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Ray Kurzweil Talks About ‘Augmented Reality’ and the Singularity
Computerworld (11/11/07) Vol. 41, No. 46, P. 26; Lamont, Ian

Futurist Ray Kurzweil’s book, “The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,” predicts that advances in computing technologies and biological research over the next 40 years will result in the merger of biological and nonbiologial intelligence. Kurzweil says technology advances exponentially, not linearly, which is often overlooked and one of the reasons long-term forecasts will generally fall short of the eventual reality. Kurzweil also predicts that over the next 10 years computers will look much different than today’s desktop and laptop computers.

“They’re going to be extremely tiny,” Kurzweil says. “They’re going to be everywhere. There’s going to be pervasive computing. It’s going to be embedded in the environment, in our clothing. It’s going to be self-organizing.”

Technology will also advance to the point of augmented reality, with computers watching and listening to humans and helping. “The computers will be watching what you watch, listening to what you’re saying, and they’ll be helping. So if you look at someone, little pop-ups will appear in your field of view, reminding you of who that is, giving you information about them, reminding you that it’s their birthday next Tuesday.”

Such pervasive computers will provide similar information when looking at buildings and other objects. “If it hears you stumbling over some information that you can’t quite think of, it will just pop up without you having to ask,” Kurzweil says.