The Age Of Spiritual Machines

1299 Words6 Pages
Throughout the last century, advancement of technology has increased rapidly. Many technology experts have spent their careers predicting the potential path of these advancements. While some experts make their predictions to warn civilization of the potential dangers of technology, others remain optimistic. One such hopeful expert is Ray Kurzweil, who in his 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines, explores how advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) in the 21st century will benefit mankind as human lives integrate with machines. Though released much later, in 2013, the film Her reflects many similar ideas as those presented by Kurzweil regarding the future of artificial intelligence. The film is set in the mid-21st century and…show more content…
The film showcases this potential advancement as the characters interact with their computers and operating systems through voice recognition. There remains a small element of touchscreen systems, but there are no keyboards present in the film which holds consistent with Kurzweil’s predictions. In the film the operating system Samantha learns to recognize verbal context clues such as sighs, on top of simple language communication (Jonze, Her). Kurzweil predicts that by the year 2019, virtual reality experiences will be so developed that other people will be experiencing things that others around them are completely unaware of. This may be achieved by head directed displays and virtual reality displays which may even be capable of blocking reality (202). In the film, the main character Theodore uses an inconspicuous earpiece in order to communicate with his operating system Samantha. Samantha is given a visual representation of the world through a small camera that Theodore carries in his pocket. He is able to maintain developed conversations with her in public without the knowledge of those around him. The film shows a reality where groups of people in public are constantly conversing with their virtual assistants instead of each other (Jonze, Her). Kurzweil also predicts that by 2019 computer assistants will have personalities which appropriately reflect the needs
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