We are ‘eight doublings away’ from meeting all the world’s needs with clean energy

March 17, 2011

Some dismiss Ray Kurzweil as a quack. His predictions of a future sound like plotlines from the nuttiest sci-fi films. According to Kurzweil’s theories, by around 2029 information technology will become more sophisticated than the human brain, and by 2045 what he calls “the Singularity” will occur — information technology will have advanced to the point at which people can become immortal by downloading their consciousness onto nanobots, which can race around the world and infuse other bodies or inanimate objects with human consciousness.

Kooky sounding indeed. Last week, however, at the D.C. premiere of Transcendent Man, hundreds of people gathered to hear Ray Kurzweil and see a documentary about him and his theories. While this may sound more like science fiction than actual science, the man did invent the musical synthesizer, created a device that uses optical character recognition to help blind people read, predicted the year and month in which a computer would defeat a human at chess, and has 17 Ph.Ds. Kurzweil has even received the National Medal of Technology, the highest medal the president can bestow for pioneering new technologies, from three separate U.S. presidents. So let’s not dismiss him just yet. […]

Lisbeth Kaufman caught up with futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil at the Washington, D.C. premier of his film Transcendent Man. You can listen to the short interview here.