Virtualizing Your Brain

I just finished listening to an extended Marketplace Tech Report interview with Ray Kurzewil, inventor, futurist, and author. The topic of conversation is what Kurzweil calls “technological singularity,” the convergence of humans and technology.

Ray Kurzweil

Kurzweil promoting his book, How to Create A Mind

During the 7 & 10 minute mark of the interview, Kurzweil describes a concept that is essentially virtualization of the brain (virtualization as in what VMWare does with IT infrastructure). I got really excited when I heard this. 🙂  Why?  Because I’d never thought to combine the concepts of virtualization and apply them to technological singularity and it’s not that big of a leap to imagine a future where this is a reality.  More processing power, more redundancy, better performance, and even leveraging brain power in the cloud.

Mr. Kurzweil is currently Director of Engineering at Google. I’ve followed Kurzweil long before his Google days though, first reading his “Age of Spiritual Machines” when I was in high school. While mileage may vary with the specific dates for predictions he makes, the core ideas of the book are fascinating and describe a more and more realistic picture of the convergence of technology that improves humans. I highly recommend the book (and I’m reminded that I should read his new book published in 2012 which delves deeper into everything I’m excited about above).


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