Futurist Ray Kurzweil to share film, vision at UF Jan. 12

Published: December 13 2010

Category:Announcements, Happenings, InsideUF

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Renowned futurist, author and inventor Ray Kurzweil, called the “restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal, will speak Jan. 12 at the University of Florida.

Sponsored by the ACCENT speakers bureau and community partners, Kurzweil will present a 40-minute lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, followed by the screening of a film about his work.

“Kurzweil is the best person I know at predicting the future,” said Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

The documentary, “The Singularity is Near: A True Story About the Future,” presents arguments from Kurzweil’s New York Times bestselling book, “The Singularity is Near.” He predicts that with the ever-accelerating rate of technological change, humanity is fast approaching an era in which our intelligence will become trillions of times more powerful and increasingly merged with computers. This will be the dawning of a new civilization, enabling us to transcend our biological limitations.

In Kurzweil’s post-biological world, boundaries blur between human and machine, real and virtual. Human aging and illness are reversed, world hunger and poverty are solved, and we cure death. He maintains a radically optimistic view of the future course of human development while acknowledging profound new dangers.

Kurzweil examines the social and philosophical implications of these profound changes and the potential threats they pose to human civilization in dialogues with big thinkers, including former White House counterterrorism chief Richard A. Clarke, “Future Shock” author Alvin Toffler and civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Kurzweil was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine, which described him as the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison.”

The Jan. 12 lecture and screening will include questions from the audience and a book signing. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. The event is sponsored by the Dharma Endowment Foundation.

For more information: http://www.arts.ufl.edu/kurzweil.


Andy Howard, ahoward@arts.ufl.edu, 352-273-1489

Category:Announcements, Happenings, InsideUF