Go to the folder for Unit VI: Humanity and the Future in the Weekly Work Schedule and (a) watch the short film by Ray Kurzweil and (b) read Bill Joy, ‘Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us.’ Also, take a look at the arguments made by Robert Wright, ‘Can Machines Think?’ Then post responses to the following questions, by next Thursday please:
1. In your own words, summarize what Kurzweil means by the phrase ‘Singularity.’
2. On the basis of these sources, do you (a) agree or (b) disagree that it is possible for a machine to think in the same manner and with the same level of consciousness that humans do. Explain the reasons for your answer.
3. Broadly speaking, Kurzweil is optimistic about a future in which humans and thinking machines share the planet; Joy strikes me as more pessimistic. Saying why, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the scenario they paint for the world in c. 2050?