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My Disappointment at the Future


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#31 garethnelsonuk

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 11:17 AM

I commonly carry at least 2 or 3 computers on me and prefer flash to optical media. I have a private server at home and one in a data centre which I use for developing 3D applications (see http://www.osgrid.org for my current project) and I read e-books on my PDA.

I routinely see others carrying portable high-bandwidth connected computers (mobile phones with 3G) and massive amounts of data storage (iPod anyone?) and I see joe bloggs talking in the virtual world (second life). I see supercomputers in the home (PS3) and more and more use of technology in education (my stepdaughter is currently learning about relational database systems in school - she's 10 years old).

Lots of these predictions are either true, coming true, or true in certain circles. Not everyone has a wearable PC yet, so this one is true in certain circles only (see http://www.eyetap.org for one such circle). However, most people have mobile phones, iPods, mp3 players, USB flash drives, broadband internet connections, next generation games consoles, multi core CPUs in their home PCs..........

One laptop per child, online learning environments etc

Kurzweil got a lot right!

#32 garethnelsonuk

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 11:18 AM

well, it isn't necessarily advances in consumer devices that are what most singularitiarians are interested in... the increasing speed of processors is a key enabling technology that will make a singularity via AGI possible.

Having to swap out your PC every several years is merely a by-product, and is a good indicator of progress.


SOFTWARE!

Processing power isn't such a big issue - software is critical

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#33 JonesGuy

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 11:52 AM

I've been a law undergrad for nearly 3 years now

I think that the field of Law needs a groundbreaking paradigm shift when it comes to speech-to-text. Very many lawyers dictate letters and then their secretaries type them up.

If you were to bring the concept of speech-to-text to your office (after articling) you could show them how efficiencies could be created. In fact, I'd recommend purchasing the software on your own, and using your home computer to process your dictation (i.e, getting around the IT deptartment's resistance). Once your secretary has a lower workload than the other the secretaries, we'll see the efficiencies propagate.

In truth, I think that each lawyer could save dozens of secretary-hours every year (at least) if they dictated to speech-to-text instead of for the secretary. Those efficiencies would surely help our society out.

#34 garethnelsonuk

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 02:14 PM

How about learning to type fast themselves?

#35 Mind

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 10:46 PM

Extrapolating future trends without qualification and/or probability estimates is (A) a total waste of time (B) intellectual flatulence and © borderline cultish.


I agree with the probability remark, but not the rest.

It is not only pragmatic to extrapolate future trends (we all do it every single hour of every single day of our lives....so are we all farting nonsense and starting cults?), but it has been done for the benefit of human society ever since we learned to walk and speak. Those who have a knack for extrapolating future trends (even without qualifying) are some of the wealthiest and most successful people ever....ever!

Remember that Age of Spiratual Machines (the topic of this thread) was semi-fiction. If it had included bayesian reasoning and probability tables it would have been like a textbook and maybe 13 people would have read it.

#36 Ghostrider

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 03:54 AM

well, it isn't necessarily advances in consumer devices that are what most singularitiarians are interested in... the increasing speed of processors is a key enabling technology that will make a singularity via AGI possible.

Having to swap out your PC every several years is merely a by-product, and is a good indicator of progress.


SOFTWARE!

Processing power isn't such a big issue - software is critical


I agree. Hardware used to be an issue, but it is becoming less and less of an issue at the rate of Moore's law.

#37 forever freedom

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 05:44 AM

SOFTWARE!

Processing power isn't such a big issue - software is critical




Yes, and THIS is a point i think some people, ray included, are overestimating.

I believe it is very hard for us to develop a software that could emulate the brain by as soon as 2045..

#38 Aegist

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 08:01 AM

SOFTWARE!

Processing power isn't such a big issue - software is critical




Yes, and THIS is a point i think some people, ray included, are overestimating.

I believe it is very hard for us to develop a software that could emulate the brain by as soon as 2045..

