The Singularity Is Nearer: When We Merge with AI (Hardcover)

The Singularity Is Nearer: When We Merge with AI By Ray Kurzweil Cover Image

The Singularity Is Nearer: When We Merge with AI (Hardcover)

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The noted inventor and futurist’s successor to his landmark book The Singularity Is Near explores how technology will transform the human race in the decades to come


Since it was first published in 2005, Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near and its vision of an exponential future have spawned a worldwide movement. Kurzweil's predictions about technological advancements have largely come true, with concepts like AI, intelligent machines, and biotechnology now widely familiar to the public.

In this entirely new book Ray Kurzweil brings a fresh perspective to advances toward the Singularity—assessing his 1999 prediction that AI will reach human level intelligence by 2029 and examining the exponential growth of technology—that, in the near future, will expand human intelligence a millionfold and change human life forever. Among the topics he discusses are rebuilding the world, atom by atom with devices like nanobots; radical life extension beyond the current age limit of 120; reinventing intelligence by connecting our brains to the cloud; how exponential technologies are propelling innovation forward in all industries and improving all aspects of our well-being such as declining poverty and violence; and the growth of renewable energy and 3-D printing. He also considers the potential perils of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence, including such topics of current controversy as how AI will impact employment and the safety of autonomous cars, and "After Life" technology, which aims to virtually revive deceased individuals through a combination of their data and DNA.

The culmination of six decades of research on artificial intelligence, The Singularity Is Nearer is Ray Kurzweil’s crowning contribution to the story of this science and the revolution that is to come.
Ray Kurzweil is a world class inventor, thinker, and futurist, with a thirty-five-year track record of accurate predictions. He has been a leading developer in artificial intelligence for 61 years – longer than any other living person. He was the principal inventor of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, omni-font optical character recognition, print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, text-to-speech synthesizer, music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition software. Ray received a GRAMMY® Award for outstanding achievement in music technology; he is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He has written five best-selling books including The Singularity Is Near and How to Create a Mind. He is a Principal Researcher and AI Visionary at Google.
Product Details ISBN: 9780399562761
ISBN-10: 0399562761
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: June 25th, 2024
Pages: 432
Language: English
Praise for The Singularity is Nearer:

“A fascinating exploration of our future, which raises the most profound philosophical questions.”
—Yuval Noah Harari, New York Times bestselling author of Sapiens

“Few people have shaped how the world thinks about AI like Ray Kurzweil. Now, with The Singularity Is Nearer, he has written an updated, expansive and hopeful guide to a fast-approaching future that will once again set the terms of debate. Grounded in decades of meticulous research, and written with impressive clarity across an immense canvas, it's essential reading for anyone wanting to understand our exponential times.”
Mustafa Suleyman, CEO of Microsoft AI 

“No one is more optimistic about technology than Ray Kurzweil.”
The Boston Globe

“The acclaimed futurist demonstrates how a revolutionary future is closer than you might think. . . . Kurzweil’s capacity for predictive thinking should not be underestimated. . . . This book brims with ideas about what lies ahead, and Kurzweil presents his vision with clarity and passion.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Ray Kurzweil’s Moore’s Law abstraction is the most important thing ever graphed. It’s continuity—over his lifetime of writing—is the greatest take-away for the future of humanity, and the future of intelligence."
Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director of Future Ventures

“Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Nearer is to information technology what Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species was to life science—a cogent, fact-based, clear-eyed, multi-disciplinary exposition of a fundamental truth about the world. Just as Darwin demonstrated that all life branched from eons of antecedent roots, Kurzweil shows that epochs of compounding information processing is resulting in a merger of humanity and computational software. The Singularity Is Nearer reads like a thriller because it honestly presents each of the perils of accelerating AI, but then, like an aircraft coming out of a storm, exquisitely lands the reader at a hopeful future filled with economic opportunity and ever-longer life. Kurzweil leaves no stone unturned in his examination of the employment, national security and personal well-being aspects of the coming “singularity” of AI, and the book is packed with directly relevant graphs, statistics and references. Best of all, Ray has given each of us in this book an observatory into the human mind—a personal telescope that lets each of us see better than ever just how our own minds work, what our own consciousness really is, why our merger with AI is inevitable, how it will practically occur and why humanity will be by far the better off as a result. There can be no more salient guide to the next two decades of life than The Singularity Is Nearer.”
Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., Creator of SiriusXM, United Therapeutics, electric helicopters and the Bina48 robot

