• An Evening with Ray Kurzweil Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 07:00PM to 08:30PM
    SAP Building D
    3410 Hillview Avenue
    Palo Alto, CA 94304
    Main Event Series

An Evening with Ray Kurzweil



  • Pre-registration for this event is closed.
    Please register at the door.


    Special SDForum Event - An Evening with Ray Kurzweil

    Ray Kurzweil will be introduced by Steve Jurvetson

    Book Signing

    Borders Books will host a book signing for Ray Kurzweil's just released book THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR When Humans Transcend Biology from 8:30pm to 9:00pm


    Program Overview

    Ray Kurzweil will be speaking on his new book - THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR
    When Humans Transcend Biology

    Worried about the Singularity? Fear not-here's the lowdown from an expert.

    The Singularity, almost an article of faith in techie circles, is the point at which machine intelligence outstrips human brainpower. Kurzweil (The Age of Spiritual Machines, 1999, etc.) spends much time stressing the point that progress in the computer field moves at exponential rates. By his reckoning, the raw power of information technologies is doubling annually. This power increase, combined with the predicted growth of nanotechnology-robots the size of red blood cells inserted into the body-will make possible, within two decades, complete scanning of the human brain. By then, computer hardware should be capable of running accurate software models of human intelligence. By the end of the 2020s, computers will pass the Turing Test, simulating a living person well enough to fool an interrogator. At that point, Kurzweil believes, a genuine synthesis of the strengths of human and machine intelligence becomes possible: pattern recognition and inference on the human side, large memory with instant recall and easy data-sharing on the machine side. Freed from the built-in limitations of the brain, machine intelligence will then be able to use nanotechnological design to far exceed human intelligence. But at the same time, nanotechnological implants can be used to augment human brains, creating a hybrid intelligence unlike anything previously known. Ultimately, Kurzweil predicts, the predominant component of human intelligence will be non-biological, and more of our experiences will take place in virtual reality than in the physical world. Human-machine intelligence will saturate the immediate vicinity of the Earth, and eventually grow to fill the universe. Kurzweil backs his predictions with numerous citations of other experts, and while some of the arguments are dense, the book pays close attention.

    An attractive picture of a plausible future; in 20 years, we may know if it actually works.

    Introduction by:

    Steve Jurvetson , Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

    Ray Kurzweil has been described as “ the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.

    As one of the leading inventors of our time, Ray has worked in such areas as music synthesis, speech and character recognition, reading technology, virtual reality and cybernetic art. All of these pioneering technologies continue today as market leaders. Ray was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s web site Kurzweil AI.net has over one million readers.

    Among Ray’s many honors, he is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world's largest for innovation. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002, he was inducted into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame , established by the US Patent Office.

    He has received twelve honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.

    Ray’s books include The Age of Intelligent Machines, The Age of Spiritual Machines, and Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. Three of Ray's books have been national best sellers and The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science. Ray Kurzweil’s new book, published by Viking Press, is entitled The Singularity is Near, When Humans Transcend Biology.


    6:00pm - 7:00pm Registration and Networking
    7:00pm - 8:30pm Program


    Event Logistics


    Building D
    3410 Hillview Avenue
    Palo Alto, CA 94304


    $15 SDForum members
    $25 Non-members
    *at the door add $10 to member and non-member prices

    Pre-registration for this event is closed.
    Please register at the door.