Peter Diamandis has taken the interview that he is most excited about with his good friend Ray Kurzweil for his new book, called BOLD. Bill Gates calls Ray, “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence.”
Ray is also amazing at predicting a lot more beyond just AI. This article looks at his very incredible predictions for the next 25 years. So who is Ray Kurzweil? He has received 20 honorary doctorates, has been awarded honors from three US presidents, and has authored 7 books (5 of which have been national bestsellers).
He is the principal inventor of many technologies ranging from the first CCD flatbed scanner to the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind. He is also the chancellor and co-founder of Singularity University, and the guy tagged by Larry Page to direct artificial intelligence development at Google. In short, Ray’s very clever and his predictions are mind-boggling, amazing and remind us that now we are living in the most exciting time in human history. But, first let’s look back at some of the predictions Ray got right. In 1990, he predicted that:
In 1999, he predicted:
In 2005, he said that:
By the 2010s, virtual solutions would be able to do a real-time language translation in which words spoken in a foreign language would be translated into text that would appear as subtitles to a user wearing the glasses. Well, Microsoft (via Skype Translate), Google (Translate), and others have done this. Word Lens app actually uses your camera to translate text imagery in real time. The above represent only a few of the predictions Ray has made. While he hasn’t been precisely right, to the exact year, his track record is stunningly good.
Here are some of my favourite of Ray’s predictions for the next 25 years.
Ray’s predictions are a byproduct of his understanding of the power of Moore’s Law, more specifically Ray’s “Law of Accelerating Returns” and of exponential technologies. These technologies follow an exponential growth curve based on the principle that the computing power that enables them doubles every two years.
As humans, we are biased to think linearly. As entrepreneurs, we need to think exponentially. Most of us can’t see the things Ray sees because the initial growth stages of exponential, DIGITIZED technologies are DECEPTIVE.
Before we know it, they are DISRUPTIVE — just look at the massive companies that have been disrupted by technological advances in AI, virtual reality, robotics, internet technology, mobile phones, OCR, translation software, and voice control technology. Each of these technologies DEMATERIALIZED, DEMONETIZED, and DEMOCRATIZED access to services and products that used to be linear and non-scalable. Now, these technologies power multibillion-dollar companies and affect billions of lives.