Re: >H ExI Advisor Ray Kurzweil in new BusinessWeek

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Sat Jul 08 2000 - 13:16:01 MDT

>From: Anders Sandberg <>

>The problem seems to be that his description is very much a somewhat
>passive "this happens, and people react to it", instead of "this is
>what people will/might do", which is a much more active view of the
>future. I think we should be careful when we discuss our ideas to
>point out that they are not deterministic stuff that just happens, but
>that they are a part of a larger process driven by human ingenuity,
>ambition and curiosity.

I'm not so sure that yours is the correct view. When you have a large
enough pool of people exercizing their human ingenuity, ambition and
curiosity, it may be that, statistically, the eventual result is a foregone

It's admittedly very difficult to see it that way looking from this side of
the future. But perhaps its easier to see looking from this side of the
past. If Orville and Wilbur Wright had never been born, do you think that
there is any reasonable likelihood that humanity would not have discovered
and exploited aviation technology by now? Similarly, its pretty plain to
see that regardless of any presently living individual's human ingenuity,
ambition and curiosity, technology is following an arc that's fairly easy to

Computers *will* get smaller and faster. Bandwidth *will* increase. Our
understanding of human intelligence (and therefore intelligence in general)
*will* get better. Our ability manipulate matter at the molecular scale
*will* improve. Our understanding of biological processes *will* deepen.
These are givens, they are virtual certainties. Put all that together and
its not very hard to see where we're headed.


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