Summary of The Age of Spiritual Machines

When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence

First Edition: 1998 more...

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The Age of Spiritual Machines book summary
Technology: The continuation of evolution by other means.


8 Overall

6 Applicability

10 Innovation

7 Style


Ray Kurzweil, an inventor of new technologies, discusses how today’s rapid advances in computer intelligence will eventually lead to machines that are more intelligent than human beings. He suggests that these machines also will develop human sensitivities, leading to an increased blurring between machines and humans. Drawing on the latest developments in science and technology, Kurzweil presents a fairly compelling argument, though some readers may find the discussions hard to follow since he frequently cites physics, biology and other scientific disciplines. Kurzweil is trying to simplify a complex theoretical and technical subject, so getAbstract forgives the occasional repetition of his main arguments, and recommends this fascinating, well-researched and well-reasoned book.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How computer intelligence may soon overtake human intelligence
  • What “reverse engineering” is
  • How computers fit into evolution


New Intelligence
Given the rapid increase in computing speed and processing, computer intelligence will equal and then surpass human intelligence in the 21st century. During their early development in the mid-20th century, computers doubled in speed every three years. By the 1950s and ...
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About the Author

Ray Kurzweil ’s inventions include reading machines for the blind and music synthesizers. He has also been involved in marketing speech-recognition technology. He wrote The Age of Intelligent Machines , which won the Association of Science Book of 1990 award, and is also the author of The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life. He received the Dickson Prize, Carnegie Mellon’s top science prize, in 1994. The recipient of nine honorary degrees and of honors from two U.S. presidents, Kurzweil was named 1988 Inventor of the Year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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