I was about to oppose your opinion, but regardless of whether I believe or hope otherwise, this is actually a very very good point RE exponential advancement. The fact that miniaturisation, data transfer rates, price etc decrease/increase/improve exponentially with time say nothing about human ingenuity. It seems we must be reasonably static with our ingenuity because we are static in our biology. (although it could be argued that the increasing population size (and increasing number of people with time and information freedom) are providing more opportunities for ingenuity)

Having said that, Kurzweil doesn't actually make any assumptions about that particular thing anyway. He simply talks about the time when computers will be able to acheive the same processing rate as human brains (flops). He says nothing about human intelligence in computers. Although he does imply that he expects, it is not actually part of his predictions.

#39 Futurist1000

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 03:31 AM

Kurzweil has the ability to hit the nail on the head with a lot of his predictions. However some of the predictions are just inane.

2009 "The majority of text is created using continuous speech recognition"

No, this probably will not take off to a large degree. Why? Well do you want to work at an office where everyone is talking to their computers at the same time? Or at home, unless you live by yourself I don't think the other members of your house would enjoy you talking constantly to your computer. You'd basically look like an idiot. Imagine dozens of coworkers furiously yelling at their computers trying to get the text to speech to work. Or if you were at college, your roomate talking all night long trying to finish his vapid term paper on shakespeare. Plus there are privacy issues. If I am talking out loud that is obviously not very private. Maybe a brain wave to text technology would be better. You could use something attached to your head to directly translate your thoughts into messages.

2009 "Most routine business trasactions take place between a human and a virtual personality"

Uh I think I think it is just easier to do bussiness transactions WITHOUT any virtual personality. I can pay my bills online easily and don't need the help of any fake virtual personalities. The only reason I could possibly see that people would interact with virtual personalities if they were pornographic. In a way its kind of funny what kurzweil is saying about the singularity. Basically we will using the computing power of the universe to create convincingly real virtual worlds where we can continuously copulate 24/7 with the most beautiful virtual members of the opposite sex (or same sex if your so inclined) .

2019 "Computers are now largely invisible and are embeded everywhere in, walls, tables, chairs, desks, clothing, jewelry and bodies."

Ok tables, chairs desks and jewelry? That's just plain silly. What possible reason would you have to put a computer in a piece of jewelry? Oh wait I know, so you can wirelessly find out if your ring still has 5 carats in it. It will wirelessly beam the data to the computer so you can find out how many gold atoms have fallen off of the jewelry over the course of the day. Or maybe you could have an automatically fitting piece of jewely and you could command it by speech to loosen up if you needed to take it. Finally people could easily get their wedding ring off.

And a chair? Yeah you could have the chip beam data on the weight of each person to a computer. The chair could detect people's weight by sensors before they sat down and give them a verbal warning if were too fat and could break the chair. YOUR WEIGHT WOULD LEAD TO A MALFUNCTION IN THIS DEVICE, PLEASE DO NOT SIT DOWN.

I could go on, but I hope you get the point. Several factors are not taken into account by futurists. One is practicality. Is it really practical or necessarily to have a lot of these things? No not really. Another factor is diminishing returns. The quantitative difference between painting pictures and producing the first film photograph was huge. The next leap was going from black and white to color. This step is not as large but still arguably important. After that was going from film to digital cameras (I'm skipping a few steps for brevity). Now digital cameras are getting better in their resolution, but the importance of adding 10 megapixels matters much less than going from painting pictures to having a photograph. Each megapixel that is added to a digital cameras performance has less and less value. Eventually you could have a digital camera that is 100 megapixels. Each megapixel added after that however diminishes in value where eventually it become of no utility to add more megapixels. Computers follow this rule too. For most people, a 400 dollar computer would suit most of their needs just fine. You can run 90% of applications fairly well already. I think we will run in to this barrier in a lot of technologies, though I do think we still have quite a few years to go.

