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Cloud Hardware Science Technology

Kurzweil: The Cloud Will Expand Human Brain Capacity 267

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-bigger-and-biggest-head dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Futurist and author Ray Kurzweil predicts the cloud will eventually do more than store our emails or feed us streaming movies on demand: it's going to help expand our brain capacity beyond its current limits. In a question-and-answer session following a speech to the DEMO technology conference in Santa Clara, California last week, Kurzweil described the human brain as impressive but limited in its capacity to hold information. 'By the time we're even 20, we've filled it up,' he said, adding that the only way to add information after that point is to 'repurpose our neocortex to learn something new.' (Computerworld has posted up the full video of the talk.) The solution to overcoming the brain's limitations, he added, involves 'basically expanding our brains into the cloud.'"
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Kurzweil: The Cloud Will Expand Human Brain Capacity

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  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:07PM (#41615417)
    Ray Kurzweil is the biggest hack on the planet.
  • by PhamNguyen (2695929) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:13PM (#41615467)
    A PC or portable device wouldn't possibly work, it must be the cloud. Not because cloud is a buzzword.
  • Obligatory XKCD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afgam28 (48611) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:39PM (#41615591)
  • Futurist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Swarley (1795754) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:19AM (#41615809)

    Anybody else involuntarily swap "futurist" and "crackpot" in their minds whenever they read the term in a sentence? Especially one about Kurzweil?

  • by westlake (615356) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:51AM (#41615959)

    I don't need to memorize *everything* - now I only need to know how to find the answers I need.

    That is not as easy as it sounds.

    First you need to know whether you are asking the right question and second you need to know whether or not you have found the right answer.

  • by NEW22 (137070) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @01:12AM (#41616047)

    There is something kind of lame about taking a guy who has some interesting ideas, and performing some kind of hack psychoanalysis of him, and generating this air of "because this hack psychoanalysis does a good job of making him look crazy, obviously that discredits his ideas." "He doesn't have a rational basis for this, he's just wracked with guilt over his father" is the sleaziest kind of ad-hominem argument.

    As for Lanier's 12 year old essay, I'm not even sure that half of his "cybernetic totalist" beliefs are necessarily held by people intrigued by Singularity ideas, without even going into whether those beliefs are reasonable or not. It's not that I'm even convinced by the Singulatarians, but that so many people who aren't convinced make these weird statements like "He's pretty much willing to throw away everything that makes human life worth living" as if Kurzweil is some kind of Cyber-Stalinist, rather than a guy who is trying to take an idea as far as it can go to see if there is anything to it.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @01:43AM (#41616161)

    The Student worked at his computer day and night. He was so frustrated because there was so much to know. The Master asked "Why do you sit all day, in a dark room with only words?" The student said "I'm trying to transcend biological limitations!"

    At once he was enlightened.

  • by marcello_dl (667940) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @02:26AM (#41616357) Homepage Journal

    You might also compare a university test from the early 90s, where internet were a luxury for the few, with a current test. Just by looking at it you can tell something.
    If the internet era seems to correlate with dumber people, I don't see how the cloud can completely reverse the trend.

    "but you will be integrated with a super system which will make you smarter stronger faster..."

    Yes, the system will be. You will be the disposable, remote controlled larvae on which it runs. Face it, you already stopped being considered a man, you are a human resource, your health spied.

    An internet based transparent society is possible, but the guys in charge don't like it at all, and are pushing for a 1984 style panopticon instead.

    So they win if we implement it, and they win if we oppose a strong influence of the internet.

    Kurzweil could be the kindest person on earth, but he is very useful for this because his vision either scares you or enslaves you. So they promote him all over the media.

    "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets". I'd consider this as a possibility.

  • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @04:02AM (#41616767) Homepage
    According to Kurzweil, my brain filled up by 20, which means that at 47 I'm cannibalizing old skills in order to learn new ones. Last month I learned to memorize all of the Kings and Queens of England, all of the US Presidents and all of the British Prime Ministers. That must mean that in order to do that I must forget how to dress myself, how to stay continent, how to speak...

    You may have stopped learning a long time ago Ray, but I'm not even peaking.
  • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rvw (755107) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @05:35AM (#41617135)

    According to Kurzweil, my brain filled up by 20, which means that at 47 I'm cannibalizing old skills in order to learn new ones. Last month I learned to memorize all of the Kings and Queens of England, all of the US Presidents and all of the British Prime Ministers. That must mean that in order to do that I must forget how to dress myself, how to stay continent, how to speak...

    You may have stopped learning a long time ago Ray, but I'm not even peaking.

    You probably forgot what you remembered once. And yes, I mean in the sense that you forgot something in the first place, and - besides that - you probably don't know anymore that you once knew it or you just don't realise that you don't know it. Looking at myself, I was good in math in highschool. But don't ask me to do the exams again at this point. I simply forgot how to solve those problems. I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't take long to pick it up again, but right now at this moment - I simply don't know much of it anymore.

  • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blackest_k (761565) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:49AM (#41617425) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps Ray is simply expressing himself badly.

    Take the simple pocket calculator lets use it to multiply 2 numbers together say 8*7 = 56 now most of us would just do that in our heads but a slightly more complicated case say 113 * 58 and it becomes a more significant effort. Easy to do if you have a calculator or a piece of paper and a pen.

    I am bilingual to an extent, I can converse in English and Polish how ever if I use google translate I can form more complex sentences and frame idea's and concepts that my poor old brain would struggle to produce in Polish. Google Chrome will with an extension let me say the words in English and translate for me and even say the words for me too. It isn't perfect but one thing i do notice is that my brain also caches some of the words I don't recall or even ever learnt before, so actually my Polish knowledge increases as I use the "cloud" to enhance my abilities.

    Augmentation of the brain by the cloud, we are not the borg just yet but we do have access to the human collective more commonly known as the Internet. Is it so far away that I might wear an ear piece of some sort that listens to the voices around me and gives me the English translation. technically it could be done.
    how about an app that listens to the conversations around me and lets me highlight key words and fetch me related information?

    As an example this morning there was a conversation about the band Skunk Anansie googling this let me know they formed in 94 split up and reformed in 2009 also they released a video and new single three days ago.
    I was aware of them from the 90's but I had forgotten pretty much everything about them. might it be possible to gather this information fairly automatically? say with a small touch screen device that can listen to conversation and allow me to highlight words and bring up additional information.

    Is this the kind of thing that Ray is actually talking about? Arguably we are already augmenting our brains with the cloud as he puts it, We just don't call it that.

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:22AM (#41617939) Homepage

    Don't waste your breath, you are talking to people who believe, mind is a magical gift given to people by an immortal old guy who lives in the sky.

The universe does not have laws -- it has habits, and habits can be broken.

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