Ray Kurzweil @ MIT

Went to hear Ray Kurzweil yesterday at MIT, at an event jointly sponsored by IEEE and GBC/ACM Robotics Sigs. The blurb said:
"[...] With input from people around the world, an international group of leading technological thinkers were asked to identify the Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century
. We've invited one of the leading authors of the report, Ray Kurzweil, to present some of its findings, give his impressions of the important technological trends and challenges likely to occur over the next hundred years or so, and challenge you, some of the leading students, researchers, and industry practitioners from the Boston and New England area, to help solve them." (from Event Invitation)

Who knew there actually was a National Academy of Engineering, or even The National Academies? Your tax dollars at work. Actually the sites are quite informative, and the Grand Engineering Challenges web site and concept makes for some interesting reading. So worth a look.

Unfortunately Mr. Kurzweil spent the majority of his 2 hours on his standard stump speech about the exponential rate of improvement of information based technology leading to the singularity (in Q1 of 2029, to be exact), which I have heard before, once or twice. He is a freaking brilliant guy with a deadpan, monotonic delivery which at first is deadening, but after a while is amusing and even compelling to listen to.

Posted on May 16, 2008 and filed under Life, Technology.