Ray Kurzweil: Treating Machines As Living Entities - InformationWeek

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10/18/2005
10:12 PM
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Ray Kurzweil: Treating Machines As Living Entities

Let's assume that Ray Kurzweil's prediction comes true, that by mid-century, perhaps sooner, technology advances so rapidly that machines with human intellect, emotion, and self-awareness become a reality. How do we treat these new beings? Are they alive? Do they have rights? These are disturbing questions. An equally alarming one: What happens when people of ill will get hold of these machines? In the third of a five-part podca

Let's assume that Ray Kurzweil's prediction comes true, that by mid-century, perhaps sooner, technology advances so rapidly that machines with human intellect, emotion, and self-awareness become a reality.

How do we treat these new beings? Are they alive? Do they have rights?

These are disturbing questions. An equally alarming one: What happens when people of ill will get hold of these machines?

In the third of a five-part podcast interview I had with Kurzweil, the futurist, author, and IT innovator addresses these concerns. After listening to Kurzweil, let us know what you think. Share your thoughts in the Comments box below.

Click on these links to listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of the Kurzweil interview. Future parts of the series can be retrieved by going to the Podcast Directory at InformationWeek.com. Also, listen to a podcast interview with PDA innovator Jeff Hawkins, whose latest venture, Numenta, is developing technology based on the neocortex, the part of the brain believed to be responsible for conscious thought, spatial reasoning, and sensory perception.

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