Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kurzweil's Mind-Machine

Ray Kurzweil was on Coast-to-Coast AM last Monday.

The venerable high priest of the transhuman ziggurat discussed the further merger of humans with machines.  But a more basic step must occur before we all begin getting cybernetic limbs.  That is, we must fully understand how the brain works.

This does not simply mean how nerves may transmit messages between the brain and transhuman implants, but an understanding of how the brain relates to abstract concepts such as "irony, humor, and beauty." Once we begin to reverse engineer how the brain creates and relates to these thoughts, further steps may be implemented to build computers that can think in much the same manner.  Thus, the "Mind-Machine."

Kurzweil spent the remainder of his C2C time doing the usual flogging of those alarmists who see transhumanism as the downfall of civilization.  Sadly, such a ritual will be necessary so long as people like Alex Jones are around the Internet.  Humans are not really afraid of immersion with technology as Kurzweil accurately points out.  One need only look to the ubiquity of smartphones as evidence.  The same will hold true for body augmentation to overcome the limits of our frail biology.  After all, machines are already a part of us.  We created them.

This is the sort of plain fact reasoning that Kurzweil is renowned for...despite however "out there" his theories might get at times.   It truly resonates with me because I'm tired.

I'm tired of stomach issues.  I'm tired of the multitudinous failings of the flesh that diet and exercise alone won't begin to relieve...and even if they can, why bother if there is a more efficient and utilitarian solution?  More than anything, I'm just tired of being tired.  If I can modify the source code, why not?  I'm simply using the operating system to its fullest potential.

Go ahead, Alex Jones.  Stay meaty.  Just don't complain when it fails you.

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