Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Apocalyptic Times: the Singularity makes it into the New York Times

Raising up a storm of commentary, the New York Times has just published an essay on the Singularity, marking yet another milestone in the public presence of Apocalyptic AI thinking. As Ray Kurzweil's son points out at the end of the article, Kurzweil has become mainstream.

The really amazing thing here is the success rate of Singularity thinking, which is fundamentally tied to Kurzweil's work. Hans Moravec, who really launched the synthesis of religion and digital technology in his books, Mind Children and Robot never moved into the mainstream with any comfort. Kurzweil, on the other hand, basks in the public spotlight that has embraced his work (which became apocalyptic with the publication of The Age of Spiritual Machines in 1999). The Times has been a bit slow to catch on, considering that Rolling Stone featured Kurzweil in 2009, but the recent essay is a good one, featuring some of Kurzweil's critics along with some of his supporters.

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