#40 forever freedom

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 02:12 AM

Another thing that i've noticed, is that Kurzweil, taking his everyday 250 pills, claims to be like a 40 year old when doing some aging tests that are definitely not a consensus about if they really measure age or not.

Now look at one of his latest pics, in stanford in 2006, and tell me if he looks like a 40 year old.

Posted Image


Taken from (there you find a high resolution picture): http://en.wikipedia......are_crop).jpg




He actually looks like someone exactly around his age: 60 years old. If the singularity plays in at 2045 (at that's the most optimistic prediction) he'll be 97 years old. If he is one of the lucky bastards that have good genetics, he might make it, otherwise i don't know if his hundreds of pills are going to keep him alive. I assume he does CR, doesn't he? That might give him an extra handful of years.

#41 Live Forever

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 02:28 AM

Another thing that i've noticed, is that Kurzweil, taking his everyday 250 pills, claims to be like a 40 year old when doing some aging tests that are definitely not a consensus about if they really measure age or not.

Now look at one of his latest pics, in stanford in 2006, and tell me if he looks like a 40 year old.

Posted Image


Taken from (there you find a high resolution picture): http://en.wikipedia......are_crop).jpg




He actually looks like someone exactly around his age: 60 years old. If the singularity plays in at 2045 (at that's the most optimistic prediction) he'll be 97 years old. If he is one of the lucky bastards that have good genetics, he might make it, otherwise i don't know if his hundreds of pills are going to keep him alive. I assume he does CR, doesn't he? That might give him an extra handful of years.

He certainly doesn't look 40, but I don't think he looks 60 either. Maybe early to mid-50s. I would suspect that even if all his pills and CR and everything worked, it would only be an extension of 10-15% of remaining life. We certainly need much better aging treatments. Onward and upward! [thumb]

#42 DJS

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 03:42 AM

I agree with the probability remark, but not the rest.

It is not only pragmatic to extrapolate future trends (we all do it every single hour of every single day of our lives....so are we all farting nonsense and starting cults?), but it has been done for the benefit of human society ever since we learned to walk and speak. Those who have a knack for extrapolating future trends (even without qualifying) are some of the wealthiest and most successful people ever....ever!

Remember that Age of Spiratual Machines (the topic of this thread) was semi-fiction. If it had included bayesian reasoning and probability tables it would have been like a textbook and maybe 13 people would have read it.


Sorry Mind, initially I missed your response.

I think that, largely, you are engaging in a semantics shell game here. Of course humans are "gregorian creatures" that plot and scheme about the future. In fact, our social intelligence is highly evolved for this activity, which is why most human social strategizing could almost be termed intuitive. However these are all near-term/ "personal"/micro-level affairs which are of a very different nature than abstracting macro-level trends.

My main point when it comes to futurist speculations is that I prefer an intellectual environment which is dialectical rather than committal. I like to hear interesting arguments and say to myself, "hhmm, that's interesting" rather than "that's convincing, I truly believe that." And really, why as individuals should we feel compelled to solidify our futurist speculations into beliefs? Isn't our sense of hope in the future enough? Or does the element of faith in our hope, which is so distasteful to some of our palates, goad us into this futile endeavor? Futile, and I might add, ironic, as one is only reapportioning that which brings with it such a bitter taste!

Naturally, if one is a highly specialized investor in technology then arriving at higher confidence levels is a pressing concern. Yet this individual's type of focus, be it technology or other areas of investment, is also driven by pragmatics - which shouldn't be placed in the same sentence with Kurzweilian memetics. Hence we have Thiel making and elaborating on the distinction between philanthropy and investment.

(I find this all to be basic common sense. Why people struggle with this logic continues to baffle me.)

#43 Shannon Vyff

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 04:28 AM

don't know if anyone mentioned around here that Ray is friends with Aubrey, and says he's 'getting around to cryonics', his main editor gave me her business card at Transvision, to give to Jennifer at Alcor ... to link to Alcor from his web site... so I assume that Ray is looking at cryonics as a back up...

