My newest print article, “The Future Still Awaits Us: Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity on Wall Street,” is published in the July-August 2009 issue of Searcher. There’s a very attractive robot on the cover.
The article looks at the concept of the Singularity, which in this context surmises that machines will overtake human intelligence, with an effect so profound we cannot even imagine what life will be like after the event. I suggest that automated financial trading, which contributed to the current economic crisis, may be a sign that the Singularity is approaching.
In his 1999 book, The Age of Spiritual Machines, Ray Kurzweil predicted events in 2009, 2019, 2029 and 2099, with a chapter for each year and also in a time line format. In a sidebar to my article, I look at all of the 2009 Time Line predictions and evaluate their accuracy. In addition, I have categorized his predictions for the four years so readers can easily see Kurzweil’s evolving vision. I believe this is to date the most thorough published analysis of Kurzweil’s 2009 Time Line predictions.
Another sidebar discusses environmental or horizon scanning as a futurist technique well suited to librarians. The article includes further resources and a reference list.