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10. 07. 2004

Kurzweil's Fantastic Voyage

Leslie Walker, of the Washington Post, reports that at last week's Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT, the biggest buzz was for futurist Ray Kurzweil, who presented concepts from his upcoming book, "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough To Live Forever".
In the book, Kurzweil describes three stages to " immortality". In Stage 1, already happening, people can choose to live healthfully and take supplements in order to correct "metabolic imbalances". During Stage 2, about a decade from now, biotechnology will advance to the point where genetic and tissue engineering will develop drugs and therapies that will greatly extend life, and more importantly, keep people youthfully vital for a much longer period of time. In Stage 3, in about 30 years, nanotechnology will allow humans to live forever by repairing DNA and allowing replacement of ailing body parts.
Sounds fantastic, to be sure, but Kurzweil has made uncanny predictions before. He predicted that a computer could beat a human in chess when others believed it was impossible. In an earlier book The Age of Spiritual Machines, he displayed paintings by AARON, the Cybernetic Artist, developed by Harold Cohen.
I'm a little worried when I hear that Kurzweil is launching a line of supplements with his co-author, Terry Grossman. I'd hate to see a brilliant guy become a snake oil peddler.

Posted by Mia    Category: current affairs
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