#44 Andrew Shevchuk

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 11:45 PM

Okay we're a little less than two years out, so it's time for some analysis...

· Individuals primarily use portable computers

I don't own a desktop anymore, just a laptop, and I have a cell phone.

· Portable computers have dramatically become lighter and thinner

MacBook Air anyone? There's an ever growing market of ultraportables (although their performance isn't quite that of a standard laptop or desktop). If you include cell phones, things are a lot lighter and thinner than they were in 1999.

· Personal computers are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and are commonly embedded in clothing and jewelry, like wrist watches, rings, earrings and other body ornaments

· Computers with a high-resolution visual interface range from rings and pins and credit cards up to the size of a thin book. People typically have at least a dozen computers on and around their bodies, which are networked, using body LANS (local area networks)

These two aren't quite here yet, at least in terms of clothing and jewelry. However, display technology is penetrating fabrics these days (see Philips' Lumalive as an example) and with the ever increasing presence of nanotech in clothing I think there will be some basic form of this by the end of 2009, even if mass adoption hasn't occurred by then. High resolution display technology will certainly be small enough for at least credit-card-sized stuff. Look at Sony's flexible color OLED video display. This isn't High-Def yet (or even Standard-Def), but we've still got the better part of two years to go. Other methods of display, like the iPhone, are already reaching Hi-Def at small sizes. The networking will come, although it's hard to see how that'll penetrate society deeply in the next two years.

· These computers monitor body functions, provide automated identity to conduct financial transactions and allow entry into secure areas. They also provide directions for navigation, and a variety of other services.

This is certainly a yes by the end of 2009. Directions and navigation are already done, and there is a lot of productive research on real-time monitoring of body functions. Besides things like pacemakers, there are implants now available or well into development that monitor epilepsy, parkinson's, and perhaps other conditions in real time to counteract their effects. There are of course efforts to monitor heart rate or calorie intake and stuff as well.

· Most portable computers do not have keyboards

Depends on your definition, but I would say this is not yet true if we think of things like laptops when we think portable computers. If we include phones, the iPhone and multi-touch tech in general is exploding right now, so there will definitely be a phasing out of keyboards by the end of 2009 and it is already underway in phones. The rise of speech recognition will also precipitate this.

· Rotating memories such as Hard Drives, CD roms, and DVDs are on their way out.

This is definitely true. CDs and DVDs are almost dead, and I know Blu-Ray is now reaching it's prime, but optical media do not have a future except for in specialized uses (like storage using HVDs). People are now downloading movies and TV shows over the internet via iTunes and other services; this will only grow as TV merges with the internet. Solid state hard drives are now replacing traditional rotating hard drives as faster and more reliable alternatives. Spintronics is coming and may just be introduced by the end of 2009, but it will merge RAM and hard drive so that classic magnetic storage will be obsolete.

· Most users have servers on their homes and offices where they keep large stores of digital objects, including, among other things, virtual reality environments, although these are still on an early stage

While I wouldn't really say that users have their own servers in their homes and offices, people are starting to own large numbers of digital objects in virtual reality environments, Second Life, WoW, etc. Kurzweil is right when he says this is still at an early stage, but digital content ownership is taking off in many circles. You can even buy digital objects for real cash, through eBay and such (this may or may not be legal, and of course I thinking about unique and identifying objects here like game equipment, not like movies that all can buy and have). Just how much digital content people own might be surprising by the end of the decade.

· Cables are disappearing

Wi-Fi is becoming much more popular than wired connections due to increasing coverage and bandwidth. WiMax and similar standards are set to launch by the end of Ray's prediction period, ushering in additional wireless adoption. Certainly phones are almost entirely wireless these days and landlines are rapidly disappearing. Transferring high resolution video is becoming more practical with faster mobile networks. Satellite is playing an increasingly important role although cable is still firmly entrenched and is improving its service with optical fiber. Game controllers are wireless these days. Power is the major difficultly still when it comes to cables. There has been some promising research on inductive coupling by transmitting power over certain frequencies, but it isn't efficient or ready for primetime yet. This is something to look for in the next decade though.

