The Restless Genius

Twenty honorary doctorates and honors from three US Presidents. Fifteen years ago he received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation…that’s America’s highest honor in technology. Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002. Authored seven books and five of them were National Best Sellers.

I first saw this man on the ancient television program called “I Got A Secret.”  This 17 year-old high school kid came out and played a piano piece composed by a computer. He had built the computer. May I say that in 1965 this was pretty damn cool.

So I paid attention to his inventions, especially when his electronic piano hit the market in 1984. I was the West Coast representative for a large musical instrument company. We didn’t do keyboards, but I play keyboards and I beat a path over to this incredible new machine. I had read all the hoop-la about this inventor spending months with Stevie Wonder trying to design an electronic keyboard to sound exactly like a real piano.
He did it.

Stevie and Ray

They were doing hidden behind the screen testing and this electronic synthesizer was and still is the most authentic sounding “real” piano made.

Little did I know this guy had already been inventing things long before he met Stevie Wonder. In the ‘70s he invented the first CCD Flatbed scanner, text to speech synthesizers, optical character recognition systems and numerous other technologies that have helped the blind, dyslexic and ADD students learn.

There’s dozens of other inventions that this space won’t permit.

His name is Ray Kurzweil. He is now the chief engineer for Google working on language processing and machine learning.

He also likes to predict the future. His predictions of 25 years ago were right on the money. Most people who read his predictions shrugged their shoulders and laughed.

He predicted in 1990 that a computer would beat a World Chess Champion before the end of the decade. In 1998 IBM’s Deep Blue whipped Garry Kasparov.

Also in 1990 he predicted by 2010 we would be able to access information wirelessly from the internet.  Right Again!
He predicted that by 2001 Exoskeletal limbs would help the disabled walk. They Have!
In 1999 Ray Kurzweil predicted that computer displays would be built into eyeglasses by 2010. That was the first year they did it!
In 1999 he predicted we would be able to talk to our computers and give commands by 2010. Hello Siri?  Hello Google Now?

SO…He’s just come out with his newest predictions and I think we should pay attention. Especially any young entrepreneurs who are looking for a direction for their talents. Cash in, man.

Ray Kurzweil says by the end of this decade, eyeglasses will beam images directly onto our retina. Ten terabytes of computing power (roughly the size of our brain) will cost around $1000.

He also predicts we will conquer most diseases in the 2020’s because nanobots will be so much smarter than medical technology. Also in the 2020’s self-driving cars will take over the nation’s highways. I can’t wait because I definitely don’t like your driving.  You know who you are.

Stretching into the 2030’s, Mr. Kurzweil predicts that we will be able to upload our mind/consciousness. You need to think about that a minute.

And I love the 2040’s. I need to stay healthy to live that long, but his predictions are that non-biological intelligence will be a billion times more capable than biological intelligence (You and me). Nanotech foglets will be able to make food out of thin air and virtually create any object in the physical world on a whim.

By 2045 we will multiply our intelligence a “BILLION-FOLD” by linking wirelessly to our neocortex from a synthetic neocortex in the cloud

These aren’t some wild-eyed predictions that you or I might make. Ray Kurzweil understands the “Moore’s Law” and Ray’s “Law of Accelerating Returns.” Most of us think on a linear scale. These predictions don’t calculate.

Ray Kurzweil thinks on an exponential scale.

Sometimes we just float around in our boats, cook our steaks on the grill, just do our thing, but out there in the “Tech” world, lots of stuff has disrupted our old way of life. Mostly in a good way.

Think: Virtual Reality, Smart Phones, Robotics, Internet Technology, Translation Software and Voice Control technology. We are surrounded by Multi-Billion dollar companies that are now powered by these new realities and billions of us have and are affected.

Pay attention to Ray! More disruptions are coming sooner than you think.
DEMO Fall 2012

About bakoheat

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One Response to The Restless Genius

  1. Jim Robinson says:

    Now if only we could use this technology to make us eat smarter, read books instead of play video games, really end world hunger and hatred, and create water.
    I have a Kurzweil ME-1 module that I perform with. It makes any MIDI keyboard sound great. So, thank you, Ray. Let’s hope that you’re wrong about all that nanobot stuff, though.

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