in many different areas, he said.
Man versus machine
"I've made the case that we will have both the hardware and the software to achieve human level artificial intelligence with the broad suppleness of human intelligence including our emotional intelligence by 2029," he said.
read the rest, including the list of challenges at BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Machines 'to match man by 2029'
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Tue, Feb 19 2008 12:15 AM