Prepare for the Nanorobots, Futurist Says

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-06-16 Print this article Print

Speaking at the Business 4Site conference, Ray Kurzweil, a leading inventor and best-selling author, portends a future where rapid pace of computing growth mingles with advances in miniaturization and biotechnology.

LOS ANGELES—Internet-connected nanorobots that travel within our bodies. Virtual assistants that appear before our eyes. Virtual worlds that intermingle with our senses. Welcome to the future according to Ray Kurzweil. The inventor and author, who wrote the recent best-seller "The Age of Spiritual Machines," offered a glimpse of his predictions for technologys evolutions during a keynote at the opening day of the Business 4Site conference here Tuesday. (Business 4Site is produced by Ziff Davis Media Inc., the parent company of
Technological innovation is growing exponentially, with metrics such as price/performance, capacity and bandwidth doubling every year, Kurzweil said. Couple that growth with a similar pace of advancement in fields such as nanotechnology and biotechnology, and a future filled with microscopic robots replacing red blood cells or a lifelike representation of a person appearing at a conference becomes possible, he explained.
"The future of information technology will deeply influence every aspect of our society," Kurzweil said. Bill Gates charts computings future. Click here to see his vision. While the IT industry focuses on Moores Law and its dictum that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit board doubles every year or so, such a rate of innovation extends beyond chips, said Kurzweil, also the founder of Kurzweil Technologies Inc. A similar pace of advancements is occurring across technology—from telecommunications to the Internet. Next page: Growth rate in computing power.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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