Arnold Kling

Apostle of Growth

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
Previous Entry Next Entry

The biggest believer in economic growth is not an economist. He is inventor Ray Kurzweil, author of The Age of Spiritual Machines. I have written skeptically about his work, but I find it provocative and worth considering. In a recent online interview, Kurzweil says,

the knowledge component of products and services is asymptoting towards 100 percent. By the time we get to 2030 it will be basically 100 percent. With a combination of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, we'll be able to create virtually any physical product and meet all of our material needs.

So much for the environmentalist doomsday, in which we run out of everything.

Discussion Question. Kurzweil sees no limits to the potential increase in computer intelligence, with machines exceeding the intelligence of humans some time in the middle of this century. What might prevent this from happening?

Return to top