The Age of Spiritual Machines (Ray Kurzweil)

Kurzweil's book is a fascinating, thought-provoking volume, although in general too optimistic for my blood. One of the basic flaws of Kurzweil's thinking, and a flaw of most “futurist” thinking, is the assumption that superior technology will always replace inferior technology. Kurzweil's “predictions” are almost laughable as a result, and it is easy to thus ignore the book's central, significant claim — that computational power continues to improve at a shocking rate, that the development of machine intelligences that supersede our own is inevitable, and that machines may surpass us one day as the dominant species on this planet.

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Jonathan Ball is a writer, filmmaker, and scholar living at www.jonathanball.com.

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