The Age of Spiritual Machines

A review of the book, “The Age of Spiritual Machines”, by Ray Kurzweil.

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This paper examines “The Age of Spiritual Machines”, which presents a history of computers, looking at how past trends in computing have led to today’s personal machines. It looks at how author Ray Kurzweil then goes beyond history to look towards the future and goes beyond familiar ground, making specific predictions regarding how spiritual machines will blur the line between thinking humans and technological machines.
However, Kurzweil then moves on to make predictions of his own, and the fact that Kurzweil is specific with his predictions is one of the strengths of this interesting book. The author writes, for example, that by providing more intense and pleasurable sensations, virtual sex will soon be better than conventional sex. Digital prostitutes will service humans in a virtual environment, eliminating the risk of disease. Humans will soon have the ability to download their brains and minds into robots. This means that humans would be akin to software, and traditional ideas regarding life expectancy are no longer applicable. By 2100, Kurweil predicts that we will have machines that pray and worship, spiritual machines whose interactions will be virtually indistinguishable from those of humans.

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