segunda-feira, 28 de setembro de 2009

By 2040 you will be able to upload your brain...

...or at least that's what Ray Kurzweil thinks. He has spent his life inventing machines that help people, from the blind to dyslexics. Now, he believes we're on the brink of a new age – the 'singularity' – when mind-boggling technology will allow us to email each other toast, run as fast as Usain Bolt (for 15 minutes) – and even live forever. Is there sense to his science – or is the man who reasons that one day he'll bring his dad back from the grave just a mad professor peddling a nightmare vision of the future?

Should, by some terrible misfortune, Ray Kurzweil shuffle off his mortal coil tomorrow, the obituaries would record an inventor of rare and visionary talent. In 1976, he created the first machine capable of reading books to the blind, and less than a decade later he built the K250: the first music synthesizer to nigh-on perfectly duplicate the sound of a grand piano. His Kurzweil 3000 educational software, which helps students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, is likewise typical of an innovator who has made his name by combining restless imagination with technological ingenuity and a commendable sense of social responsibility.

However, these past accomplishments, as impressive as they are, would tell only half the Kurzweil story. The rest of his biography – the essence of his very existence, he would contend – belongs to the future.

Following the publication of his 2005 book, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Kurzweil has become known, above all, as a technology speculator whose predictions have polarised opinion – from stone-cold scepticism and splenetic disagreement to dedicated hero worship and admiration. It's not just that he boldly envisions a tomorrow's world where, for example, tiny robots will reverse the effects of pollution, artificial intelligence will far outstrip (and supplement) biological human intelligence, and humankind "will be able to live indefinitely without ageing". No, the real reason Kurzweil has become such a magnet for blogospheric debate, and a tech-celebrity, is that he's convinced those future predictions – and many more just as stunning – are imminent occurrences. They will all, he steadfastly maintains, happen before the middle of the 21st century.


Just when will this ultimate life-affirming feat be possible? In Kurzweil's estimation, we will be able to upload the human brain to a computer, capturing "a person's entire personality, memory, skills and history", by the end of the 2030s; humans and non-biological machines will then merge so effectively that the differences between them will no longer matter; and, after that, human intelligence, transformed for the better, will start to expand outward into the universe, around about 2045. With this last prediction, Kurzweil is referring not to any recognisable type of space travel, but to a kind of space infusion. "Intelligence," he writes, "will begin to saturate the matter and energy in its midst [and] spread out from its origin on Earth."


The greatest thing since sliced bread?

Ray Kurzweil's guide to incredible future technologies — and when he thinks they're likely to arrive...

1 Reconnaissance dust

"These so-called 'smart dust' – tiny devices that are almost invisible but contain sensors, computers and communication capabilities – are already being experimented with. Practical use of these devices is likely within 10 to 15 years"

2 Nano assemblers

"Basically, these are three-dimensional printers that can create a physical object from an information file and inexpensive input materials. So we could email a blouse or a toaster or even the toast. There is already an industry of three-dimensional printers, and the resolution of the devices that can be created is getting finer and finer. The nano assembler would assemble devices from molecules and molecular fragments, and is about 20 years away"

3 Respirocytes

"A respirocyte is a nanobot (a blood cell-sized device) that is designed to replace our biological red blood cells but is 1,000 times more capable. If you replaced a portion of your biological red blood cells with these robotic versions you could do an Olympic sprint for 15 minutes without taking a breath, or sit at the bottom of a swimming pool for four hours. These are about 20 years away" '

4 Foglets

"Foglets are a form of nanobots that can reassemble themselves into a wide variety of objects in the real world, essentially bringing the rapid morphing qualities of virtual reality to real reality. Nanobots that can perform useful therapeutic functions in our bodies, essentially keeping us healthy from inside, are only about 20 years away. Foglets are more advanced and are probably 30 to 40 years away"

5 Blue goo

"The concern with full-scale nanotechnology and nanobots is that if they had the capability to replicate in a natural environment (as bacteria and other pathogens do), they could destroy humanity or even all of the biomass. This is called the grey goo concern. When that becomes feasible we will need a nanotechnology immune system. The nanobots that would be protecting us from harmful self-replicating nanobots are called blue goo (blue as in police). This scenario is 20 to 30 years away"

Original: veja na íntegra

4 comentários:

narghee-la disse...

ele SÓ PODIA SER AQUARIANO! hahahahahahahahaha!

post MAGNÂNIMO. fez meu coração bater mais forte!

bloke in blue disse...

realmente fascinante, quase inacreditável.

a propósito, aceitamos nano assemblers de aniversário ;)

Patty Diphusa disse...

Bloke, preciso de uma ajuda e tenho certeza que vc pode dar. Eu estou fazendo uma matéria sobre gadgets eletrônicos que são sonho de consumo de homens classe A, para uma revista masculina. Se souber de algo, me escreve, please, no


Adorei o post, mas estou tão correndo que nem tenho cérebro pra comentar, rs

bloke in blue disse...

Hey Patty, que vom vê-la por aqui.

Ok, como você sabe sou a classe personificada e dono de um gosto muito exigente. Certamente pensarei em algo ;]



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