Ray Kurzweil’s “The Power of Ideas to Transform the World is Accelerating” Featured Session at SXSW 2018 [Video]

"The strategy that makes the most sense is to try to practice the values that we espouse and hold dear in our social and political systems to begin with. . . AI is really an amplification radio of human judgements, human policies, and human ideas."

At the 2018 SXSW Featured Session, The Power of Ideas to Transform the World is Accelerating editor-in-chief of Mashable, Jessica Coen, leads a conversation with optimistic futurist and a Director of Engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, about the rapid advancement in technology that we are experiencing across all fronts, but notably in artificial intelligence.

Much of the conversation focuses on Kurzweil’s optimism about future technologies, and many of Coen’s questions provide a platform for Kurzweil to elaborate on the mental, physical, and economical labor that technology already performs and the great potential of these technologies in the near-future. Kurzweil’s prediction in the late 90’s that AI would pass the Turing test, an intelligence test for a computer, by 2029 provides a prime example of his ambitious stance on the speed of technological development. From this viewpoint, he discusses how other emerging technologies will potentially affect the human experience over the next 30 years.

"When this teenager in Africa spends $75 for a smartphone, it counts as $75 of economic activity, despite the fact that it’s literally a trillion dollars of computation and communication circa 1965, a billion dollars circa 1980. It has millions of dollars of free information apps. . . one of thousands is an encyclopedia much better than the one I spent thousands of dollars for as a teenager. . . we don’t count all these fantastic productivity gains, because a dollar is still a dollar."

Watch the video above for the full 2018 SXSW Featured Session The Power of Ideas to Transform the World is Accelerating, where innovative futurist and author Ray Kurzweil talks about the accelerating pace of technological advancement and previews his upcoming book Danielle: Chronicles of a Superheroine. Learn from a diverse group of thought leaders at SXSW – browse more 2018 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage, recaps, announcements, and stay tuned for information on SXSW 2018.

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2018 Teaser Photo by Jesus Aleman

By Hayden Bagot