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Baloney that Ray Kurzweil will no longer have time for.
Late last Friday, Google announced a jaw-dropping hire: Ray Kurzweil will join the company as a Director of Engineering. Has the world’s brainiest tech company suddenly bought into Kurzweil’s “technological singularity” ideas? Hardly. They’ve just signed The Singularity’s death warrant by putting its chief proselytizer to work doing what he does best: inventing better machines for the real world, not writing science fiction. For this, Larry Page should get some kind of medal.

Ray Kurzweil is a genius inventor. His contributions to machine learning (including optical character recognition and speech synthesis) have literally changed the world–and helped make some of Google’s own computational feats possible. But as an author and “futurist,” Kurzweil is more like a sci-fi Deepak Chopra, spinning inspirational techno-fantasies about immortality, artificial intelligence, and consciousness that drive scientists and engineers batty while driving his speaking fees ever upward. Even Douglas Hofstadter–another technical genius unafraid of grappling with the big questions of mind and machines in the popular press–literally compared Kurzweil’s futurist thinking to “dog excrement.”

Google’s army of nerds...