· The majority of texts is created using continuous speech recognition, or CSR (dictation software). CSRs are very accurate, far more than the human transcriptionists, who were used up until a few years ago.

This one I think may not come true by the end of 2009, not because we won't have the capability, but because we won't have the widespread use. I have not used CSR software myself, but I have heard that does pretty well these days if you are in good conditions (no background noise, no accent, etc.). Somebody else could speak more to this, and I think it'll be there by the end of 2009, just not everywhere.

· Books, magazines, and newspapers are now routinely read on displays that are the size of small books

This one is correct. E-paper technology is really taking off and will surely be a lot more advanced two years from now. Widespread adoption will be slower than something like multi-touch, but the market is growing and adoption will pick up as the tech matures in the next two years.

· Computer displays built into eyeglasses are also used. These specialized glasses allow the users to see the normal environment while creating a virtual image that appears to hover in front of the viewer.

To my knowledge this one Kurzweil has almost completely missed, so far anyway. I'm not familiar with much effort in this area, but there is exciting research that supersedes this already underway! Currently bionic contacts are being researched at the University of Washington (Google 'bionic contacts'). While they haven't put a display in them yet, their next step is to put a handful of pixels in there and work up to higher resolutions. There's also an effort to make them transmit wirelessly and be powered via radio waves or solar cells in the contacts. This will all probably take longer than the end of next year to accomplish, but contacts are harder to do this in than glasses and require more advanced procedures to implement (because you're mixing organic and inorganic materials). In any case it is exciting.

· Computers routinely include moving picture image cameras and are able to reliably identify their owners from their faces

Computers definitely include cameras now, see things like the MacBook Air as an example. As for face recognition, I think the mapping technology of facial features is pretty good these days, but I don't know how advanced automated recognition is yet. I suspect with the insane push of the gaming industry and similar enterprises that are working towards photorealism will make it possible for your computer to identify your face by the end of 2009 if it can't already. Does somebody know of a computer that recognizes it's user this way yet?

· Three dimensional chips are commonly used

To my knowledge there has not yet been a concrete push towards 3D in the chip industry as a whole. I suspect that while Intel and co. can maintain Moore's Law they will continue to do so and now worry about having to build upwards until they have to. Someone else might know more about this. Even if Kurzweil's wrong here, it's irrelevant. This is just a statement of chip design, but as long as the processing power can continue to increase, the fact that the chips aren't 3D yet doesn't matter (in fact, it's probably a good thing).

· Students from all ages have a portable computer, very thin and soft, weighting less than 1 pound. They interact with their computers primarily by voice and by pointing with a device that looks like a pencil. Keybords still exist but most textual language is created by speaking.

"Students from all ages have a portable computer" is increasingly correct, although obviously kindergarten students are much less likely to have one compared to high school students; in principle this is getting there. If we define: portable computer = multi-talented mobile phone, then the first statement is practically true, although the 'soft' part perhaps not so much. The stylus comment is Kurzweil actually undershooting technology (if that were possible) since multi-touch is here (although we could talk about the ubiquity of the Nintendo DS as well, since it is also a "personal computer" in a sense and uses a stylus), but of course not all phones can do this yet. Maybe most will by the end of 2009. Voice recognition is lagging here a bit, especially in widespread adoption, but people of my generation (I'm 21) adopt these things faster than anyone else, so if it comes along it could spread like wildfire.

· Intelligent courseware has emerged as a common means of learning, recent controversial studies have shown that students can learn basic skills such as reading and math just as readily with interactive learning software as with human teachers.

This is basically "computers are used in the classroom." I think this it quite true and lots of software is geared towards learning these days. It's definitely here in my opinion. Notably Kurzweil did not say anything about this replacing teachers, because indeed we are not there yet.

