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Kurzweil joins Google

Kurzweil joins Google

3D holographic telephony: soon. New world government: soonish. A machine solution to the Turing Test: a bit longer.

If you believe that all of these are going to happen, then you agree with author, futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil, the man that (in his own words) has got 89 out of his 108 own predictions, spot-on. It was announced yesterday that Kurzweil has become Google's Director of Engineering.


With Google trailling initiatives like self-driving cars and Augmented Reality eyewear, it's a corporate culture that is clearly compatible with Kurzweil's ubiquitous views of the singularity. Kurzweil's own announcement doesn't shy from his claims that he's right... most of the time.

"In 1999, I said that in about a decade we would see technologies such as self-driving cars and mobile phones that could answer your questions, and people criticized these predictions as unrealistic. Fast forward a decade — Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones. It's easy to shrug our collective shoulders as if these technologies have always been around, but we're really on a remarkable trajectory of quickening innovation, and Google is at the forefront of much of this development."

It's also a timely appointment in terms of Kurzweil's own busy publication schedule. How to create a mind, published last month, focuses on endeavours to reverse-engineer the brain in order to understand how it works. How Google will work with Kurzweil's existing activities isn't clear (or whether it's really just a cosmetic announcement), but it's early days. The chap probably doesn't even know where the nearest coffee machine or loo is yet.

That said, it will be interesting as to whether the appointment advances Google's more far-reaching advances, such as with cars and glasses, and how they trickle down to consumer propositions.

After all, maybe the "New world government" that Kurzweil predicts (by 2020) will turn out to be Google...

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