Top Takeaways from Ray Kurzweil’s 2018 TED Talk

Top Takeaways from Ray Kurzweil’s 2018 TED Talk

Last week, Ray Kurzweil joined Chris Anderson on stage at the TED2018 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia where leading experts from around the world presented their thoughts on the future of humanity in The Age of Amazement. Their 60 minute discussion narrowed in on the day’s themes of artificial intelligence, longevity, and technology’s impact on human culture. Kurzweil expanded on his 2016 prediction that humans will be on their way to achieving longevity escape velocity as early as 2029.

In case you missed it, we’ve outlined the key takeaways from Kurzweil’s talk and TED2018: The Age of Amazement below:

Artificial Intelligence and Job Disruption

Kurzweil has made it no secret that he feels optimistic about the future of human employment in the face technology. However, as artificial intelligence moves closer to passing the Turing Test, a growing number of experts have begun to consider how society will deal with massive job disruption brought on by advancements in automation and artificial intelligence. According to Kurzweil, by the 2030’s, humans’ concerns will be primarily focused on discovering new ways of finding meaning and purpose. By merging with highly intelligent technologies, humans will experience an indefinite expansion of their neocortex which will lead to innovations in expression and communication.

Universal Basic Income by 2030

The idea of universal basic income is a controversial topic in today’s society, but in the face of a world where not everyone can, it’s a topic that politicians, non profits and entrepreneurs are starting to test around the world.

By the end of the 2030s, universal basic income will be enacted on a global scale. According to Kurzweil, this income will be more than enough for people to meet their fundamental needs.

Introducing Google’s “Talk to Books”

\Imagine being able to ask your favorite writers how they feel about a certain topic. As a director of engineering at Google, Kurzweil introduced the latest from the company’s research team. “Talk to Books” uses semantic search functions to gather results based on meaning rather than keywords. “Talk to Books”  allows the user to type in a question or a statement which the model then uses to search for related responses in over 100,000 books. You can test it out here. 

Intelligence as a Superpower

Kurzweil introduced the TED2018 audience to the main character in his latest book, Danielle: Chronicles of a Superheroine. Danielle is a young woman who uses her intelligence and accelerating technologies to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Through her adventures, readers learn about real-life leaders and how they can turn their ideas into real-world actions.

Watch the animated book trailer below, or check out the book’s website ( for information and how you can pre-order.

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