Monday, February 8, 2010

A Kurzweil Reboot?

In December 2009 Ray Kurzweil penned an article for the New York Daily News regarding his expectations, complete with a new list of predictions.

Astute readers who recall his list of predictions for 2009-which I tested last year in an article published by The Fix-will notice that he bumped many of his guesses as to what we would have by last year to 2020, if not later, particularly his rather specific guesses about virtual reality (remember that?), and automobiles, too. (Instead of having long-distance driving automated by last year, he now sees self-driving cars as possibly still in the experimental phase in 2020.)

Is Kurzweil more likely to be right this time? These more conservative guesses seem a bit more plausible to me-and it would be nice if he happened to be right about them. I'd certainly like to believe he's on the mark about solar energy production being such a short way away from meeting all our energy needs. (Optimistic as I am about solar energy, though, I think it will actually take longer than that for the full renewable energy portfolio to completely supplant fossil fuels and fissionables.)

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