Ray Kurzweil on Speed

kinnon —  April 30, 2005 — 1 Comment

The Age of Spiritual Machines was one of those important books that I read a number of years ago – and still a good read for Kurzweil’s apparently accurate prophetic outlook.

This post was triggered by me recently telling some friends the history of Kurzweil keyboards. Kurzweil’s genius has brought us Optical Character Recognition, the first reading machine for the blind, speech recognition technology, music synthesis and much more. This is his comment on the rate of change we are experiencing:

The whole 20th century, because we’ve been speeding up to this point, is equivalent to 20 years of progress at today’s rate of progress, and we’ll make another 20 years of progress at today’s rate of progress equal to the whole 20th century in the next 14 years, and then we’ll do it again in seven years. And because of the explosive power of exponential  growth, the 21st century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate of progress, which is a thousand times greater than the 20th century, which was no slouch to change.

If things seem to be moving too fast now…



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

One response to Ray Kurzweil on Speed

  1. Apparently the person of the future will never be able to stop and enjoy where they are but must constantly be adapting and adjusting to new technology. Unless of course at some point we stop having to do the adapting and the machines do it for us.


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