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The Singularity Is Near Audiobook

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

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Publisher's Summary

For over three decades, the great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.

That merging is the essence of the Singularity, an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today - the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity. In this new world, there will be no clear distinction between human and machine, real reality and virtual reality. While the social and philosophical ramifications of these changes will be profound, and the threats they pose considerable, The Singularity Is Near maintains a radically optimistic view of the future course of human development. As such, it offers a view of the coming age that is both a dramatic culmination of centuries of technological ingenuity and a genuinely inspiring vision of our ultimate destiny.

©2008 Ray Kurzweil (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Startling in scope and bravado." (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1138 )
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Performance
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  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-14-14
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-14-14 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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    "SVENGALI OR DA VINCI?"

    The Singularity is Near bodes the impertinence of Svengali or the prescience of Leonardo da Vinci. Ask a sixty-six year old if he/she would like to be thirty-five again. Ray Kurzweil predicts it will be possible by 2048. However, there is a Faustian bargain to be struck if Kurzweil’s prediction comes true.

    Ray Kurzweil’s prediction is based on three beliefs; i.e. one, continued geometric improvement in computer processing power; two, expanded use of nanotechnology with infinite improvement in artificial intelligence; and three, melding of human biology and A. I.’ technology.

    The Singularity is Near is well written and a fascinating vision with an optimistic view of the future. Faust declares at the end of Act V: “He who strives on and lives to strive/ Can earn redemption still”. That is the best one can say about Kurzweil’s predictions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 12-31-13
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 12-31-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Mind blowing ideas and the narration was fine"

    Audio was very long (24hr) , he seemed overly optimistic about his predictions and there were parts where this dragged on.
    That said I gave this a 5 because of the many new ideas he exposed me to.
    Ideas that change the way I will look at life.
    I also liked the way he backed up his ideas.
    I was nervous of the narration due to the reviews, but found it was not an issue for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 02-14-12
    Robert Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 02-14-12 Member Since 2012

    I am a "Life is Awesome! Strive to be Worthy of it." student of life kind of guy. Feeding on Chaos and Empowering the Good. Group Hug!

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    "Just buy a subscription to Pop. Sci."
    If you could sum up The Singularity Is Near in three words, what would they be?

    I have been a subscriber of Popular Science for over 10 years, and listening to this book continued to remind me of articles I had read, the difference being Pop Sci has Pictures and a lot of reference material. I felt like a lot of the material was repeated over again. There was enough material and a few really well done examples and breakdowns of some complicated area's that I enjoyed and may even listen to it again just to find those parts. I don't feel bad about purchasing it, however I was expecting a little more information about singularity, to me it was more about the history of events leading up to the ideas of singularity and a few hypothesizes on the future with possible dates. There is just something missing.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    This book comes in three parts, the middle part had more of what I was looking for. The end of the book. It kept my interest.


    What about George K. Wilson’s performance did you like?

    For this type of book, I think George did great. He has the same way of speaking that you would find a lot of professors do in University. His voice doesn't put me to sleep and it was not annoying like a few other books I have purchased from Audible.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I enjoyed the formulas on how SETI depicts the possibility of ample life in the galaxy and universe.


    Any additional comments?

    I paid over 20 bucks for this book, I am not sure that it was worth that. Half that price would have made me feel a little better about the deal. :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clint Tequesta, FL, United States 11-29-11
    Clint Tequesta, FL, United States 11-29-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Impossible to listen to"

    The reader makes this unlistenable so I have no clue about the content. These words make me go over the 15 word minimum.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
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    C Arch 08-09-17
    C Arch 08-09-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Incredible book!"

    I loved every minute of the singularity is near. the narrator did a great job reading the story. the information and scenario are still just as relevant today, if not more. there is a tremendous amount of research that had to go in to this book. the author poses questions but even bring out in sight into ideas that are not necessarily his own. he brings up the arguments for and against. he truly has a vision into the future. The ever-more near future. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a singularity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jp 07-05-17
    Jp 07-05-17 Member Since 2010
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    "Deep stuff"

    An amazing book with deep dish ideas. does include a lot of big numbers like 10 to the 16th cps. He uses that a lot in this book. Overall very interesting and mind blowing. Ray is one smart man, maybe the smartest I have ever heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Moose Wylde Newnan, GA USA 05-11-17
    Moose Wylde Newnan, GA USA 05-11-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Voice Actor Bad"

    Voice actor drones and is very boring - he sounds arrogant. Great content though, I would just prefer a different voice actor

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ryan T. Lutes 05-01-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Conceptually Informative"

    I really like the the visionary nature of this book and how it ties to the current world and trends. It was worth the time. My only dislike was when the author was using characters to talk to themselves as a proctored kind of interview. Yes, very awkward, but understandable because the author is not able to directly ask the reader these abstract questions, hence the need of a proctored guide through the concept.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    James Morrisville, NC, United States 04-23-17
    James Morrisville, NC, United States 04-23-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Great book of an interesting bright future"

    A great scientific extrapolation of hardware, Mips bandwidth, medical knowledge and medical scanning tools

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 12-01-16
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    "Not a good audio book"

    I'm very interested in Rays theories but the audio version of this was so boring and poorly narrated that I had to stop listening. Maybe a better read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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