Review of The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil

In thefirst chapter of his book The Age of Spiritual Machines, author Ray Kurzweil gives a very brief history of the Universe, which serves as a preface for his subsequent theories.In this history, Kurzweil chronicles the rapid expansion of time between salient events in the history of the Universe, describing time, in his own words, as geometrically slowing (pg. 10).He then jumps head first into the history of evolution, and shortly thereafter of technology, in both of which the time between salient events is shrinking exponentially.This leads him to question the opposing nature of the trend (how can time be accelerating as applied to technology and evolution yet decelerating as applied to the very Universe which contains these?) as well as search for similarities between the trends.Thus is created Kurzweil'sfirst theoretical law, that of time and chaos.
Kurzweil's Law of Time and Chaos is as follows; "In a process, the time interval between salient events (that is, events that change the nature of the process, or significantly alter the future of the process) expands or contracts along with the amount of chaos." (pg.29)In other words, as things become more chaotic as applied toa specific process it takes longer for significant events to occur within that process, and vice-versa.According to this law, the rate at which we advance technologically has, and will continue to, accelerate exponentially.
What if this exponential growth "hits a wall" so to speak, as trends of the exponential variety frequently do?Kurzweil is quick to answer this question, which he knows will be raised quickly by most readers.According to the Law of Accelerating Returns, which states simply that as a process speeds up so do the returns from that process speed up as well, technology will continue to build upon and advance itself.As technology advances, we are able to create more technologically advanc…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


I'm Harold

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out