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The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Ray Kurzweil

Narrated By: George K. Wilson

Publisher: Tantor Media

Date: April 2014

Duration: 24 hours 43 minutes

Summary:

For over three decades, the great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.

That merging is the essence of the Singularity, an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today—the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity. In this new world, there will be no clear distinction between human and machine, real reality and virtual reality.

While the social and philosophical ramifications of these changes will be profound, and the threats they pose considerable, The Singularity Is Near maintains a radically optimistic view of the future course of human development. As such, it offers a view of the coming age that is both a dramatic culmination of centuries of technological ingenuity and a genuinely inspiring vision of our ultimate destiny.

Genres:

  • Christopher Kertyzak

    The book is a tremendous resource for understanding how technology, biology, and biotechnology evolve at various rates governed by the laws of accelerated returns. Kurzweil describes his vision of how the singularity, said to occur in 2029 (the point when artificial intelligence is indistinguishable from human), will transform our world, bodies, and minds. He predicts that this era will mark a turning point in the history of mankind in which digital machines will evolve at explosive rates. Improvements on the power and intelligence of software will happen at even faster rates, as mankind will no longer be needed in the design process. They will design better versions of themselves every day - perhaps even many times per day - and the results will catapult us into an age that is more digital than we can ever imagine. Do note that much of this book is written at a level that requires some basic knowledge of math, physics, and biology, at least to fully appreciate the content that is being delivered. The man is quite remarkable, and the book is definitely worth reading if this subject even slightly interests you. The only negative comment is the monotone voice of the narrator, but, you'll get used to it after a couple of hours. Lastly, don't listen to this when you're half awake. It takes rather focused attention to really follow the material, but if you're up for the challenge, it will be worth it in the end. Enjoy!

  • Eratosthenes

    This is a good book, but the author shoots over my head way too often. But I love the "basic" information.