· Schools are increasingly relying on software approaches. Many children learn to read on their own using personal computers before entering grade school.

I learned to read before entering grade school, without a computer. I recently learned that my home school district just bought a whole new set of laptops; obviously the software approach is taking a foothold in my high school. As for children learning to read on personal computers before grade school, I think there's all kinds of stuff from companies like VTech in this regard these days, although I don't know any details about the products.

· Persons with disabilities are rapidly overcoming their handicaps through intelligent technology

Very general statement so it's hard to judge, but a great example would be Oscar Pistorius who has two carbon fiber prosthetic legs and was not permitted to qualify for the Olympics because they made him too fast!

· Students with reading disabilities routinely use print to speech reading systems

I don't know much about this one. I think it's technically possible because Kurzweil has successfully demoed OCR text-to-speech peripherals, but whether that's really in widespread use among those with speech disabilities yet I don't know. I'm inclined to think no, but maybe two years from now that'll be different.

· Print to speech reading machines for the blind are now very small, inexpensive, palm-size devices that can read books.

Kurzweil has demoed this himself and he used his own book, so I think it's there as a technology. I don't know how expensive it is though.

· Useful navigation systems have finally been developed to assist blind people in moving and avoiding obstacles. Those systems use GPS technology. The blind person communicates with his navigation system by voice.

Again, don't know much about this although I haven't seen any blind people using such a system.

· Deaf persons commonly use portable speech-to-text listening machines which display a real time transcription of what people are saying. The deaf user has the choice of either reading the transcribed speech as displayed text or watching an animated person gesturing in sign language.

In principle this is just an application of reasonably mature speech recognition technology. Haven't seen it being used, but speech recognition is lagging behind a bunch of these other predictions a bit, so this one probably won't happen.

· Listening machines cal also translate what is being said into another language in real-time, so they are commonly used by hearing people as well.

I'd say no since we really don't have the listening machines available yet in the first place.

· There is a growing perception that the primary disabilities of blindness, deafness, and physical impairment do not necessarily. Disabled persons routinely describe their disabilities as mere inconveniences.

I'd say the answer to the first part (where the sentence is cut off) is a tentative yes, although I don't think it's something that most people really think about. The second part is probably a no I think, but I'm not disabled so maybe I'm not qualified to judge this prediction.

· In communications, translate telephone technology is commonly used. This allow you to speak in English, while your Japanese friend hears you in Japanese, and vice-versa.

I think there have been attempts at this (I remember some commercials from a while back trying to show it working over a telecon) but I don't think it's there right now. Maybe it'll be more feasible in 22 months, but speech and language technologies are hard to develop in general, so those are the predictions most likely to be delayed I think.

· Telephones are primarily wireless and include high resolution moving images.

This I mentioned earlier; the answer is clearly that it's here and widespread.

· Heptic technologies are emerging. They allow people to touch and feel objects and other persons at a distance. These force-feedback devices are wildly used in games and in training simulation systems. Interactive games routinely include all encompassing all visual and auditory environments.

Haptic technologies are indeed emerging, although they aren't widespread yet. They will be more common in gaming by the end of 2009 and are already present there at a lower level. I don't expect there'll be any full sensory immersion haptic systems in the next two years, but I'd love to be proven wrong. We could argue that multi-touch is a precursor to mature haptic technology, and in that case the tech probably has a long way to go still since even advanced multi-touch (like Jeff Han's stuff) is not yet widespread, though simple multi-touch is.

· The 1999 chat rooms have been replaced with virtual environments.

This is both yes and no, virtual worlds are indeed alive and well, but chat rooms and forums like this still remain in abundance.