"Ray explores mounting evidence that we are—right now—on the brink of a new human civilization. We’ll experience life in a whole new way. Ray shows us how it’s all coming together, today. His evidence overwhelms and inspires. It’s shocking, hopeful, scary, disruptive, poignant, personal, industrial, positive, global, cosmic, and—ultimately—indisputable. Everyone seriously concerned about the future should read this book."
—Dean Kamen, Inventor, entrepreneur, youth educator, award-winning mechanical engineer, recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Technology, inductee in the National Inventors Hall of Fame

“My view of the future has been forever impacted by Ray Kurzweil. Twenty-four years ago, he predicted AI would reach human-level intelligence by 2029. His vision seemed like a dream and yet here we are, right on track. This book will challenge everything you know about technology, life, and death. It will light you up with answers to today’s most pressing questions about artificial intelligence and the future of humanity.”
Tony Robbins, Global Entrepreneur, Investor, New York Times #1 Bestselling Author, Philanthropist, and the world’s #1 Life and Business Strategist

"Kurzweil makes a compelling case with data and persuasive logic that technological advances give us reason for optimism. It is only 2023 and already the world he envisioned years ago is taking shape. Curious about the Future? Read this book!"
 —Vint Cerf, a Father of the Internet and Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

“If you want to know where artificial intelligence—and our society—will be in 20 years, read The Singularity Is Nearer today.  The implications that visionary genius Ray Kurzweil describes in this book are so extraordinary and far-reaching, we must begin understanding these and planning now. Highly recommended!”
—Dean Ornish, MD, founder and president, Preventive Medicine Research Institute; clinical professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco; author, Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases, The Spectrum and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease

"Ray Kurzweil is the greatest oracle of our digital age. The Singularity Is Nearer is more than just a book—it's a survival guide for the technological renaissance we're about to experience. Ray’s accurate projections of what is likely to happen and when, makes the difference between surfing atop the tsunami of change, versus being crushed by it."
—Peter H. Diamandis, MD, New York Times Bestselling author, Founder, XPRIZE, Singularity

"Kurzweil’s predictions have come true in spades. His methodology in tracking the exponential growth of technology is right on the money and I have benefited tremendously from it. The Singularity Is Nearer is a worthy addition to his remarkable series of books; an ambitious feat, laying out the next 20+ years in business, health, jobs, creativity, and humanity, all from the common foundation of his Law of Accelerating Returns."
—Lloyd Watts, Technologist, Entrepreneur, and Author

"The Singularity Is Nearer may be the single most important contribution to understanding the valuable roles of AI and nanotechnology. With clarity, Ray Kurzweil tells a tale of evolving information processes that are reinventing intelligence. This captivating sequence of historical events and rigorously researched facts are a worthy and positive ethos for humanity’s future."
—Natasha Vita-More, PhD, Author Transhumanist Manifesto, Co-creator of the Transhumanist Movement, Founder, Center for Transhumanist Studies

"Wow! Without question, this is Ray Kurzweil’s best book to date. It’s a page-turner with unimpeachable gravitas and authority on genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, and the future. He handles the pluses and minuses of the near-term impact of the coming singularity on jobs with great skill and tact. The book is a towering accomplishment."
Harry George, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, Cofounder of Interleaf, Inc., Cofounder and Managing Partner, Solstice Capital

"Ray Kurzweil has one of the great American minds. It's a beautiful experience to talk back and forth with Ray because if you don't listen carefully, you could miss out on his 'pearls of wisdom.'"
—Suzanne Somers, actress, singer, comedienne, NYTimes bestselling author, entrepreneur, and lecturer

“Drawing on scientific reports, research studies, and interviews with experts, Kurzweil observes the long term trends in order to ponder the promises and perils of AI when it comes to nuclear weapons and genetic engineering. To readers interested in AI and biotechnology, Kurzweil offers insight as he breaks down the complex topic and addresses the ethical issues surrounding its use and place in society.”
—Booklist

Praise for Ray Kurzweil
 
"Ray Kurzweil is the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence."
—Bill Gates
 
"Not everything that Kurzweil predicts may come to pass, but a lot of it will, and even if you don't agree with everything he says, it's all worth paying attention to."
The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
"[Ray Kurzweil] has a way of tackling seemingly overwhelming challenges with an army of reason."
—Rafael Reif, president, MIT
 
"Kurzweil paints a tantalizing—and sometimes terrifying—portrait of a world where the line between humans and machines has become thoroughly blurred."
The Boston Globe
 
"The restless genius."
The Wall Street Journal
 
"The ultimate thinking machine."
Forbes