The idea of death is frightening, but yet a very real thing for most people in life. For Ray Kurzweil death is something he believes is nothing more then a mere obstacle that he knows will soon be overcome. Kurzweil defines the point in time which we will have this irreversible technology as the singularity. As of now, Kurzweil is 60, trim, balding, and not very tall; but as singularity comes in 2045 he intends to be no more than at the biological age of forty.
Kurzweil has been on the cutting edge of technology since he was just a young boy. At the age of thirteen he was fashioning telephone relays into calculating devices, and by fourteen had written software that analyzed statistical deviance which was distributed as a standard program for the new IBM 1620s. In his high school years, Kurzweil confounded a program that matched students up with colleges and universities based on computer evaluation of a mailed in questionnaire. Kurzweil was able to sell the company in 1968 to achieve his first small fortune while still an undergrad student at MIT.
While in his twenties Kurzweil came out with his most historic invention; the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind. This machine scanned pages to read out the words properly, quickly, and in order. This groundbreaking technology led way for many new innovations such as the scanner we use today.
Not only has Kurzweil brought many new and helpful technologies to the masses, he has also been able to “see the future” in the field of technological advances. Kurzweil’s amazing ability to invent and innovate also produced a great talent for knowing what and why certain technological devices will succeed.
Kurzweil now sees a future where there is no such thing as a true biological human. By the year 2045 Kurzweil believes human knowledge of biochemistry, neurology, and information technology will give us the ability to transcend out biological limitations and reprogram our bodies and minds. In simpler terms, Kurzweil sees the future as every human sooner or later being artificially enhanced, creating a breed of super-humans. “We have the means right now to live long enough to live forever. Existing knowledge can be aggressively applied to dramatically slow down aging processes, so we can still be in vital health when the more radical life extending therapies from biotechnology and nanotechnology become available. But most baby boomers won't make it because they are unaware of the accelerating aging process in their bodies and the opportunity to intervene.” – Ray Kurzweil.
Right now Kurzweil spends much of his time and money to keep himself as healthy as possible; to make sure he is around for the singularity. Kurzweil takes hundreds of pills a day, follows a strict work out routine, and has $6,000.00 monthly check ups by his doctor. As positive as Kurzweil is about the future, is he so positive about the affects? Would those that could afford genetic modifications and those that cannot create two different human species – The enhanced, and un-enhanced? Would we be driving humanity not just socially but biologically as well?