Kurzweil and the Singularity

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Still from Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS (1927)

In next week’s class we will be viewing the film Transcendent Man  with a discussion of the film and these articles to follow.

 

REQUIRED READINGS

1) Read this recent profile on Ray Kurzweil and his new role as the director of engineering at Google, written by Carole Cadwalladr in The Guardian.
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/22/robots-google-ray-kurzweil-terminator-singularity-artificial-intelligence

2) For some counterpoints to The Singularity we will read “The Singularity is Here” by Steven Shaviro.  It reviews one of Kurzweil’s books, and a science fiction novel called Accelerando which deals with the same subject matter.  Obviously we are not actually reading the novel itself, but the review is a good critique of some of the ideas that you will see in the film. You can access the Shaviro essay here: Singularity-Shaviro.

3) Lastly, this was one of your syllabus suggestions from early in the semester.
David Brooks.“What Machines Can’t Do.”  New York Times.  3 Feb 2014.
http://nyti.ms/1inXb4l

 

SUGGESTED READINGS

Ray Kurzweil’s Wikipedia Page

http://www.singularity.com

http://singularityu.org

I actually just found out about this a couple of weeks ago:  There is an upcoming feature film based on Kurzweil’s ideas about the Singularity called Transcendence.  You can take a look the trailers and more information about it here:
http://www.transcendencemovie.com/

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ASSIGNMENT – DUE APRIL 24, 2014

After viewing the film, compose a response paper of 750-1000 words on Transcendent Man.  In your paper you should compare the ideas presented in the film with either of the assigned articles by Steven Shaviro, David Brooks or Carole Cadwalladr.  Your paper should include references to the film and at least one of the articles. You can include more than one article if you choose.  The paper is due on April 24 (the next class, after spring break).

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