Ray Kurzweil Predicts Humans Will Merge with Computers by 2029
Merging with computers could end humanity
Technological singularity – humans becoming one with computers – will morph us into “super humans” by the year 2029. Fake news? A new science fiction novel? TV show? Nope. It’s a prediction made by Google’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil. He’s made 147 predictions since the 1990’s, and he has an 86% success rate. 
A few of Kurzweil’s predictions that came true:
- In 1999, Kurzweil predicted that “personal computers are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and are commonly embedded in clothing and jewelry such as wristwatches, rings, earrings and other body ornaments” by 2009.
- Also in 1999, Kurzweil foresaw that “individuals primarily use portable computers” by 2009.
- In 2000, Kurzweil said that by 2010, “[Computers] will tap into the worldwide mesh of high-speed communications and computational resources.” 
Many of Kurzweil’s technology predictions didn’t come to pass, but he has a pretty good track record.
According to Kurzweil, we live in a cybernetic society and we will eventually have computers in our brains, and machines will be more intelligent than humans. And, he says, it’s already happening. He points to people’s addictions to their smartphones as proof, and believes that wiring this technology into our brains will be the next step in the progression. 
The scientific explanation of “singularity” is when carbon and silicon-based intelligence will merge to form a single global consciousness.
“By 2029, computers will have human-level intelligence. That leads to computers having human intelligence, our putting them inside our brains, connecting them to the cloud, expanding who we are.
Today, that’s not just a future scenario. It’s here, in part, and it’s going to accelerate.” 
This might sound like a frightening scenario to you or me, but Kurzweil sees this as a positive thing that will only make us better humans.
“We’re going to get more neocortex, we’re going to be funnier, we’re going to be better at music. We’re going to be sexier. We’re really going to exemplify all the things that we value in humans to a greater degree.” 
Kurzweil’s AI vision occurs nearer in the future than those of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son. Hawking has said he believes singularity may occur by 2045, and Son has said he thinks we’ll have computers in our brains in the next 30 years. 
At an October press conference discussing details of his upcoming $100 billion investment fund, Son said:
“I think a big paradigm shift is coming. The biggest theme in my view is the Singularity. I think it is coming into reality in the next 30 years. For that vision, I am exercising that strategy. $100 billion is an interesting size of ammunition. In my view, that is the beginning. My passion is bigger than many people think.” 
But billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk, of SpaceX and Tesla fame, is terrified that AI will be the end of humanity, and warns that people might one day be ruled by robots. Musk believes artificial intelligence could be a bigger threat than nuclear weapons, and has likened improving AI to “summoning the demon.” If humans don’t merge with machines, Musk warns, they will become irrelevant. 
Stephen Hawking shares similar concerns. He once wrote:
“If a superior alien civilisation sent us a message saying, ‘We’ll arrive in a few decades,’ would we just reply, ‘OK, call us when you get here—we’ll leave the lights on’? Probably not—but this is more or less what is happening with AI.” 
Singularity has the potential to boost the human race or destroy it, depending on whom you ask. The question is, is that a risk humans should take?
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Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.