Before we get to Ray Kurzweil’s plan for upgrading the “suboptimal software” in your brain, let me pass on some of the cheery news he brought to the World Science Festival last week in New York.
Do you have trouble sticking to a diet? Have patience. Within 10 years, Dr. Kurzweil explained, there will be a drug that lets you eat whatever you want without gaining weight.
Worried about greenhouse gas emissions? Have faith. Solar power may look terribly uneconomical at the moment, but with the exponential progress being made in nanoengineering, Dr. Kurzweil calculates that it’ll be cost-competitive with fossil fuels in just five years, and that within 20 years all our energy will come from clean sources.
Are you depressed by the prospect of dying? Well, if you can hang on another 15 years, your life expectancy will keep rising every year faster than you’re aging. And then, before the century is even half over, you can be around for the Singularity, that revolutionary transition when humans and/or machines start evolving into immortal beings with ever-improving software.
At least that’s Dr. Kurzweil’s calculation. It may sound too good to be true, but even his critics acknowledge he’s not your ordinary sci-fi fantasist. He is a futurist with a track record and enough credibility for the National Academy of Engineering to publish his sunny forecast for solar energy.
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