Ray Kurzweil has made some strong statements and bold predictions here at Big Think. Among them is the fusion between digital technology and the human body in an event called 'the singularity', allowing an essentially cloud-based consciousness to arise (though hopefully a less aggressive one than the Borg's).
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So that's where we're headed. Our search engines will actually also know us very well. We will let them listen in on conversations; verbal, written. They'll watch everything we're reading and writing and saying and hearing, and then they'll be like an assistant. It'll say, "Oh, you know, you were talking about how you can get the supplement phosphatidylcholine into the cells yesterday in that conversation with Joe. You know, there's research that came out 13 minutes ago that speaks to that."
It'll be an assistant that helps you through the day, will answer your questions before you ask them or even before you realize you have a question, and you'll just get used to this information popping up that you wanted and you'll be frustrated if you're thinking about something and it doesn't immediately pop up without you even having to ask for it. I'm not actually predicting that until 2029 that we will match human intelligence, but we can nonetheless do things that humans can't do. I mean, Watson, if it read one page, as I said, wouldn't be as strong as you or I, but it was able to read hundreds of millions of pages and it's ability to read each page is going to increase. So that's where we're headed. But then a comment on that is it's not an alien invasion of these intelligent machines to displace us. We will use them to make ourselves smarter, which is what we do today.
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