Ray Kurzweil's predictions [1] from the Accelerating Change 2005 conference:

Computers Disappear

  • Images written directly to our retinas (retinal display)
  • Ubiquitous connectivity high bandwidth communications connection to the Internet at all times
  • Electronics so tiny it's embedded in the environment, our clothing, our eyeglasses (embedded electronics)
  • Full immersion visual-auditory virtual reality
  • Augmented real reality
  • Interaction with virtual personalities as a primary interface
  • Effective language technologies (natural language processing, speech recognition, speech synthesis)

From Ray Kurzweil's "Age of Spiritual Machines"

  • A $1.000 (in 1999 dollars) unit of computation has the computing capacity of approximately 1,000 human brains.
  • Permanent or removable implants (similar to contact lenses) for the eyes as well as cochlear implants are now used to provide input and output between the human user and the worldwide computing network.
  • Direct neural pathways have been perfected for high-bandwidth connection to the human brain. A range of neural implants is becoming available to enhance visual and auditory perception and interpretation, memory, and reasoning.
  • Automated agents are now learning on their own, and significant knowledge is being created by machines with little or no human intervention. Computers have read all available human and machine-generated literature and multimedia material.
  • There is widespread use of all-encompassing visual, auditory, and tactile communication using direct neural connections, allowing virtual reality to take place without having to be in a "total touch enclosure."
  • The majority of communication does not involve a human. The majority of communication involving a human is between a human and a machine.
  • There is almost no human employment in production, agriculture, or transportation. Basic life needs are available for the vast majority of the human race.
  • There is a growing discussion about the legal rights of computers and what constitutes being "human."
  • Although computers routinely pass apparently valid forms of the Turing Test, controversy persists about whether or not machine intelligence equals human intelligence in all of its diversity.
  • Machines claim to be conscious. These claims are largely accepted.


  • The Age of Spiritual Machines, Ray Kurzweil

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