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Ray Kurzweil – 2

We’ll get to a point where people will not age. So when we talk about radical life extension we’re not talking about people growing old and becoming what we think of today as a 95 year old and then staying at a biological age 95 for hundreds of years.

We’re talking about people staying young and not aging. Actually, I’m talking about even more than that, because in addition to radical life extension, we’ll also have radical life expansion. The nanobots will be able to go inside the brain and extend our mental functioning by interacting with our biological neurons. Today we already have computers that are placed inside people’s brains, that replace diseased parts of the brain, like the neural implant for Parkinson’s disease. The latest generation of that implant allows you download new software to your neural implant from outside the patient–and that’s not an experiment, that’s an FDA approved therapy.

Today these neural implants require surgery, but ultimately we’ll be able to send these brain extenders into the nervous system noninvasively through the capillaries of the brain, without surgery. And we’ll be using them, not just to replace diseased tissue, but to go beyond our current abilities–to extend our memories, extend our pattern recognition and cognitive capabilities, and merge intimately with our technology. So we’ll have radical life expansion along with radical life extension. That’s my vision of what will happen in the next several decades.

David: What are you currently working on?

Ray: I spend maybe forty or fifty percent of my time communicating–in the form of books, articles, interviews, speeches. I give several speeches a month. Then there’s my Web site: KurzweilAI.net. We have a free daily or weekly newsletter; people can sign up by putting in their email address (which is kept in confidence) on the home page.

Then I have several businesses that I’m running, which are in the area of pattern recognition. I’ve been in the reading machine business for thirty-two years. I developed the first print-to-speech technology for the blind in 1976, and we’re introducing a new version that fits in your pocket. A blind person can take it out of their pocket, snap a picture of a handout at a meeting, a sign on a wall, the back of a cereal box, an electronic display, and the device will read it out loud to them through a earphone or speaker.

We’re developing a new medical technology, which is basically a smart undershirt that monitors your health. There will be a smart bra version for women. It takes a complete morphology EKG and monitors your breathing. So, for example, if you’re a heart patient it could tell you whether your atrial fibrillation is getting better or worse. When you’re exercising it can tell you if you’re getting a problem situation. So it gives you diagnostic information. It can also alert you if you should contact your doctor. So basically your undershirt is sending this information by Bluetooth to your cell phone, and your cell phone is running this cardiac evaluation software. So that’s another project.

Then we have Ray and Terry’s longevity products at RayandTerry.com, which goes along with Fantastic Voyage. We have about 20 products available now, and we’ll have about fifty within a few months. Basically all the things we recommend in the book will be available. We also have combinations. So, for example, if you want to lower cholesterol we have a cholesterol-lowering product, and you don’t have to buy the eight or nine different supplements separately. We put all of our recommendations together in one combination to make it easy for people to follow. There’s a total daily care, that has basic nutritional supplements, like vitamins and minerals, and coenzyme Q-10, and so on. We have a meal-replacement shake that is low carbohydrate, has no sugar, but actually tastes good, which is actually very unique, because if you’ve ever tasted a low-carb meal-replacement shake you know that there in general the taste is not desirable. This might sound promotional but that was the objective, and it’s actually made up of the nutritional supplements that we recommend. So that’s another company, and those are the companies that we’re running.

For more information about Kurzweil see his Web site: www.kurzweilai.net, where one can subscribe to his free newsletter. Web sites on his books include www.Fantastic-Voyage.net and www.Singularity.com.

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