· At least half of all transactions are conducted online

Currently this is an exaggeration, but the attitude towards online commerce is there....you just can't get your groceries that way yet. Half is maybe still a bit much, but ordering from Amazon or iTunes or whatever is now quite common for most people. Starbucks has plans with Apple to allow iPhone owners to order and pay online I've read. I can certainly order pizza online these days, or chinese from some places, but the payments aren't necessarily done electronically. Generally though, I expect this'll be more and more common, maybe even with other restaurants.

· Intelligent routes are in use, primarily for long distance travel. Once your car’s computer’s guiding system locks on to the control sensors on one of these highways, you can sit back, and relax.

Not quite sure what Ray meant here, but if he meant driverless cars under certain highway conditions then that won't be there by 2009. If he meant intelligent navigation and direction systems can tell you which route you should take on long trips, that is already doable I think.

· There is a growing neo-luditte movement.

I'm sure there is, but it doesn't feel like it right now. I think we're still in an era where most people are open to trying new technologies because things are not yet so different from the past that they can't accept the change.

Just my (long) two cents on what Ray has to say about the end of this decade. Perhaps this'll be worth looking at around the beginning of next year and again at the beginning of 2010. I think a lot of these Ray has correct (or essentially correct), but a few like speech recognition and some others might not really get here by the end of the decade. Others are a bit vague and can go either way.

#45 JohnDoe1234

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:05 PM

· Computers routinely include moving picture image cameras and are able to reliably identify their owners from their faces

Computers definitely include cameras now, see things like the MacBook Air as an example. As for face recognition, I think the mapping technology of facial features is pretty good these days, but I don't know how advanced automated recognition is yet. I suspect with the insane push of the gaming industry and similar enterprises that are working towards photorealism will make it possible for your computer to identify your face by the end of 2009 if it can't already. Does somebody know of a computer that recognizes it's user this way yet?

Nice list Andrew, however I might add to this one that the newer version of the lenovo T61p laptop, has fully operational and very reliable face-scanning system built in... All you do is open the thing up and look into the camera, wait about a second and a half... and Bam! you're in!

I only know this because I bought a T60p for the same price right before this came out :(

· Books, magazines, and newspapers are now routinely read on displays that are the size of small books

This one is correct. E-paper technology is really taking off and will surely be a lot more advanced two years from now. Widespread adoption will be slower than something like multi-touch, but the market is growing and adoption will pick up as the tech matures in the next two years.

Yeah, I just bought a Sony PRS-505 (portable reader system) which uses electronic paper, and I love it, the display quality is fabulous (but they need more format support)

· Three dimensional chips are commonly used

To my knowledge there has not yet been a concrete push towards 3D in the chip industry as a whole. I suspect that while Intel and co. can maintain Moore's Law they will continue to do so and now worry about having to build upwards until they have to. Someone else might know more about this. Even if Kurzweil's wrong here, it's irrelevant. This is just a statement of chip design, but as long as the processing power can continue to increase, the fact that the chips aren't 3D yet doesn't matter (in fact, it's probably a good thing).

Yeah, that's a miss, however in his defense multi-core processors are really taking off!


Now look at one of his latest pics, in stanford in 2006, and tell me if he looks like a 40 year old.

Yeah, you're right... And I've thought about this before, I wish he would stop tauting how young he is and such because aging right now is inevitable, and thus the public disappointment is inevitable!

Everything else he has done to try to bring people together around this idea is commendable and I am so very glad to see someone like him (as well as so many others) working so hard towards a positive singularity, however... Some of these health claims he's making are only going to come back to bite him in the coronary artery later down the road!

#46 Andrew Shevchuk

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 05:03 AM

Apparently Kurzweil's article on Wikipedia has experienced extensive updates recently. Now all of his predictions are on there and everything. Whoever wrote the section about what he says in the Age of Spiritual Machines did a nice job of pointing out how many things Kurzweil has gotten right for 2009 (as also the handful of things he's missed).

#47 Mixter

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:41 PM

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scnr :p

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#48 forever freedom

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:05 AM

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scnr :p



these will all be available to you in the future :p




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