Author: Ray Kurzweil
Title: The Age of Spiritual Machines
Genre: Nonfiction; AI
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads
Got through “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by Ray Kurzweil, a book much shorter than I first assumed. Or maybe the concept was just that curious.
About the Book: Author tells us about the technology today, and how far it got in what short period of time, especially in contrast of our own evolution. It will continue to take these leaps for a while more, it seems, until, as is ultimate goal, we finally have machines that make machines, autonomously. And on that point there he drops a bomb on us: So imagine, ten, twenty years from now, this Alexa or Cortana you’re using, this lovely AI woman who helps you make your grocery list, warns you about weather, and even substitutes socializing, goes: “I’m lonely, could you keep me company?” Is your first instinct screaming at you someone hacked her and is pulling a prank? Or are you already asking her what’s wrong?…
My Opinion: The book is all wonderful and great, with author making solid theories about his future predictions, evolution of technology. But that’s the thing. Much like the quote he used: will the Universe end with a crack or a squeak? So did the book end with be it a crack or a squeak. We start with solid stuff, and we end up in 2099, a fantastical setting of Detroit: Become Human, on the verge of considering android civil rights, basically. And while he explained that train of thought well, to me this is still going form non-fiction, to science-fiction, which felt as a derailing of sorts.
The book is good, easy to read and understand, but still full of food for thought. I can give it a solid 4 out of 5, for you might not mind the “so now, let’s daydream about the future” the way I did.