If at first you don’t succeed in convincing the world that a Technological Singularity is near then try, try again. Ray Kurzweil has been sharing his predictions about the disruptive effects of exponential growth in technology for decades now, but he never seems to get tired of bringing his message to a new audience. Case in point, the Presidential Conference in Israel. At the second annual Conference in 2009, Kurzweil gave his standard speech on the Singularity to Shimon Peres, the President of Israel, along with hundreds of other dignitaries, industrial leaders, and average citizens who were in attendance. You can watch his
opening day comments, followed by his full 40+ minutes presentation, in the video below. If you’ve never sat through and listened to Kurzweil’s entire pitch before, now is the time.
The Presidential Conference has only recently started to release these videos online. Thankfully they decided to break them up into easy to digest pieces. The first clip covers most of Kurzweil’s opening remarks while the following four videos are his main presentation in its entirety.
*UPDATE: Seems like the Presidential Conference, for whatever reason, has made this first video private. No worries, most of what he goes over on the opening day is repeated in the main presentation. Just jump ahead to the next video and you’ll get everything you need.*
If you’ve heard Kurzweil speak before, the videos above were probably nothing new. Honestly, I’ve seen this presentation so often I think I can quote much of it verbatim. Yet I’m delighted to share these videos with readers because even after listening to this talk dozens of times, I still find it pretty damn good. There are many other futurists out there that discuss the potential of the Singularity, but Kurzweil has a clarity of vision and a logical progression that make his presentations stand out. You can argue about his predictions, scrutinize his life for two years while filming him, or just subtly tease him about his beliefs, but you have to show the guy some respect. When he believes in something he’s not afraid to tell you about it. Again, and again. And again. And again…
*The Presidential Conference has gathered a pretty spectacular collection of speakers in its brief history. Many are now available on the official YouTube channel. Check them out!
[screen capture and video credits: Presidential Conference (Israel)]
[source: Presidential Conference (Israel)]