An Expert Predicted the Arrival of the iPhone Years in Advance. Now, He’s Betting on AI: ‘It’ll Bring Back the Dead’

  • Writer and scientist Ray Kurzweil is predicting the breakthroughs that humanity will achieve in the next two decades.

  • The union of AI, robotics, and nanotechnology will take humanity to a new level.

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Writer and scientist Ray Kurzweil has been involved in the field of artificial intelligence for over 60 years. He started studying the AI world so long ago that he didn’t realize he was working on it until recently.

Being at the forefront of technology, this renowned computer scientist has been able to predict the arrival of technologies years in advance, many of which we thought only existed in science fiction movies. Some of his notable predictions include the advent of the iPhone and smartphones and the prediction that a machine would eventually surpass human capabilities in chess.

Now, he’s venturing to make predictions about what the next decade holds in terms of AI.

It Sounds Like Science Fiction, but It’s Just Science

Kurzweil wrote The Singularity Is Nearer in 2005. In this book, he introduced the concept of technological singularity and predicted that AI would surpass human intelligence by 2045, triggering an “intelligence explosion.” Now, he’s released a new book titled The Singularity Is Nearer: When We Merge with AI, in which he revises some of these predictions.

During his appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Kurzweil shared further insights into his disturbing predictions. The Daily Mail reports that he believes “babies born today will be just graduating college when the Singularity happens. Eventually nanotechnology will enable these trends to culminate in directly expanding our brains with layers of virtual neurons in the cloud. In this way, we will merge with AI. These are the most exciting years in all of history.”

It’ll Change the Industry

One of Kurzweil's most significant predictions about AI is that it’ll have a major impact on industry and the economy, leading to changes in work models. Kurzweil believes that the integration of AI in robots will create an unlimited workforce, allowing for the rapid construction of skyscrapers and other buildings using 3D printing technology.

According to Kurzweil, AI will drive advances in photovoltaics, leading to reduced energy costs, and robotic extraction will lower the cost of raw materials. “In the 2030s, it will be relatively inexpensive to live at a level that is considered luxurious today,” he explains.

New Forms of Entertainment

According to the expert, nanotechnology will likely make it possible to enhance human brains with new capabilities using nanometric electrodes over the next decade. Companies like Neuralink are already successfully testing this, and world powers like China are also developing similar technologies.

This advancement could lead to new forms of entertainment and elevate culture, cinema, video games, and music to new levels.

Fusion Between Humankind and Machines

Kurzweil predicts that we’re on the verge of entering the “fifth epoch” of AI, where the barrier between humans and machines will be overcome. This fusion will involve enhancing human capabilities through AI, integrating it directly into human sight, hearing, and even the brain instead of using external devices like Gemini or Apple Intelligence.

According to the researcher, starting in 2029, human intelligence capabilities will be increased a million times over through this human-machine integration. “A key capability in the 2030s will be to connect the upper ranges of our neocortices to the cloud, which will directly expand our thinking. In this way, rather than AI being a competitor, it will become an extension of ourselves,” Kurzweil says.

Immortal Humanity

The impact of AI in medicine and the quest for cures for life-threatening diseases is expected to expand rapidly in upcoming years. Kurzweil suggests that AI biological emulators will make it feasible to conduct clinical studies in a matter of hours, as opposed to the current years-long research. As a result, scientists will be able to develop new drugs and treatments aimed at increasing human life expectancy.

“The long-term goal is medical nanorobots. These will be made from diamondoid parts with onboard sensors, manipulators, computers, communicators, and possibly energy sources,” the expert adds.

Bringing the Dead Back to Life

Possibly, Kurzweil’s most impressive prediction is that AI will make it possible to “bring back” the dead. He states that before the end of the 2020s, AI digital twins will be able to emulate people’s personalities faithfully. This would make it possible to obtain hyper-realistic non-biological recreations of a deceased person.

“Eventually, replicants may even be housed in cybernetically augmented biological bodies grown from the DNA of the original person,” he concludes.

Image | Wikimedia Commons (Jay Dixit)

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