I just caught Ray Kurzeil on Bill Maher last night and it was a great discussion. This is related to the airplane/pilot/automation discussion in another thread. There are four main themes: 1) Artificial Intelligence greater than human- this will happen. 2) Becoming mostly dependent on A.I- we are becoming reliant on our machines, it's just a matter of time before those machines possess A.I.. We can maintain control if we want to, but can we avoid a point where it becomes impractical not to turn it all over? 3) Becoming one with a machine- all ready happening (prosthetics). What's to prevent the next step, computational convergence with the human brain? 4) The ability to capture the human soul- This is the one aspect I'm not really seeing. We can't compete with computers when it comes to raw computational power, but human do have the edge over computers when it comes to intuition, emotion, observation, and analytical thinking. He claims that by 2029, computers will reached the point of advancement where we will be using them as companions and love interests, just like science fiction has always predicted and is illustrated in the movie A.I.. Robot girl/boy friend, anyone? Here is a Newsweek article: Ray Kurzweil Wants to Be a Robot Known as a predictor of our future he believes we will be able to transplant the intelligence of the human brain and all of it's memories into a chip giving humans the ability to live forever. It's an intriguing concept but I think that if you registered all your memories, and all the characteristics of your brain, i.e. it's electronic footprint, it might wake up and think it's you, but when you die, you'd still be dead. Your family might think they are still interacting with a synthetic you, but the spiritual you (if there is such a thing) has moved on to the afterlife (if there is such a thing). In any case you would no longer be on Earth in a physical body. This idea was the theme of Startrek Next Generation Episode 32: The Schizoid Man. Just what is your consciousness and could your consciousness be transferred into a synthetic person? And would it be you or just a replica? I'm thinking the latter. Another twist is when computing power is so small , it will be grafted onto the human brain to increase human computing power. Kurzwell thinks that we must either become cyborgs or we are going to be left behind when it comes to intelligence. At some point, the projection is 20-50 years, computers will match the human brain in all functions, but what will it take to gain self awareness as in Sky net in The Terminator? It's up to mankind to keep the disconnect button in clear view. But will we reach a point of dependance that we won't be able to? Singularity.com Singularity at Wiki: Technological singularity refers to the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than human intelligence.