Research Nugget

MLA –

Kurzweil, Ray. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. New York: Penguin Group, 2005. Print.

This book is my One-Stop-Shop for my final when it comes to discussing the ideas of the singularity. Well, at least along with the Singularity Symposium which I discussed in my last research nugget, and includes a profile of the author of this book,  Ray Kurzweil. The Website names Kurzweil the most famous and widely recognized ‘singularitarian.’ He has written more than one book concerning the rise of technology and artificial intelligence, but this book is certainly his masterpiece. It is extremely well-referenced and includes almost 500 pages discussing, in detail, all aspects of the coming Singularity, 100 pages of notes, and 50 pages of index to cite all of his countless references and sources. For anyone who has heard of the Technological Singularity and thinks it is a matter of Science-Fiction, Ray is here to set you straight. The Technological Singularity, as described by Ray Kurzweil and other prominent thinkers, is as much Science-Fiction as is virtual reality. And if you think virtual reality is science-fiction, I urge you to research Jaron Lanier as well as the Occulus Rift, which has recently been bought out by Facebook.

” Evolution is a process of creating patterns of increasing order. I’ll discuss the concept of order in the next chapter; the emphasis in this section is on the concept of patterns. I believe that it’s the evolution of patterns that constitutes the ultimate story of our world. Evolution works through indirection: each stage or epoch uses the information-processing methods of the previous epoch to create the next. I conceptualize the history of evolution-both biological and technological- as occurring in six epochs. As we will discuss, the Singularity will begin with Epoch Five and will spread from Earth to the rest of the universe in Epoch Six. 

These are the Six Epochs

The Six Epochs of Ray Kurzweil
The Six Epochs of Ray Kurzweil

In case I have not made it abundantly clear, my final has much to do with the Technological Singularity. My original inquisition was into the affect of digital technology on our essential human persona, which it is still is. But I am finding more and more that the Singularity has to do with exactly that. The Technological Singularity deals with the prospect that our technology will, or in fact is advancing faster than our biological selves, making it an inevitability that we will one day have to be conjoined with our own creations in order to ‘keep up,’ if you will. The Singularity was initially meant to be the backdrop to my inquiry but it is becoming more and more the center of attention because it so fundamentally deals with this question of the Human-Computer Interaction and our relationship with the technology we have created.

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