Ray Kurzweil, author of The Age of Spiritual Machines and a pioneer of artificial intelligence software, has always been one of the most provocative thinkers on technology and its future. When he spoke at the Demo conference last week, it was no surprise that he covered everything from why computers will continue to get better at an exponential pace to how we will be able to expand our brains into the cloud with the help of biological devices in our bloodstream.
Promoting his forthcoming book, How to Create A Mind, Kurzweil spoke about technology but soon moved to a discussion of the brain, how he thinks it works, and how we will be able to enhance it.
Artificial intelligence is making discernible improvements in many areas, Kurzweil said. IBM's Watson used its "total recall" of 200 million pages of natural language documents to win the Jeopardy! challenge. It wasn't as accurate as people in understanding individual pages but was successful because it could digest so many more documents.